As you can imagine, publishing one new article every weekday is a great opportunity to read lots of content. Sometimes, I stumble upon something that’s truly great. The kind of writing that stays with you forever and drives your day-to-day decisions. It doesn’t have to be a long jargony essay. It can be an actionable how-to guide or short blog post with a few words. But these words have a profound impact on the way you think and work.
I wanted to collate all such articles that have made a deep impression on me, or that have inspired me to try something new. It’s a living list, which I will update as a discover more great content while doing research for my articles. I also include interesting links in my weekly newsletter, so if you liked these, please subscribe to receive more goodness straight into your inbox.
The ultimate guide to writing online — If you’re wondering about where to start when it comes to creating a blog or building a newsletter, this is the most useful article you can read. David Perell is a talented writer and community builder, and in this article he shares his 7-step process to writing online. His approach is both ambitious and manageable, detailed and simple.
Writing, briefly — This is a super short one, but Paul Graham is known for distilling the essence of his ideas in a few sentences. “It’s far more important to write well than most people realize. Writing doesn’t just communicate ideas; it generates them. If you’re bad at writing and don’t like to do it, you’ll miss out on most of the ideas writing would have generated.”
Why I write — Also a short article, in which James Clear explains why he sees writing as a form of leadership, and more specifically leadership at scale. It’s an ode to creating in public, putting yourself out there, and taking the risk to share your ideas with the world.
Writing is thinking: learning to write with confidence — An amazing article by fellow maker Steph Smith, who has a completely different approach to writing to mine. I love how detailed it is, especially coming from someone who didn’t enjoy writing when she was younger. A great read.
Growth without goals — An amazing essay by Patrick O’Shaughnessy about continuous goals, which focus on incremental improvement rather than shiny achievements. Many goals we may have in life do not come with a neat checkbox that you can check once it’s done. What really matters is to keep on levelling up.
How to be great? Just be good, repeatedly — In the same vein, Steph Smith wrote this article about how great work is a reflection of non-instantaneous, earned effort. There will be ups and downs, but greatness comes with consistency. It’s very well written and will give you invaluable insights into how you can better manage your progress, how to stop speculating, and how to stay motivated.
We’re a niche, we just didn’t know — It’s rare to read something where every other paragraph deeply resonates with you. That’s what I felt when I read this article by Anna Gát. It’s beautifully written, and touches up important themes that concern our generation of polymaths and inter-intellects. Creating a new boundless environment, using written and spoken content for challenging one another, focusing on what people make and think rather than where they come from, consuming niche content instead of mass media, live-learning, and I could keep on going.
Productivity apps fill buckets when they should be lighting fires — Visakan Veerasamy is one of the people I admire the most on Twitter. He consistently posts some of the most wonderfully weird and insightful content I see in my timeline. In this article, which got quite a bit of attention, he explains how productivity apps don’t tackle efficiently the procrastination challenge we all face because they don’t focus on self-actualisation.
How to be really, really, ridiculously productive — While I have my own productivity systems, what I love about this post by Nat Eliason is the transparency about the fact that he’s almost always working. There has been a trend of promoting what I think is an unrealistic myth of the 4-hour work week, and also an assumption that less work is good. I live a life where more meaningful work is great, so this really resonated with me. As Nat puts it: “None of these things are “work” in the nasty way you might think of that word, I’m just having fun, but they lead to productive output nonetheless.”
The meaning of life is absurd — This is a blog I only fairly recently discovered, and which is reminiscent of Wait But Why. The article is about the inevitable seriousness in which we view our lives, and the ability to view that seriousness as being silly and insignificant. It’s a worthwhile read for anyone who struggles with these kind of questions. And it comes with fun illustrations.
I wanted to publish this now but I have a few more links which I will add in the future. I’ll add sections about learning, creativity, and neuroscience.
Anne-Laure Le Cunff
I’m an ex-Googler, entrepreneur, and part-time neuroscience student at King’s College. If you found this article useful, subscribe to my weekly newsletter about productivity, creativity, learning, and designing engaging products.
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