Be the writer you already are. Write. Now.

7 steps connect your writing with the TED Talk Generation**

(** 7 steps to connect with the TED Talk Generation follow the essay.)

Mom was pleased with four evocative lines I penned.

At eight or nine, my words began a home-school essay. I described an old man leaning against a pickup truck in the sunlight.

Mom read them and dashed off, with me in tow, to find my father.

Standing before me in the living room, Dad was also pleased. He read the words aloud.

“You will be a writer,” he declared with the pride and certainty of a parent in the south.

It was a bit much ― as if I’d already won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

(That stalled me for decades.)

Now that paper scrap is lost to time. But I clearly see it in my memory.

I also recall the white space that remained on that page… forever.

How could I top that opening? What came next?

I should have pressed on. That old fella in the sun should have done something, gone somewhere.

I didn’t write again in earnest until my college application essays.

Recently though, I began penning mini-essays, like this one, on Thursdays.

First I celebrated a friend’s success. Then I typed a memory of “story-walking” my daughter to school. Then I popped off another. And then another. I then got into a rhythm.

Forty or so years later, I believe I’ve begun filling in the rest of that page.

A question for you: Is it time to fill your page?

Join me… Write. More. Now.

TAKE ACTION: 7 steps to write and ensure it connects with the TED Talk Generation.

The TED Talk Generation isn’t age-bound. It isn’t an age-range defined by words like Boomer, GenXYZ, or Millennial. It is an audience drawn to and informed by 7 billion collective views of a very few, leading TED talks. So write to connect with that reader!

(1) CONNECT TO TED. Your audience is informed by TED talks. So lean into the topics that resonate with the TED Talk Generation. Extra credit if you can include a link to a talk that touches on your topic! (See the top 100 TED talks here.)

(2) WRITE SMALL. Begin writing for iPhone scrollers or LinkedIn post readers. An emerging reading format (shared in this TED talk) offers a new generation of writers a new way of spreading ideas.

(3) GO TO CUBA. After your next-to-final draft, ask “Have I gone to Cuba to visit Ernest Hemingway for an editing round? The Hemingway App is a great editing tool.

(4) RECRUIT FANS. Find a couple of fans who believe in your writing future and will honestly (and gently) offer feedback. Make them your personal starter-tribe. Add to them as you gain confidence.

(5) FLOSS DAILY. Don’t make writing a special time in the week or weekend. Make it a daily habit with these 3 tips from bestseller and writing coach, Jeff Goins. And then return to content from the day before and, well, floss it.

(6) SHARE THERE. You need to get your work out there. It needs to breathe somewhere (whether on Medium, in self-published print form, or on social media). Don’t let your work sit hidden in a journal or drawer. Share it. Engage in dialogue around it. (Then return to your fans to improve on it.)

(7) LEARN FROM TED. The authors and wise ones who weigh in on the writing and creative process are many. Learn from them, here and here and here… and here.

Read. Connect. Reflect.

A weekly practice each Thursday for reading, connecting, and reflecting.

Join a weekly practice of reading, connecting, and reflecting: THINKER THURSDAYS. Kick off your Thursday with a short newsletter exploring one topic from three angles: 3 topical articles, 2 TED talks, and 1 original reflection piece. (Short. Needed. Stimulating. Let’s call it a morning catalyst that moves you from curious to informed in six clicks. Espresso optional.) Join here.



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Devin D. Marks

Devin D. Marks


The TED TALK Whisperer. Clients enjoy 1M+View TED Talks. Also grateful host of Thinker Thursdays™ ( Join: