Writing for friends and yourself can clear your thoughts, help you plan and invite the discovery of new ideas. Writing with the intention to put your thoughts out there leads to real writing. Writing gets real when it is read. Before that, it is a dream in letters. Writing to get read makes you careful, responsible, and considerate. It forces you to think as simply, clearly and understandably as possible. It forces you to think about how what you say may look and feel from the outside.

Take the Power Back – iA

The above post is one of the best ones I’ve read this year. I made at least a dozen highlights and finished it with a head full of ideas about how to improve my blog.

H/T to Patrick Rhone for sharing it on his feed.

Write to figure it out

Daniel Boorstein once said ‘I write to figure out what I think’. It’s a surprisingly accurate quote – until you sit down and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) you have nothing. Not until you have a coherent work with a beginning, middle and end, AND a justifiable premise, AND the ability to defend it to other people’s attacks, you don’t really know what you think. Writing it out is a very, very different process than just having a half formed idea kicking around inside your head.

Ritholtz: Why I Write – The Big Picture

Why blog

I share below quote only to realise it’s been a month since my last entry.

“Your podcast will reach more people than your book will. A blog post will reach more people than a podcast.”

“Everyone should write a blog, every day, even if no one reads it. There’s countless reasons why it’s a good idea and I can’t think of one reason it’s a bad idea.”

 Seth Godin Explains Why You Should Blog Daily

Writing and productivity links

[Productivity] serves the same psychological role that busyness has always served: to keep us sufficiently distracted that we don’t have to ask ourselves potentially terrifying questions about how we are spending our days.  – Oliver Burkeman

Why time management is ruining our lives

Zen To Done (ZTD): The Simple Productivity System

Tim Harford — Article — Three great books about getting the important things done

Ritholtz: Why I Write – The Big Picture

The Benefits of Writing

Why I Love Writing About the Markets

Reading a book is step one

writing is step two.

If you want to get something out of every book you read, you need to write about them. No you don’t have to publish what you write, but you do need to write.

How I make my book reading work for me

I quite agree with Curtis on this.
Despite it may be time consuming reviewing a book a writing about it makes the ideas from that book stick much much better.

And after all that is the goal of reading.

Less consumption more writing

Don’t die of consumption, Learn by Writing
makes a compelling case for over-consuption of useful information. In fact the tendency to consume more and more information brings the opposite effect. Instead of more clarity there is more confusion around what’s useful and what’s not. The constant chase for latest tips and hack hampers actual understanding of processes and basic principles.
Speedreading, skimming and other techniques for cobbling (can’t call this reading) books help show off the number of titles completed a week as if this really made the difference.

What is the alternative then as no doubt we live in golden era of freely available information of all kind. Stop reading completely? Read one book per year or month?

Firstly let it sink in. I still think reading a lot is good and beneficial. Yet rather than jumping from book to book and blog post to magazine article that makes it Let it sink in, take notes on it, write down your impressions and own observations.

Secondly Read broadly. Doing a deep dive into a topic can be great for a while but to keep your mind fresh and not filled with the same information venture into different topics. Check out what’s the latest in social science or medical research or biology or math. Opening to new topics not only increases general understanding but also helps building new connections, spot trends or gain completely new perspective.

Lastly diversify source. Personally I’ve been discovering time and again that great authors and their content is availalble on variety of platforms. Hence rathern than mindlessly jump between books and blogs, consider podcasts or raio or even TV. These mediums can be a fantastic alternative to stacks of books. Because of their different nature they will deliver the content in slightly different way again providing a different point of view.

The best advise on writing

In the space of two, three days I’ve come across two items that pretty much nailed it for me in terms of the best advise on writing.

First one is episode 5 of The Weekly Briefly podcast where Shawn Blanc (the host) talks to Patrick Rhone about writing. It’s 55 min long but every minute is worth it. There is so much good stuff there that single quote will not cut it. Go and listen!! 

(you can easily guess I more than like that episode).

Second piece of content that I wanted to share is Cut the bullshit and make time to write

I think the title says it all but this bit of text is a handy reminder why you should keep writing regardless.

Make yourself write, because a day will come when you’re really fucking inspired and you will shit out 500 words of pure solid gold.