Writing as Input

Oct, 15 2020
1 Minutes

Today is Day 3 of my 30 day writing challenge - where the goal is to produce 30 pieces of writing on my website.

It’s just a few days in, but I think I’m already seeing the need for tweaks. The first thing that I realized was the tone of my first two pieces were heavy on insights. There’s nothing wrong with an insightful essay, in fact, those are terrific. But I cannot keep up that pace for 30 days.

What I’m realizing is that the usefulness of a piece is largely determined by the quality of its inputs. The internet philosophers who put out pithy, insightful content (i.e. Naval, Derek Sivers, Seth Godin, et al) get there by condensing years of experience into tiny morsels for us to enjoy. They are useful primarily because the inputs are so hard earned.

And the key insight for me was that my 30 day practice shouldn’t just be about generating insights. Rather, I should be collecting more observations, links, facts, and research. Instead of focusing only on outputs, I want to enjoy gathering inputs.

If cooking is a bit like writing, then writers must also have a practice of sourcing excellent ingredients. A skilled chef might be able to transform humble ingredients into a delectable dish, but delicious inputs allow even the novice to whip up something great.

So moving forward, you’ll notice many more observations, notes, and initial reactions to things I stumble upon. These next 27 days will be just as much about "writing, as an output," as it will be about "writing, as an input".

Happy sourcing!