11/11: “Use storytelling, Luke!”, mesolearning and how to un-stupid yourself

I made no New Year resolutions for 2015, and in December I realised this wasn’t too bad at all. Here’s a list of things I did and learned during the year, and its last month that helped me get check that 2015 box with enough satisfaction.

For my year in review, I used someone’s idea I spotted on Facebook: to make a list of things you did in 2015 that you’ve never done before. So, in 2015 I:

— together with our Lateral Summer team, finished our first “serious” short film
— attended Russia’s major film festival
— started working in a startup
— launched my own monthly newsletter (in Russian; follow 11/11 on Medium to get the English digest)
 — did the Serbian plank!
 — got a tattoo
 — designed a T-shirt and sold a couple of dozens
 — participated in a genderfuck party 
 — finished my photobook dummy
 — wrote (and finished!) a short story (in Russian as well)

Have your own list? Do share! 😉

Don’t sell: tell a story instead

Use storytelling techinque in whatever you’re creating: a product, a design, a PR campaign or a personal blog. Imagine it as a story you’re telling your audience — as if you’re actually writing a short story or a screenplay. You can read about the basics of storytelling here or here. There’s a hero facing a problem or a challenge, and, to achieve their goal and come out victorious, they must go through a transformation making them better, stronger, smarter, wiser, and/or happier. The hero is your audience, be it an investor, a customer, your blog reader, and your product is the ultimate tool that helps them achieve the transformation.

Use Medium.com for mesolearning

There’s the new trend of microlearning, when your subject is broken down into bite-sized pieces of information, and the “traditional” macrolearning — books, courses etc. I use the term “mesolearning” for the thing in between them: rather small (form 5 to 15 minutes of reading) posts that you can find… yes, right here on Medium! I used this method to learn all the basics of a product launch, and here’s what I like about it:

— people describe their personal experience, and you can always check the actual result
— a lot of them have already read those books and long reads you might need, and shared helpful key points
— the perspective of reading a bunch of Medium posts is much less intimidating than spending considerable amount of time on a book or an online course.

The Day When Your Mind Stood Stupid

If you’ve never had one of those days, I would suppose you’ve never lived. You might have your todo-list full, but you have no idea where to start and you’re afraid you won’t finish anything on time. I found 2 ways to un-stupid myself on days like this:

— as soon as you feel the TDWYMSS symptoms, sit down and write down everything you need do to on this day, stuff like “to buy milk” included. I’m a Trello addict, so I use it. Use the list as your stepping stones to get through the day, like on auto-pilot.
— do one thing that would make you feel like the day hasn’t been wasted.


For 2016, I’m trying a new approach to reaching goals and feeling happy about this — stay tuned for February issue of 11/11 with my first results.

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