Write of Passage Weekly - Publish Quality Ideas


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Write of Passage Weekly

​Hey Writers,

Welcome to another edition. Each week we acknowledge our goal of delivering top-notch writing advice to your inbox. This week, we want to add an adjective. Fun! Great content, delivered funly (can you imagine if we actually used that word?). You enjoy consuming it, and we enjoy writing it. That’s important. Have fun when you write and your audience will have fun when they read.

Last edition we brought you Optimize for Surprise. This week, David and Michael are busting their butts, overhauling The Ultimate Guide to Writing. As an appetizer, we’re sharing the foundation of Write of Passage: Write from abundance. Write from conversation. Write in public. With these three principles, you’ll ease tension as you write, have fun, and ultimately publish quality ideas online.

The Write Way
Where you learn to write online.


How many of you identify with the statement, "I'm not a writer?" That's an identity glitch. It's not true. It's what prevents you from trust falling into the Internet. Truth is, writing online isn’t reserved for novelists, bloggers, and your aunt’s nutty Facebook rants. It’s for everyone– parents, investors, mid-level managers, students, artists, entrepreneurs. Words are the currency of the Internet. By publishing quality ideas, you speak to the world.

Too many people are stuck in jobs that restrict their potential—where they’re over-worked and under-appreciated. But those who overcome their psychological blocks and commit to writing in public, unleash their potential—every time.

Through 8 cohorts, we've helped over a thousand people write online. What's at the center of Write of Passage? Is it a secret initiation ritual (as the name suggests) that reveals the esoteric secrets of the Internet? Well, no, but close. It's a proven system to publish quality ideas online. Time for the 3 pillars:

Write From Abundance

We’re surrounded by ideas. And yet, writers still get stuck with a blinking cursor and the tyranny of the blank page. We go tab diving, we burn out at the bottom of Internet rabbit holes, and doom scroll on Twitter, only to wash up on shore with nothing to show for it. If we’re not careful of how we consume, we get consumed.

Writing from abundance is the art of harnessing experience so we never have to start from scratch. It’s about realizing our life is brimming with inspiration. It can come from external sources—like social media, articles, or books. It can also come from internal sources– like your journal, shower thoughts, or dinner parties.

Once you wake up to the fact that mundane days are filled with small epiphanies, it’s time to capture them. When the good stuff emerges, what do you do? There are all sorts of complicated systems you could build, but those tend to collapse on themselves (unless you’re a productivity saint). Instead, keep it simple. Shoot all your ideas into one place, and let it be messy.

Little by little, you’ll build a searchable database of all your past epiphanies. This is extremely handy. You’re collecting the dots by consuming and connecting them by writing. Gone goes the terrifying blank page. Now, when you sit down to write, you’ll have momentum.

Write From Conversation

The outdated image of a writer is of a lone genius crafting their magnum opus in a backwoods-cabin with shoddy plumbing. Maybe this works for veteran novelists, but new writers shouldn’t isolate themselves. In so many areas, from design, to startups, to relationships– improvement comes from feedback. The same is true for writing. Instead of assuming what’s good, conversations prove it. The Internet lets you test for resonance, at scale.

The Content Triangle helps us understand how ideas get developed through feedback.

  1. First, we have conversations with friends to discover which ideas are surprising.
  2. Then we bring those ideas to Twitter for conversations with readers, to see if they have broad appeal.
  3. The best ideas make it into conversations with editors, where they can use various frameworks (CRIBS, POP Writing, Shiny Dime) to help improve it.

Something counterintuitive happens as you move through each stage. You’d think the idea gets larger and larger as you work on it, but the opposite happens. Conversations let you identify and cut out the filler. There’s a recurring act of compressing, saying more with less, and doubling down on what’s important.

When you write from conversation, you end up with clearer and more compelling ideas. A “battle-tested” essay is one that is refined and steered through the feedback of others. They are stranger-proof, and they’re ready for the Internet.

Write In Public

When you hoard your own ideas, you miss out on opportunities. Most people keep ideas in their head, write in a journal, or forget about half-finished text files on their computer. This problem is exaggerated by intellectual isolation. When you don’t have people to share ideas with, you don’t get to watch their reactions, and you have blindspots around your own identity. We default to becoming a consumer instead of a creator, and our potential is a mystery.

However, the Internet is history’s greatest matchmaker. By broadcasting a specific signal to the Internet, you become an intellectual lighthouse-- a beacon for people, opportunities, and serendipity. It’s an open-ended game, and it’s your adventure to claim. By publishing on social networks, you’re more likely to get discovered by new people and engage in conversations. Eventually, you can transfer your most loyal supporters to your website and your newsletter, so that you can have a more direct relationship with them.

The value of writing in public is more than just building an audience. By writing in public, you open yourself up to feedback. It’s like having a mirror that opens to your mind. Over time, you develop a Personal Monopoly, your distinct online identity that others know you for. You can think of it as your unique intersection of skills, interests, and personality traits. This is different from a niche in the sense that it comes from within, it’s emergent, and it’s socially defined.

Writing in public lets you take advantage of the true power of the Internet. It lets you find meaning, gain influence, and live life on your own terms.

Writer's Toolbox
The best writing about writing on the Internet.


Three from us: We’re working on a revamped Ultimate Guide to Writing. It contains our best and latest thinking about writing online. If you can’t wait for it, here are some notes from David that represent each pillar of our system.

Two from our alum: This summer we launched a writing accelerator for Write of Passage alumni. Students work with Michael Dean to develop long-form essays about writing. If “writers writing about writing” sounds recursive, well, it kind of is, but we’re amazed at the range of essays and insights coming out of this project. Below are the first two we published. We’ll feature new ones in this newsletter as they come out.


Thanks for reading. If you have any burning questions about writing online or Personal Monopolies, send them over! We’ll feature the best ones in future newsletters.

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Write of Passage Weekly brings you the best writing advice on the Internet. Each edition is 100% devoted to helping you improve your writing, find your people, and build your Personal Monopoly. We’ll answer your questions, curate links, share tools, and give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Write of Passage. Thanks for having us in your inbox. Happy writing!

Have a creative week,

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