3 Lessons From Writing On LinkedIn Every Day For A Year
I want share the 3 things I learned from writing something on LinkedIn everyday for a year.
Before we dive into that, here are 3 random and fun things I would like to share with you:
- Do you know about the record-breaking high grossing movie "RRR?" You should.
- Shopify had created a very interesting way for employees to manage their page. Listen to the CEO Tobi Lütke talking about it here.
- This powerful mental state is as important as mindfulness
❶ LEADERSHIP IDEA
Between 2020 and 2021, I posted on Linkedin every single day. Here is what I have learned about writing from those 12 months.
I decided to post everyday because I thought it would help me develop a habit of writing, improve my writing skills, and sharpen my thinking.
I read loads of books on writing. I tried many writing "hacks," from using real pen and paper to the allusive "morning journal" technique. Most of them didn't work for me. I was stuck (aka "writer's block") all the time and my writing remained crappy.
Then I experimented with these two techniques, and things began to improve:
1. "Let it sit"
The author Gail Sher called it the "Ode to a Drawer." The idea was simple: Instead of trying to complete a piece of writing in one go, pause the writing, go do something else, and then come back to it later.
This seemed to be a rule in nature: Muscles grew during rests, not when they were stressed. Bread dough rose when we let it sit, not when we kneaded them. The same appeared to be true for our brain. We needed to give it space to rest, ruminate, dream, associate, and gestate.
And it worked.
Every time when I managed to force myself to stop and let my drafts sit, when I revisited the piece a few days later, I would almost always be rewarded with progress.
2. "Write multiple pieces concurrently"
This was actually a way to mitigate an issue caused by the "Let it sit" hack. The issue with the "let it sit" hack was I did not have enough to post online daily. Therefore in order for me to have enough content, I had to be working on multiple pieces at the same time.
Once I began to work on multiple pieces concurrently, another hack began to emerge ...
3. "Farm and harvest information"
In order to make these two techniques work, I had to have a steady supply of meaningful topics to write about. I began to look into how I could collect and process more information. I began to refine my "Information Harvesting System."
I have found apps and shortcuts that made capturing notes, text, links, and thoughts easier. Dictation and transcription made recording ideas from podcasts and audiobooks faster. I used apps to organize and process everything I have hoarded systematically.
Then as I fine-tuned my information harvesting system, I began to uncover new connections from the information I have saved. I began to see novel ways to think and new ideas to write about. The more I fed the information system, the more intriguing the "harvests" became, which further motivated me to consume even more books, videos, podcasts, tweets, what not. Thanks to the Information Harvesting System, I ended up reading 25 books in 2021, which more than double what I read in previous years.
This year of writing daily made me a better information farmer. Even though this wasn't what I set out to achieve, and even though I didn't improve much in my writing, this ritual of posting something everyday turned out to be the forcing function to better information farming and harvesting, which in turn helped me overcome writer's block more reliably. I am very happy with this outcome.
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Thank you for reading this. I think about leadership & psychology in the showers. I know it's odd, but these topics are important and fun. I hope you find them useful too.
Work diligently. You are bound to be successful.