I am quickly going to go through 10 key lessons I learned from David Perell’s Write of Passage course.
Before I get to the 10 lessons, I’ll insert a quick marketing plug. If you want to get a full summary with the key insights from this course, just click you can get it here.
So, here are 10 lessons that I learned from David Perell’s Write of Passage.
1.Writing online gives you leverage.
In the good old days, in order to get published you had to go through a gatekeeper; usually an editor of a newspaper, magazine, or publishing house. With the internet, you can publish yourself and potentially reach millions of readers.
Even though any one can leverage the internet, very few people do. Almost everybody is spending a lot of time on the internet. But the number of people who are creating content is still small.
So, this is a perfect time to start.
When you publish your ideas online, you unleash the full power of the Internet. Your ideas work for you while you sleep—24/7, all around the world.
2. How to avoid writer’s block
There are two things writers have always struggled with. Writer’s block and alcohol.
And no, we are not going to suggest drinking to solve your writer’s block. There is a better solution.
All of us consume lots of information. From books, articles, podcasts. But very few of us store this information–it seems like we trust our memory too much.
But memory alone is not enough. We need to capture this information.
Make sure to have an information scrapbook where you store all relevant information and ideas. This, of course, could be a notebook. However, David Perell recommends using Evernote because you can store endless information in the cloud and not lose it.
But hoarding information is not enough.
The best way to improve the quality of your writing is to improve the quality of the information that you consume.
High quality information leads you to high quality writing.
And helps you defeat writer’s block… without a hangover.
3. How to start writing online?
You may think that you don’t have any original ideas.
Well, here’s a secret.
So many of the creators with big online audiences just got started by summarizing the ideas of other people. If you don’t feel like you have original ideas but want to start publishing, the best thing is to read a book or an article, summarize the main ideas, and share it.
Kind of what we do with course summaries, where you can get summaries of the top online courses.
Make sure to check us out in the description.
4. What if I am not such a good writer?
You might think that you’re not a good writer.
But when David Perell was laid off from his job a couple of years ago, the overwhelming feedback was that he wasn’t a good writer.
But then he started sharing his writing online.
And once he started to do that, the quality of his writing and the quality of his thinking got so much better.
Writing is a skill that you develop by doing it. Like any other skill.
Publish your ideas, start sharing them, and get feedback.
According to David, sharing his ideas for free on the internet was the single thing that improved his writing.
And this is a great segue to the next lesson.
5. Don’t write alone
According to David the whole concept of locking yourself up in a room to write for years and then reveal what you wrote is outdated.
It does not apply to an internet-driven world.
David sees writing and idea generation as a collaborative process.
By getting feedback you know which of your ideas resonate, and where you can improve with your writing.
Back in the 1920s Writers would move to Paris to be among other writers… to belong to a community and gather ideas from each other.
I am not saying that a trip to Paris is not worth it….but today, you don’t have to go that far. You can do that from anywhere by publishing online.
6. A writers #1 enemy
What do readers and writers have in common?
They have the same enemy… Boredom.
Nobody is going to read something that is boring. That’s what gets readers to move on to something else. They have so many options after all…
So, How to avoid boring writing?
Pay attention to moments that make you feel excited about a topic. The more you can write when you’re excited about something the more life will be injected into your writing.
Nietzsche said: “Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.
A quick way to stave boredom off is by starting with action in your introduction.
If you are writing a crime novel this is easy to do.
But you can inject action into any piece of writing.
Keep in mind…
If there’s no problem or conflict, It’s boring.
So, creating suspense is one way to think about an introduction. When in doubt, make your introduction shorter. Make it as short as possible and get to the point.
Opening up a statement but not fully answering it, is what creates a great introduction. Readers will keep on reading, to find the answer.
7. Never try to be creative in front of your computer
If you try to be creative at your computer, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. Never stare at a blank screen in front of you. You want to be writing from abundance. Writer Sebastian Junger once said:
“If you have writer’s block, you don’t have enough ammunition”.
So make sure to seep ideas from all aspects of your life. Go out more, read more, meet or interview people, interact with other people’s ideas, go for a long walk or take a long shower.
Experience life as vividly as you can allow yourself at the moment.
You are going to come back to your computer recharged and full of new ideas.
8. Build a personal brand
The world is flipping upside down. Nowadays, everybody can be a media creator. This is the time to start creating content. You get a lot of opportunities and you become a magnet for different people and ideas.
One of the cool things about the internet and having an audience is that you can actually have a portfolio of income streams instead of relying on a single revenue stream. This helps in taking control of your life and leading the life that you always wanted to live.
Creating on the internet might be something that isn’t very intuitive because it takes a long time to get noticed. But, the benefits are incredible.
So, start publishing content and getting yourself noticed. It’s the surest path to building an internet business. And getting people to read your writing.
9. Everyone has something to share
Don’t think that everyone else is super interesting and you are not.
Everyone has an interesting story to share. Your talents, skills,and life experiences might not be interesting for everyone but you can definitely find a niche.
There are approximately 5 billion internet users in 2022. Even if what you share resonates with only 0.01% of them. That’s 500,000 people, that’s a huge audience.
Remember, be authentic. Don’t comprise your own story thinking that it won[t be interesting to others. You will most likely find a large enough group of people who find it interesting.
And this takes us to our next point.
Which might seem contradictory but it’s not.
10. Originality is a scam
You might be thinking…What? A writing course that tells me I shouldn’t be original? Sounds like a red flag.
But according to David Perell you should view originality through a different lens.
So many of us aren’t able to write because we are stuck trying to make every single idea original. You can borrow from people’s writing.
Even the best writers of all time did this.
Youtuber Ali Abdaal is a huge advocate of borrowing from other creatives. In fact, one of the books that most inspired him in his Youtube journey is Austin Kleon Steal Like an Artist .
You will develop your style as you progress in your writing journey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t borrow some ideas along the way.
So if you think this course can help you build your personal brand by writing online but you can’t afford it or you’re not ready to take it. You can always get the summary. Get it here!
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