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Josh Branchaud
Josh Branchaud

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Write More, Write Small

When I sit down to write a blog post, like this one for instance, I often struggle with getting started. It can feel daunting and overwhelming. The blank page stares back at me and the ideas, especially the starting point, feel out of reach.

Getting something that is already written into another written piece is incomparably easier than assembling everything in your mind and retrieving it from there.
-How to Take Smart Notes

The point then is to not start with a blank page, but to always be writing. All that writing will build up into a repository of ideas. Ideas that can be turned into blog posts much more easily than some ephemeral thoughts. Blog posts in turn can be leveraged into courses and books.

Write more often and keep each bit of writing small and concise.

This is what I've done with my TIL GitHub repo. By keeping each post small and focused -- very narrow topics always under 200 words -- I've been able to skirt past the intimidation of standard blog posts. In a matter of years, I've published over 900 of these posts.

There are all sorts of everyday opportunities to keep your writing small and frequent. Beyond a TIL repo, you can keep a daily work log, exchange topical emails with a friend, and compile literature notes from books and articles you read.

Here is another suggestion from Ali Spittel:

Okay I’ve been doing more twitter threads instead of blog posts and honestly they just feel so much lower pressure to me so they’re easier to put out.

I’m going to keep doing them with the goal of rewriting them as blog posts down the road.

— Ali Spittel 🐞 (@aspittel) January 9, 2020

I have a goal of writing bigger and more impactful things. That has to start with writing more and writing small.

Top comments (1)

binyamin profile image
Binyamin Green • Edited

The point then is to not start with a blank page, but to always be writing.

Totally. Neil Gaiman said that his worst fear is a blank page. Thanks for sharing!