33 Tips To Being A Better Writer — Plus One Key To Creativity I Forgot To Tell You About
I wrote a blog post that was horrible. Claudia said, “People won’t relate.”
I rewrote it completely. She said, “much better”. I published it and that practically ruined my life. I loved it so much.
I became obsessed with blogging. I read every day. I wrote every day. Eventually I rewrote some stuff and made books out of them. Some of the books became bestsellers.
Claudia went over each book and told me what to take out and what to keep in. Then she worked on the design of each book. Then she worked on the publishing of each book. She says, “these are practically my books”.
Then I started giving talks. I started getting paid to be on boards or give advice. People were buying my books. I started a newsletter. I get many opportunities because of the writing.
All because I kept a discipline of writing every day.
But that’s NOT what did it. That’s not what I’m writing about.
What did it for me was having a partner. A partner that helped me get things done. A partner that filled in the gaps of my creativity.
There’s no such thing as a lone genius. Every Steve Jobs has a Steve Wozniak.
Every Marie Curie has a Pierre Curie. Every Lennon has a McCartney. Even the most isolated genius (Picasso) had a Braque.
Claudia now has a book out. It’s been #1 in her category since it came out. Now people are paying HER to give talks.
For five years, I’ve helped edit every one of Claudia’s blog posts. I take out words. I take out paragraphs. I take out half the article. We even do a podcast together.
Ugh, it sounds like I’m bragging. I’m not. The reverse. I used to write boring stuff about stocks.
Now I write about those ugly places where my past intersects with my present. Where I’m trying to still get through the prickly needles that give me pain every time my mind remembers.
I couldn’t do that without a partner. Writing is ultimately something you do by yourself. But finding someone who helps you move beyond what you would be by yourself is the key to making something that stands out.
Doesn’t have to be a spouse. I can tell you — maybe it shouldn’t be. And it doesn’t have to end well (Lennon and McCartney, Jobs and Wozniak, Freud and Jung).
I look back at the 150 people or so I’ve interviewed for my podcasts. Artists, authors, billionaires, astronauts, creatives in every space. 100% of them (100% !) had their McCartney, or their Simone De Beauvoir, or their Sheryl Sandberg.
Creativity wins when you take two minds that can complete each others sentences, but enough differences between them that your creativity lights on fire exploring those differences.
With this one idea in mind, find the people who complete your sentences.
List all your interests, go to meetups to meet like-minded people. Share your work online and see who is most excited. Get together with the people in your social network and come up with ideas for each other. See if 1+1 = infinity.
We define the people around us. And they define us. Find the right dictionary.
The key to creativity is to give to someone else. And for them to give back to you something better. Repeat.
Creativity equals your partner + your skills.
Here are still the 33 skills I feel I need to become a good writer. Am I a good writer? I have no idea.
I’m honest and I try my best and I’ve had major pains. Meshing them together, I write about it.