3 systems to make self-learning easier, Mentors to follow on Twitter and Cool Project Ideas for learning
You can write but can you write well? Are you confident about putting your thoughts into words that others want to read?
Being able to write well is a superpower that can give you immense leverage in your career. Especially in the 2020s.
Introducing Clear Writing, Clear Thinking - a free email course where I teach you how to improve your writing, so you can improve your career:
You must unlearn what school taught you
You've probably learnt writing in school.
And yet, so much of what school teaches you is worse than useless. It hurts you in real life. You need to unlearn so much if you want to write meaningful things in real life.
Here are some of the things that school made you do in order to get respectable grades:
- You wrote what was prescribed instead of what you wanted. You never realized that you write your best when you write about something that you are excited about.
- You followed minimum word limits. Whereas, the real world has maximum word limits - the key is to convey your message in as few words as possible.
- You followed rigid formats for "creative" writing. There was a format for essays, formal letters and even, informal letters! Well, guess what? Nobody likes it when you are formulaic and everyone loves being surprised.
- You wrote an introductory paragraph before you made your point. Whereas, in the real world, your first sentence needs to grab the reader. Nobody has the time to read an introduction to your main content.
No one told you that too much focus on getting good at school can actually do you harm.
What good writing is about
Every other writing course on the Internet promises to make you an author or a professional blogger.
Oh, that dream of writing like a pro and monetising your words!
But wait, most of us do not aspire to be a professional writer. You probably want to be an excellent programmer, a successful entrepreneur, an amazing marketer or a great manager. Don't you?
By connecting an incredibly useful skill with a dreamy aspiration, those guides miss the point of writing well.
Learning to write well is about learning to convey your thoughts to others.
Explaining things is an art. It is the art of getting your argument across. You cannot hope to learn that in a vaccum. Writing allows you to practice this art.
So good news, writing well can give you a leg up, no matter what profession you are in.
"Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success. Successwise, you’re better off being good at two complementary skills than being excellent at one."
- Scott Adams
Writing well is the extra skill that can double your odds of success.
Writing in the Attention Economy
Clear writing induces clear thinking. It teaches you the art of expressing your ideas and explaining them to others in a way that they pay attention to you.
And grabbing people's attention has never been more difficult. You can't rely on the awesomeness of your idea.
We live in an Attention Economy where you are fighting hoards of brilliant scientists at the Googles and Facebooks of the world for the scarce attention of your coworkers, your manager, your subordinates, your followers, your readers and other people that you admire.
It's difficult to grab their attention. It's even more difficult to grab their attention in a way that they don't feel cheated. Their attention is valuable, more so in the 2020s, and you need to be worthy of it.
I want to teach you how you can make your words more valuable in this attention economy.
I am not a professional writer. I do not write very frequently. Neither do I have millions of views on my articles.
I write code and I help others who write code. I started publishing on the Internet 3 years ago and have 14 articles under my name. In that time, more than 500, 000 people from tens of countries have read my words.
Moreover, these 3 years of writing have done more for my career than what 4 years of college did!
It has allowed me to:
- reach out to the CEO of a fast growing startup and get a lovely job that was tailor-made to my interests.
- create Twitter and LinkedIn profiles that attract connections from around the world.
- receive frequent applause from my manager and peers for good written communication at the job.
- get freelancing offers from multiple companies to write paid articles on their blog.
Now, I want to share my knowledge to help you gain similar benefits in your career!
I am a better writer than most programmers and I am a better programmer than most writers. I believe that this unique position allows me to empathise with the problems and the anxieties that ambitious professionals, like you, face when they try to write.
This also means that if you are here, aspiring to be an author - I'm sorry, you're in the wrong place. I'm not the person to help you.
But for everyone else, I have designed a writing curriculum that does not feel daunting.
Introducing - Clear Writing, Clear Thinking
All writing gurus on the Internet give newcomers vague advice like "just publish that first article" and "publish something every week".
This is scary, Level-5 advice.
No wonder, it doesn't work for a vast majority of newbies - it is meant for people already on the 4th Level! When you're starting, you need advice on finishing Level 1.
So, good news - I have created a course that takes you from Level 1 to Level 5, one at a time. At each level, I will address the hurdles of that level and give you advice on how you can overcome it.
I have discovered that as a beginner, we struggle with hurdles that most experts can't relate with. Hurdles like:
- Finding the confidence to capture your thoughts
- Giving yourself permission to write what you want
- Empathising with your reader
- Understanding the need for rewriting
- Understanding the cost of being thorough
- Unlearning the fanciness of fancy words
- Dealing with a lack of ideas
- Dealing with a lack of motivation
I'll address a couple of these hurdles in every lesson.
The Game Designer Approach to teaching
I have taken inspiration from game designers to create an optimal learning experience. Here are the 3 pillars of my curriculum:
- Embracing constraints - to squeeze out the best of your thoughts.
- Clear, increasingly difficult goals - to ensure that you're learning at the edge of your skills and don't get exhausted early.
- Small feedback loops - so you get to create at each level, receive feedback and keep your momentum.
I'll deliver the curriculum, my lessons and instructions for you to follow via email over the course of next 8 weeks. What more - each of these emails is just a 3-minute read!