Let’s Ask the Authors and Bloggers – Part 3

The final part of my mini side project. If you missed the previous parts you can see part 1 here and part 2 here.

I am happy I could bring this project to life. It was a spontaneous idea and executed pretty fast. I know my questions are super stupid but yeah, I couldn’t come up with something smarter. I am gonna be better next time I promise.

Let’s check what the last couple of authors and bloggers answered to my questions. It’s a little bit longer so take your time. 🙂

Tim Brownson (A Daring Adventure)

Author and life coach Tim Brownson can take you for a daring adventure. Check his website and a very interesting blog here.

Which book influenced you the most?

In terms of blogging, none that I can think of.

Which habit would you recommend to start right now?

Writing every single day

Do you have a special writing routine?

Nope I do it when I feel like it

Have you been a good writer at school?

Not bad, but not good.

Who is your favorite blogger outside of your Self-help bubble?

Brian Dean at Backlinko

Mark Manson (markmanson.net)

Author of great books The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and Everything is fucked. Mark is a former date coach and much more. Marks’ blog posts are great. I really like his style and I can relate with most of his advice. Check out his website: https://markmanson.net/

Do you have any special writing routine?

Routine: Not really. Usually, write in the morning. Usually, first thing, if I can. Also, airplanes.

Have you been good at school?

Good in school? No. I actually got bad grades in school.

Nick Loper (Side Hustle Nation)

If you looking for someone who helps you to start a side hustle. You should check the Nicks website. A lot of great advice and free resources. Very inspiring.

Do you have any book that influenced you the most?

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg solidified a mindset shift for me. It’s a short parable about being helpful first, and trusting that the rewards will follow.

What is your favorite communication channel – blog post, newsletter or podcast?

Naturally, the more touch-points you can have with your customers, the better. But for me, the podcast is the foundation for my relationship with my audience. There’s something really powerful about being in someone’s earbuds for 30-40 minutes, week after week.

You just write and that’s it or do you have any special writing routine?

When I’m in writing mode, I usually start with an outline and start filling in the gaps. I crank up the Brain.fm “focus” track and get to work. When I’m really in the zone, I can probably get 1500 words an hour.

I try and block off dedicated times on my calendar for writing; otherwise, it’s hard to prioritize with all the other fires to put out and obligations.

Did you have the thrive to write at school as well or it came later?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, even as a kid. I think it was an advantage that I had lots of practice throughout the school. When I started blogging, it was purely a hobby as a creative outlet, but it was great to get back into the practice of writing consistently.

Who is your favorite blogger/podcaster outside of your bubble?

One of my favorite things to tune into the outside of the entrepreneurship/personal finance bubble is Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast. He’s an amazing storyteller and the episodes are super addicting to binge on.

Paul Jarvis (pjrvs.com)

Author of great book Company of One. Not always is good just focus on never-ending growth. There are more options on how to be successful. Check Pauls’s website and subscribe to his mailing list. He keeps bringing interesting thoughts.

Do you have any book that influenced you the most?

Deep Work, Cal Newport

Do you have any special writing routine?

No, writing is my job, so I do my job every day, the same as if I was a lawyer or accountant. I sit down and write.

Have you been a good writer at school?

No. But I didn’t even finish school.

Who is your favorite blogger/podcaster outside of your bubble?

Tim Urban (Waitbutwhy.com)

Amazing answers by Alicia McElhone. I asked Tim but she answered on his behalf. I am very thankful for the answers. Check also all the sources mentioned below. If you do not read Waitbutwhy already, just go there and see the amazing content.

Do you have any book that influenced you the most?

He sort of answers this on Neil Pasricha’s “3 Books” podcast. Other than these three books (which answer a related but slightly different question than what you’re probably getting at), I know he’s a big Bill Bryson fan.

Do you have a special writing routine?

See below!

Have you been a good writer at school?

I guess his TED Talk would be relevant here. I know he’s mentioned elsewhere (Tim Ferriss podcast?) that he hated writing essays in school, but I can’t speak to whether or not they were any good.

Who is your favorite blogger outside of your bubble?

He loves Kottke.org.

