Write of Passage Cohort 7 Notes

Write of Passage Cohort 7 Notes


WOP Live Session 1 - 2021-09-08


Screenshot by Michael Dean

Chatroom Tip from Juliette:

Sending slack messages in channels when something happens in a linked database and linking google calendar for events and reminders are the ones I use most. You can find all here though https://zapier.com/apps/notion/integrations

Chatroom Tip from Joojo O (on what to write about) what do i have to say what is distracting me this week What am I struggling with What could help somebody what is something I can’t stop thinking about

Assignment #0 - My 12 Favorite Problems

  1. How can I balance the drive for self-improvement and helping others, against unskillful attachment and clinging to desired conditions and outcomes?
  2. How can I share with others what I perceive may be of benefit and encourage uptake, without being a snake oil salesman (or having the fear of being perceived as one, stop me from sharing?)
  3. How can I share more of myself with my family without the anxiety or fear of causing them suffering and worry?
  4. How can I balance interactions with the wider world versus cultivating inner qualities that lead to freedom?
  5. How can I worry less about not being a perfectly enlightened being who is equipped to talk about spiritual topics, and embrace that I'm a flawed human being instead?
  6. How can I be wise about how I spend my effort in helping others to optimize impact?
  7. How can I shorten the distance between having an idea and sharing it? (Includes: better writing and storytelling skills, cultivating an audience, etc.)
  8. How can I do a better job looking after myself financially so that I will not be a burden to others when I am old and/or sick?
  9. How can I optimize my mental and physical health/energy on a day-to-day basis to reach my goals?
  10. What can I do to leave lasting positive impact on the world, after I die?
  11. How can I assess if I am even asking the right/appropriate questions to address a problem, and adjust accordingly?
  12. How can I remind myself to reflect upon these problems instead of being distracted by the problem/fire of the day? πŸ™‚

Prompt 1: What is the definitive answer to the question that people ask you most often? (~1000 words)

Draft In Progress:

David Perell's Tip: "looking for the synthesis between being alive and writing words on a paper"



Salman Ansari's Mentor Group 2021-09-09

Writing prompt: Why do you want to write?

  • Discover new ideas/new ways of thinking about the world
  • Connect with people who may share these ideas/ways of thinking
  • Offer help to others (who would like some help)

"Any talent, wisdom, or insight you have that you don't share becomes pain." - Elizabeth Gilbert

POP Writing 2021-09-10

  • People don't have short attention spans, they have short consideration spans.
  • Make your writing sing

"Once you get to a certain aliveness, a certain observation, what really alive writing really ends up doing is that it naturally ends up being playful. What playful writing does is that it makes the reading experience FUN and joyful, by bringing out the kid in your reader." - DP


Juliette's Mentor Group 2021-09-09

  • The importance of establishing our own writing ritual
    • Writing ritual is usually sett out creative + writing phase, each with it's own particularities
    • This writing ritual will very likely change through time, but that is okay and expected. Own our progress and process
  • We should always strive to write a piece that is good enough, and then level up that "good enough" standard until we nail what "good enough" means.
  • Writing ideas in our second-brain helps quiet the mind, so we can then build upon those ideas better
    • Our mind is crowded with things that are not completed. Writing them down helps us complete the thoughts.
  • Using our second-brain and copy writing tools may be super helpful so we don't write from a blank page.
  • Publishing often > everything else
  • Taking advantage of the synergy we're building through every session + mentor group. This is a community meant to help us build off of each other and keep us accountable.
  • Publishing mind shift comes from knowing that competence comes from desire.
    • The fact that we're here for these next five weeks means we're willing to write and learn and wanting to do it is enough to doing it and then eventually do it better and better.
    • The fact that I want to write is far more imporippodotea.comtant than how good I am because that will come from writing more and more.
  • Prompt: What's your writing journey been like?
  • Scatteredβ€”
    • Bursts of energy at times but a lot of erasing/back-tracking as well. I have experiences in academic writing and enjoyed publishing in that regard, but reading back, man they were super esoteric and could be better written.
    • In the past 2 years I have vowed to share more of myself/my writing in public and hence the website here, but I would like to do a better job with organizing and making it easier for the reader, and meeting "my people" as well. I have a small circle of close friends who humor me but I think it's time to grow that circle. πŸ™‚
    • Best advice received: Stephen King's On Writing Well, Chuck Palahniuk, Bird by Bird,
    • Related Content from Fellow Classmates

      Live Session 2021-09-13

      Feedback system:


      Rubberband theory of feedback: let the critique snap back and create the forward momentum

