August 16, 2022

Should You Write More Than You Read or Read More Than You Write? Here’s a Better Way.

There are two types of digital writers:

  1. Those who write more than they read ✏️
  2. Those who read more than they write 📖

Which type are you?

I often hear both camps championing their view quite effectively, which led me to swing from one extreme to the other. But they both have pros and cons.

  1. Writing more than you read…
  • Pros: It can help you think for yourself, ship faster, and be prolific because you’re not distracted by too much content consumption.
  • Cons: It can trap you in a knowledge silo and trigger imposter syndrome or blank page paralysis because writing beyond what you know is challenging.

2. Reading more than you write…

  • Pros: It can help you collect more mental models, gather ideas from different perspectives, and find non-obvious connections to inspire exciting content.
  • Cons: It can quickly become procrastination as you settle into research mode. As the Category Pirates would say, “The problem is that Active Consumption can easily become a procrastination technique to avoid Creation.”

So what if you don’t have to choose one and abandon the other? The key is finding the balance between both extremes. Here’s another way to look at digital writing. 👇🏼

The 3 C’s of Digital Writing

  1. Consume
    This is the art of reading and absorbing content well. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through TikTok, choose the type of content you engage in and take smart notes.
  2. Connect
    This is the art of thinking and processing content well. Through the notes you’ve written, you might find odd and interesting connections that can spark content ideas and become the bare bones of your next article.
  3. Create
    This is the art of writing well. Because you’re not starting from scratch, you can reduce the resistance and just start writing. Because you already have the ingredients (notes you’ve taken, outlines, content ideas, etc.), you can beat writer’s block, offer well-thought-out content, and produce a piece that contains your unique point of view.

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