For all the writing questions, you should be able to get something out of these:


**Can you share any advice on becoming a good writer? â€“ James M. (Dublin, Ireland)1) Write. I wrote 300 blog posts between the ages of 23 and 29 before starting Wait But Why. It can take a while to find your voice and your tone and your style. In the beginning, you’ll be all over the place, the same way you are when you try a new sport or video game or musical instrument. That’s good—you’re experimenting on a canvas. Don’t judge your own writing at this phase—you’re experimenting and searching and playing—you’re not doing your best writing yet. If your mammoth is freaking out too much and ruining things, start with an anonymous blog.2) Don’t be a complete perfectionist, but don’t settle for writing you know isn’t working. Even if you’re experimenting, if something you’re trying isn’t working, try to figure out why, rewrite parts, start over and try a new approach, etc.—keep fiddling until it clicks. Each time you go through the hard, painful work of agonizing overwriting that isn’t working and eventually get it to click, you become a better writer.3) Read a lot. It’s like fertilizer.4) On one side of the spectrum, you’re completely copying the exact style and even the wording of another writer you like—let’s call that a 1. On the other side, you’re completely unique, writing in a way the world has never seen before—let’s call it a 10. Your goal is to start somewhere in the middle and then work your way up the scale as you mature as a writer. That said, having influences is inevitable and perfectly okay because true 10s don’t exist. This same concept applies to stand-up comedy, music, or any other type of art. It’s a badge of honor to say The Beatles are one of your influences, but no one likes a songwriter who’s blatantly copying The Beatles. Without getting to a 7 or 8 on the uniqueness spectrum, there’s likely a ceiling on how high your writing career can go.5) While you’re experimenting with your writing, keep your mind open to all creative possibilities. The first 290 of the 300 blog posts I wrote in my 20s had no visuals. Only towards the very end did I try drawing something one night. And only then did I realize how much I liked combining hand-drawn visuals with my writing. That could have easily never happened, and if it hadn’t, Wait But Why would be an all-text blog today.6) If you get feedback as you grow as a writer, be careful who it’s coming from. The person giving feedback should A) believe in you, B) be rooting for you, and C) be completely aware that what they’re reading isn’t your max potential but you experimenting, gaining confidence, and trying to figure out your voice. A person who satisfies all of those is great to get feedback from. Someone who fails any of those criteria is going to do you more harm than good, and will often be the person who makes you quit prematurely and never try again (even if you don’t realize they’re the reason that happened).

7) Remember that in most cases, the ideas behind the writing are more important than the quality of the writing itself. You’d rather have great ideas and pretty good writing than the other way around.

How do you choose what to work on for WBW? When you run out of ideas, how do you plan to source new ideas? â€“ Ricky Y. (San Francisco, CA)

One thing that will never be a problem for me is a shortage of post topics. I currently have a 116-page Word document full of topics, thoughts, questions, and random brainstorms I want to make into posts. Whenever I’m in an interesting conversation, or think of a funny observation, or find myself with an intriguing question, I write it in the doc. And if you just get in that habit, the potential-post-topic doc becomes long pretty quickly. To make it into the doc, a topic generally has to satisfy at least one of these:

  • It’s something I think people know about and hear about but generally don’t understand
  • It’s something about life we all notice subconsciously but we don’t usually think about it or put it into words
  • It’s something that many of us are feeling or thinking secretly but no one is saying
  • It’s something important that we don’t think about very intelligently because we don’t have a useful framework in our heads, or an important psychological concept that we should have a concrete label for but don’t
  • It’s something I come across that blows my mind and I know it’ll blow readers’ minds too

When it’s time to start a new post, I scan down the big doc and pick something that excites me at that time. I get really exhausted by a topic by the time I’m done with it, so I try to mix things up—if the last post was really researchy, the next one might be more brainstormy, or if the last topic was heavy, I might pick something lighter next.

Thats it, the series is over. I hope you enjoy the answers same like me. I think the last one is the best. 🙂

Let’s grab all the inspiration and make something good. 🙂 I will try to bring more inspiring content in the future.

Stay safe. Emil

2 comments on “Let’s Ask the Authors and Bloggers – Part 3

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