I summarized everything I've ever written about writing and creativity.

Behold: a big idea summary for readers and thinkers, artists and creators. (thread)
It’s not about you…
🔷It’s about ideas
🔷It’s about the message
🔷It’s about how you send it
Creating is like…
🔷Having your ego surgically removed one day
🔷Replaced the next
🔷And then removed the day after, in a continuous cycle
Don’t waste your audience’s time…
🔷Create a worthy product before you show it
🔷Ask yourself whether you can make it any better
🔷Enjoy what the work itself is teaching you
Don’t write words, play with ideas…
🔷Concentrate on themes
🔷Consider how they’re organized
🔷Recognize images people use to express them
We don’t will ourselves to like a subject, we’re simply aware of it at first…
🔷The closer we observe the more we learn
🔷The more we learn the more interested we become
🔷The more interested we become the closer we observe, in a virtuous circle
The only way to create something new is to go through a painful, deliberate creative process…

🔷Organize your thoughts
🔷Reflect them back to yourself in written form
🔷Resolve and structure ideas in a logical order

Repeat stages 1-3
Note: the strategy that works in one stage of the creative process causes failure in the next

🔷Make new parts (create)
🔷Remove favorite parts (delete)
🔷Publish and get feedback (stop deleting and share)

Repeat stages 1-3
Keep your creative process simple:

🔷Build on the ideas of others
🔷Put something new into the world

Repeat stages 1-2
Need creative assistance?
🔷Print Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language”
🔷Cut out one sentence and tape it to your desk
🔷“Let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around”
🔷Look at it every time you’re stuck and need to find the right thought
To create something compelling…

🔷Put bigger ideas in a smaller package

To create something attractive…

🔷Make the ideas simple and universal at the same time
Focus on process more than output…
🔷Refine what you create to the asymptote
🔷Throw the output back into the process
🔷Create things. Create more things from those things (the more products you refine, the more products you combine, in a cycle).
No one cares about the last thing or the thing before that…
🔷The main thing is the next thing
🔷Simply make outputs faster than you deplete inputs
A product is not refined from crude oil to super premium in one step…
🔷Your first draft is the product of extraction (rich sources).
🔷Your published draft is the products of editing (refined products).
🔷Your masterpiece is the products of refined products (premium products).
Convert content into a format you love...
🔷Force choices
🔷Structure ideas
🔷Reward quality
🔷Constrain yourself
🔷Mandate discovery
🔷Strip away distractions
Don’t think about what you’re creating…
🔷Think about leaving a message
🔷And then *discover* what you’re creating
🔷By resolving underlying ideas into a self-evident structure
Amateurs think about entertaining an audience…
🔷Professionals think about moving an audience from one point of view to another
Remember, reading, thinking, and writing are three *processes* within a larger creative process…
🔷Reading is the process of filling yourself with ideas
🔷Thinking is the process of clarifying and ordering ideas
🔷Writing is the process of reflecting ideas back to yourself
Write what you mean…
🔷Don’t overreach
🔷Don’t make a grab for insight
🔷Don’t write something memorable
🔷Don’t write because you like the way it sounds
🔷Don’t search for a phrase at the expense of an idea
Apply these principles of communication…
🔷Convey your intended ideas, and none more
🔷Speak only when you have something to say
🔷Speak such that you cannot be misunderstood
🔷Leave your audience with an unmistakable single headline
If the quality of the things you write is compelling, the value of the things you write is compounding…
🔷Share ideas in the spirit of helping others
🔷Apply them in a continuous cycle of learning
You can follow @jmikolay.
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