What will I learn from this?

“First, write all you think is necessary.

Then, take out every sentence which could have been written by someone else.“

— Seth Godin

Connectivity enables transparency.” – Bill Gates

The Epic 4,000-Word Guide to Differentiating Yourself as a Writer by Todd Bryson

I think it is natural for a writer to plug her ears after releasing work into the world, hiding it from those who criticize. After all, art often demands that kind of thing.

But you need someone to hold you to your best work. Find that person.

They disagree with not what you are saying but how you are saying it.

Write with your true voice

This is done by REMOVING THE BRAIN FROM THE PROCESS. Instead, hotwire your fingers with your guts and blood and soul.

The best way to remove the brain from the process is stream-of-consciousness writing.

The steps are exactly what you’d expect:

Sit down

Set a timer somewhere between 7–15 minutes

Write every thought that crosses your mind

Do not write with an agenda. Do not write to publish. Do not write for perfection.

Write to write.

Viral Strategy 2 — ASK for shares

This is the easiest way to get traction, but 90% of people don’t do it.

If you feel shy about asking for shares or recommends (like I did), ask yourself two questions:

“Do I believe this is quality work?”

“Do I believe a single other person on the planet could benefit from it?”

If the answer to both these questions is “yes,” how could you possibly be embarrassed to ask for a share?

Be as creative as you want with this ask, just don’t be apologetic. A simple, strong request for shares goes a long way.

For every ONE person who is interested in your work, you add one person to your viral engine. The higher your baseline, the easier it is to reach more people.

Win your readers over, one by one by one by one.

At that point, you’ll find going viral is not only easier, it may not even feel necessary anymore.

Steve Bryant

People care about what they already care about.”

The importance of being relevant to your audience’s interests

What is relevant, timely, and interesting to your reader depends upon who you’re talking to.

It’s easier to care about what you already care about.

Most people care about their own interests.

Find where those interests overlap with yours, and begin.

Relationships are based on trust

All relationships are based on trust.

You trust someone when you have confidence in their reasoning, or their feelings, or their abilities. You have that confidence because that someone has exhibited that reasoning or those feelings or those abilities over time.

In other words, you trust someone because their behavior is consistent across weeks, or months, or years.

Trust, you could say, is simply another word for time.

There is no trust without honesty

Trust, of course, requires honesty.

You can’t trust someone if that someone isn’t honest about their reasoning, or their ability, or their intent. Their dishonesty takes away your ability to make good decisions.

And so this is why a publication’s most valuable asset is their relationship with their readers

A publication isn’t content. A publication is the exploration of an idea.

Their audiences trust that the authors will honestly examine the idea territory they’ve set out to explore. The author gives honest effort (input), the audience gives attention and trust (output).

This is a relationship.

In each case, the storyteller knows that they, the storyteller, aren’t the point of the discourse; the point of the discourse is the idea — which is larger than the storyteller and which never ends.

Make relationships, not things

The decision to create a relationship instead of a thing has real consequences for what you make, who you ask to make it, and how it gets done.

If you want to create a conversation because what you value most about your audience is their insight, then there are appropriate platforms and tools and people to help you do that.

Was it as good for you as it was for me?

Everything works this way

Relationships are based on trust. Trust takes time and honesty. You can’t just create a pile of content and be done with it. You can’t “thing” your way to people trusting you.

Which is to say: the question isn’t what content to create.

The question isn’t how to create that content.

The question is why do you care about the people you’re creating the content for? What makes them special? What kind of relationship do you want to have?

How do you want them to feel?

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