Topic: Writing

Producing, Consuming and a Random Walk

Today, more than ever before, there's so much content. Content to read, listen to, and share. Retweeting takes five seconds, this post took 30 minutes. Or 1,800 seconds.

But writing is valuable. It's a little less ephemeral.

I think Morgan Housel put in best in this piece.

It’s hard to focus on a topic in your head for more than a few seconds without getting distracted by another thought, and distractions erase whatever you attempted to think about.

Andrew Chen thinks writing is the most scalable networking activity and Ryan Holiday says your platform is your most important asset. In On Writing, Stephen King likens writing to "Telepathy, of course". And it is.

There's nothing like good writing.

The more time I spend reading, the more I realise that it's doesn't matter if it's Howard Marks' investment memos, Ben Thompson writing about technology on Stratechery or Shane Parrish explaining feedback loops.

What matters is that the writing is clear. And the writer knows their topic.

I believe if something isn't interesting, either:

  • You don't understand the topic yet; or
  • The author doesn't understand the topic enough to explain it clearly

Once you understand something, it's never boring. And there's only one thing that separates good writers from great writers.

Great writers can explain complex ideas simply. That's it.

Personally, reading and writing are a way to search for causality, meaning, patterns, whatever you want to call it.

Maybe it's pointless. Maybe life is just a random walk and it's all chance.

Whatever. Even if there's small pockets of predictability in a world of randomness, I'd like to find them.


Image by Purpy Pupple (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons