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Thinking about Essays

Nice card based essay landing page with a flow from left to right by Julian Shapiro

[[The Ultimate Guide to Writing Online – Write of Passage]]

Write Personal, Observational and Playful

  • If your words make you feel naked, you’re probably onto something. 
  • Jokes, riddles, slang, coined terms, funny phrases, and thought experiments are all part of the repertoire. Sneak your sentences some swigs of tequila until they’re a little tipsy (too much will make your reader gag). If you’re making your ~prisoner~ reader smile, you’re onto something.

[[The Ultimate Guide to Writing Online – Write of Passage#TYPES OF FEEDBACK|CRIBS - Confusing, Repeated, Interesting, Boring, Surprising]]

Good writers distill hours (or weeks) of experience into a short, compressed artifact. 

No matter how good it was, it wouldn’t spread without great marketing.

Think of newsletters like little “Digital Postcards.” They can be quick and personal.

A shiny dime is the smallest viable idea you can write about. Like “Snakes on a Plane,” it’s the most compressed distillation of what you’re trying to say

  • Good writing is focused. It orbits around a single point.
  • A coined phrase is the most compressed version of a shiny dime.

Coined phrases often hold these characteristics:

  1. Surprising – They surprise us in the moment, but feel obvious in retrospect. Once we see them, we can’t unsee them. 
  2. Ambiguous – They create suspense and spark the reader’s curiosity. 
  3. Visual – Good metaphors activate the reader’s senses and are as vivid as they are true. 
  4. Fun – Like a jingle, you can’t help but say them out-loud. 

Keep your grammar simple at first. Extravagant punctuation can distract from your main message. If you break the rules, do it deliberately (like Monet). 

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