A handful of things that are helping me write more
This one is for my G's of the Course Creation Course
It ended today.
The first cohort of the Course Creation Course ended a few minutes ago.
And yet, it will be forever. Things that mean this much, for this many people, always persist one way or another.
During the CCCourse, a common theme was the challenge of creating an audience. We all have ideas we cannot wait to get to. But sometimes it feels that our lack of an audience is holding us back. No one to receive our updates and invitations, not many to give us feedback. It can be discouraging.
There are many ways of building an audience and writing is just one.
As I've been writing for a couple weeks, on the topic I started to explore during CCC, I figured I could share a few tricks I use to write with a little bit of consistency.
In no particular order:
I have a list of themes I'd like to write about. Each idea is small. Some themes are not even things I'm too knowledgeable about. In my spreadsheet of content ideas, I flag those with “would like to learn". Bingo, now writing can follow not just my skill, but also my curiosity.
If I were to guess, I'd say most of my posts take around 2h to create and promote. I spread this across several days sometimes. Also, I use checklists.
I'm trying to create short posts. I aim for less than 500 words. I've read somewhere that between 500 and 2000 words is an awkward place for a post. It's not short, but can't be that deep either. So I stick with 500 words.
As much as I can, I follow some ideas from copy writing advice (shorten sentences, use words that evoke sensations, nudge your audience into imagining things, write in a way that people want to keep reading, go easy on the jargon)
I have a taxonomy for my posts. This makes it much easier to find the angle I want to use. All my posts are either about The Weird Part (this thing you're reading now. Personal, not practical) or about how Experts can create their own workshops. This second sort of post can be about one of four products (consulting, coaching, workshops or games) and focused on one of four things (promoting, selling, delivering or improving). It's easy to combine them in multiple ways and always have something to say.
Ironically, this post is so ad-hoc, that it does not fit that system. So I'm putting it into The Weird Part, following different rules.
I'm being a little less resistant to the idea of promoting and sharing my work. I've written about this here. It's exciting to slowly build up skill and confidence in my writing abilities.
I share all my posts on the Substack Notes channel. This is very easy and who knows, can send some people my way. No risk with some possible reward.
This is not necessary, but I've geeked out on Figma, creating a sort of a Design System to create covers for all my posts. Now it does not take much time, and always gives me a decent cover image for my posts.
I'm framing the writing habit in terms of building a library that I can refer to. When somebody asks me about how to demonstrate Expertise, I can point them to what I wrote about that:
This post is mostly descriptive. I don't know enough about writing only to be dishing out advice. But I can talk about what I'm doing and whether it seems to be working. And this seems to be working for me.
I hope this helps you as well!
This is from "The Weird Part” of my newsletter. Personal, not practical. If you receive the regular newsletter and want to receive these intimate posts you need to sign up for this section too.