To think well, we must write well. To have clear thoughts and make better decisions, we must write. Writing is where you process, clarify and visualise thoughts. Weekly newsletters are a natural fit.
This article will breakdown how a weekly newsletter is right for you and your brain. It will cover the benefits of the following areas:
- Align Yourself To Mantra
- Process New Ideas
- Forced Accountability
- Increase Luck Surface Area
- Nurture Reading and Writing
- Work In Public
All points are from my own experience writing my weekly newsletter. I can vouch for each benefit in my own life.
1. Align Yourself To Mantra
A weekly newsletter will align yourself. Aligning yourself is getting your current self on the path to your ideal future self.
To define your future self, you need one or more goals set. For example, we’ll use a mantra from Paul Graham called The Top of My ToDo List. This mantra outlines my future self with my goals.
“Don’t ignore your dreams; don’t work too much; say what you think; cultivate friendships; be happy.” This is the goal, this is what your future self looks like. Writing increases your self-awareness. It forces you to look inward, to just sit down and think.
“Modern humans spend virtually no time on inward-directed thought” – Oliver Burkeman. Every week writing a newsletter is taking a step toward your mantra.
2. Process New Ideas
“Wherever you are, make sure you’re there.” – Dan Sullivan.
As life happens, you change. You adapt and grow over time. It’s okay if you update your mantra and want new things in life. Hundreds of decisions and thousands of thoughts rush through our mind every day. Times that by seven and you’ve got a lot of processing to do.
Ben Hardy describes processing ideas as flow. “When you accomplish one thing at a time, you’re giving your best to that thing. You’re not stressed. You’re present and inflow. As a result, you actually accomplish WAY MORE.”
By writing, you’re forced to clarify your thoughts and question your actions. This makes us check in with ourselves. Am I still on the path? Do I need to change paths? This puts you in a flow-like state of productivity and happiness.
3. Forced Accountability
Forbes says “Accountability improves your… performance” and “promotes engagement and ownership.” It’s an asset you’re accountable.
Give your week a regular checkpoint. A weekly newsletter makes you self-aware and responsible. “It’s not a one-time thing.” Come weeks end, you’re owning up to your actions.
Everyone benefits from this. Especially if you’re suffering from poor mental health, lack of motivation or procrastination. Accountability brings responsibility. Often avoided but necessary for growth. No one will make you responsible for life, it’s something you have to do.
4. Increase Luck Surface Area
Jason Roberts put it best, “Luck Surface Area is… the degree to which you do something you’re passionate about combined with the total number of people to whom this is effectively communicated.”
What you write is your passion. Your newsletter is effective communication. The more you write, the more you increase your luck surface area.
Luck can come in all forms like partnerships, products, networking or positions. It’s a random chance, but every week you’re increasing the likelihood of winning.
“A commitment you can take today to be a magnet for success” – Shao Zhou.
5. Nurture Reading and Writing
Provide a playground to grow fundamental life skills. From childhood to school we learn basic reading and writing. But as adulthood arrives, they often become stagnant.
Understand the importance of professional writing skills in business. This will help you see why these skills need nurturing. Every workplace is dependant on these two skills. It’s important to interpret writing and convey meaning. Without working on writing and reading, you could be in professional harm’s way.
Writing weekly gives your brain more chances to engage in these skills. Developing them makes you a more desirable worker. Writing Well by Julian Shapiro is the best resource to improve.
6. Work In Public
By publishing weekly, you’re putting yourself in public. Anyone around the world can subscribe and follow you. How incredible?
Like-minded people with similar interests will seek out you out over time. You could meet new colleagues or business partners. Your next co-founder could be one reader away.
Share your newsletter in communities like Hacker News and Indie Hackers. These are breeding grounds for Hyper Freelancers.
If people are not contributing, they’re consuming. You’ll build an audience of loyal followers consuming your content. A weekly newsletter will gain your 1000 True Fans. These fans will read your work and follow your activity. When you’re ready for monetization, they’ll buy your digital products, courses and services.
Remember, it takes time. It’s important to start today, right now. You’ll find the 6 benefits occur as you commit, so commit. I recommend Gist or MailChimp for your weekly newsletter. But the tool doesn’t matter.
Thank you, Nat Eliason and Facundo Gauna for inspiring me.