Salman Ansari's Mentor Group 2021-09-16


Live Session 2021-09-20

  • Steps for Crossfit (Notes from Laila Faisal)
    • Step 1: Find an idea [2 min]
    • Step 2: Gather five idea that relate to your first idea [3 min]
    • Step 3: Progressively summarize your six ideas (bold, then highlight) [2 min]
    • Step 4: Put your ideas in a sequence that makes sense [2 min]
      • Breakout: Why did these ideas resonate? What idea is forming?
    • Step 5: Supplement your idea with additional ideas [5 min]
    • Step 6: Create a short outline of your piece [5 min]
    • Step 7: Write a summary (150-250 words) of your piece [15 min]
      • Breakout Room 2: Talk through your piece with your group [12 min]
        • Confusing: Re-write it
        • Repeated: Delete it
        • Insightful: Double-down on it
        • Boring: Delete or re-write it
        • Surprising: Build up to it
    • Step 8: Expand your summary into an article draft [20 min]



Live Session 2021-09-22



Salman Ansari's Mentor Group 2021-09-23

  • Separation of creative block from self
    • The Dark Passenger - a cosmic entity - a black hole that vacuums up the kaleidoscope of colors in a rushing river (am I just visualizing my depression?) - consider drawing this (rendering?)

Juliette's Mentor Group 2021-09-26

  • Importance of having an architecture/template for writing
  • Question: What is the most efficient process for publishing weekly without being overwhelmed?
    • Write 1 essay (first draft - 1 hour, second draft, 2 hours)
      • Write 1 tweet thread to summarize (30 min)
      • Write summary of essay for newsletter (based on tweet thread, 1 hour?)
        • Think of light architecture for newsletter...include:
          • 1 Doodle (maybe)
          • 1 Excerpt from the "Vault"?

Live Session 2021-09-27

  • Ideas
    • Failure to copy is success in itself
    • Look for things that don't make sense
    • Take existing ideas and apply them to new ideas

  • Authors to imitate
    • George Orwell
    • David Sedaris
    • (Tend to think about web authors instead of book authors)
    • Tim Urban
  • Jen's law: If you think you can't microwave ramen... you can

Live Session 2021-09-28 - Brie

My reflection: How do we incentivize/evangelize writing in a current culture that (over?)values visual/f2f communication? Especially when one is not starting out in a position of power/influence in an organization.

Y's reflection: 1. centralization / decentralization of documents, if things live in Slack/Confluence/github/emails/Jira, etc, how do we know where to go for a certain piece of info?

2. migration of platforms: in moving from Box to Sharepoint, Confluence links to Box were dead and the corresponding document in SP was next to impossible to location, effectively rendering that documentation less useful - who is responsible for keeping that up to date

3. updating documentation in general - I find creating docs is not the hard part, it's keeping them groomed and in good shape long afterwards or for different audiences

Live Session 8 2021-09-29

  • Avoidance of writing is almost always motivated by fear
  • Stories, metaphors, coining terms
    • Stories - Tension - Start as close to the end as possible (Kurt Vonnegut)
    • image

  • There is no terror in the bang, just the anticipation of it. - Alfred Hitchcock
  • Story beats should be "therefore" or "but" and not "and then" - Matt Stone and Trey Parker
  • Make an invisible idea visible
  • Writing small articles β†’ coloseum
  • Disappearance of craftsmanship β†’ microwave economy
  • FOMO vs FOBO - some stick and some don't


Live Session 9 2021-10-04

  • Write for 1 person (yourself or someone else)
    • Selfish Writing: Write what you will be interested in reading




Breakout room: what could getting wonky?

What to include in digital postcard

"Slow and weird original content"

  • 1 picture/multimedia that is calming (from photo collection) with story caption
  • 1 link to an article I wrote
  • 1 weird thing from the internet
  • 1 trivia?

2021-10-06 Live Session 10







who to reach out to

  • buddhist magazine? average person's ideas?
  • yongfook?
  • david perell
  • image



  • Not enjoying distribution
    • fear of being seen as self promotional
    • see it as part of the writing job?
    • bite-sized approach?
  • Vulnerable topics β†’ disguise as fiction

2021-10-11 Live Session 11

  • personal monopoly - who are you at your weirdest?

2021-10-13 Live Session 12

alyssax β†’ 1 tweet, 148 companies



"It's not that the world has passed you by. It's not that the internet is so mature now, where there isn't availability for any new writers. That isn't the case. It's not true. There's never been a better time to start writing online than right here, right now." - David Perell


How did Write of Passage change you?

  • WOP gave me a system for writing and a "way of being" online that feels more solid and directed. It also clarified my personal monopoly and gave me the confidence that there is an audience for the bizarre thoughts in my head that don't seem to fit into mainstream society. It also gave me a new community of awesome, motivated, and like-minded people who are as excited about perfecting their craft as I am. I also feel like I am more attuned to how society is evolving, and in the front seat of creating a new career path based on creativity.

β€œWriting is a way to shed through your identity” β€” Michael Dean



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