I write to improve my thinking. I publish what I write because I often find myself discussing the same concepts with multiple people independently.
I publish as soon as I have 2–3 semi coherent bullet points that I then group under a Todo section. The edit button is my new save button. My writing is sprinkled with todos, typos, etc. I find that I fix them faster when every change gets published versus letting drafts accumulate in Google Docs. I’ve coined this approach “Continuous Publishing” (Lean Content could also work) for lack of a better term. I was inspired by the agile/lean movements but always felt slightly ashamed by my writing or worried that I would say something incorrect or otherwise hurt my reputation. This delayed me publishing and led me to rely more on in person conversations which should be more of a dialogue versus a way for me to clarify my own thinking. Shame can also be a tool for driving self improvement. So my thesis is that if I publish fast, then shame will drive me to improve quicker than if I let edits and drafts accumulate privately.
I write to improve my relationships. If I can get my thoughts out at length in the written form, then I can focus my inter personal interactions more on empathizing and listening.
Digital documents can be continuously edited. I don’t version my docs. I just make changes as soon as I think of an improvement.
I reserve the right to change my mind at any time and to edit anything at any time. I try to base my beliefs on evidence versus basing my evidence on beliefs. This can sometimes lead to sudden and dramatic changes. I often get questions about some of the decisions I make because of their sudden and dramatic nature. Writing helps me explain my reasoning in a scalable opt-in way.
Resources to improve my writing
- Analogies to software development workflows re pushing commits to remote, continuous integration/deployment, etc.
- “Move fast and break things”: “Write fast and be ashamed of yourself.”
- MECE out my reasoning for writing
- I started writing drafts in google keep, and then would migrate them to Google Docs for formatting and feedback from reviewers, and then migrate to Medium for publishing. There was a lot of friction and repetitive work here because of formatting issues caused by copying/pasting between apps and also that each app had different functionality. Plus the context switching. Writing straight to my publishing system
- How I measure myself when it comes to writing: first by number of drafts generated, then time writing in drafts, then words generated in drafts, now posts published. Continually evolving and changing
- “You don’t need to be the same person that you were 15 minutes ago”
- All growth is by definition change though not all change is by definition growth. Err on the side of making change easier if revising is cheap.
- Explore changing workflow from drafts -> published to drafts -> unlisted -> published or unlisted -> published once publishing unlisted stories is enabled on medium iOS app
- Working this way is unpredictable. Predictability is not always a virtue. Growth is by definition less predictable than steady state.
- Easier to find like minded people or those who share values in a scalable asynchronous way. Especially when one is living the nomad/SOA life (todo link to nomad/SOA post). Helps diversify portfolio of friendships (proximity based, values based, digitally based)
- Show my work (get link)
- Don’t let perfect be enemy of good enough vs don’t let good enough be the enemy of showing up. Doing something, anything when we have an intuition and virtually fully reversibility on the decision is almost always better than inaction. Ship garbage and iterate.
- Quantity begets quality (todo pull primary sources)
- Distribution not a priority for me since I write for me. No concerns about waves of people seeing posts and not coming back because it wasn’t “perfect” the first time.
- “Vulnerability is the new invincibility”? Invincibility can be broken with one show of weakness. Vulnerability exposes flaws that can then be systematically corrected. Vulnerability leads to longer term strength?
- Assume a question mark at the end of every statement. Everything is up for revision.
- Writing as a way to reduce load on working memory and long term memory.
- Improve quality of thinking by identifying exaggeration or being more likely to cite things. Exaggeration reduces credibility in verbal conversation and can be used as way to paper over lack of thoroughness in thinking. Also tend to speak quickly so writing gives me ability to slow down and fully build out reasoning.
- I’m going to experiment with only taking notes as medium drafts. So no more google keep which is where I initially captured notes.
- This way everything is one click to publish. May also experiment with adding following step to my weekly review:
Look at each draft in medium and either publish or delete.
Medium drafts section should always be empty at end of weekly review. Every draft should be publish or perish
I’ve also been using otter for voice journaling. It feels like Star Trek. Exploring a Siri — >otter to medium drafts workflow
- I’m a data driven person that thrives on tight and explicit feedback loops. Publishing quickly and editing live enables me to see viewership and gives me a dashboard with numbers to optimize. For example
- Weekly review process for drafts to publish
- Process for editing older articles and updating them? Block out time? Ideally find an event based trigger of some kind. Or some sort of rules based system.
- Assume I’ll have to rewrite anything multiple times for it to even be half decent.