Ship 30 For 30: January Writing Challenge
Come join me for a month of daily writing.
Dear Friend & Subscriber,
I hope your end-of-the-year reflecting has been going well. This is the best time of year to think about what worked, what didn’t, and what you want to do differently next year—so I encourage you to make the most of it.
One of my biggest goals for 2021 is to scale out my ability to work with more and more writers.
After publishing The Art and Business of Online Writing, I received so many inquiries from writers asking how they could learn EVEN more. Which makes sense. Once you drink the Kool-Aid and you realize how much leverage and power writing online can give you, all you want to do is learn more and more about how to learn and execute that craft at the highest level.
So, I’m going to be putting forth a significant amount of effort to do that, build a really special community, provide tons of resources, and help as many writers as possible create categories of their own, reach millions of readers, and build businesses around their words.
2021 is going to be super fun.
To kick things off, I wanted to let you know that I am going to be joining the Ship 30 for 30 challenge.
Ship 30 for 30 is a writing challenge that has kind of taken Twitter by storm over the past 30-60 days.
It was created by a friend of mine, Dickie Bush, with the SOLE purpose of getting writers in that “write-every-day-no-matter-what” mindset. After watching him kick this group off, and seeing so many writers start 10x’ing their output, I decided to join forces with him and see if we can take this group to the next level.
As the title suggest, you write (and ship, meaning PUBLISH) 30 “atomic essays” in a single month.
It’s a brilliant idea, and honestly it’s the thing I notice so many people struggle with. Dickie has done an amazing job creating a community where you are held accountable and motivated by the people around you. I’m going to be taking the challenge in January (which starts January 4th), and so are a handful of my online writer friends.
It’s $99 to join, and the payment part is essentially because nobody sticks with challenges where they don’t have some skin in the game.
So if you’ve been thinking about how you can make 2021 the year you start crushing the online writing game, come join me with this writing challenge. I guarantee by the end of it you’ll feel completely in stride.
You can enroll in the challenge here.
1. Coffee With Cole ☕️
With that in mind, let’s talk about writing consistently.
One of my big passions in life these days is learning about investing. I was never into math growing up, failed nearly every math class I ever took (even Algebra 1), and yet as soon as I look at numbers with a dollar sign in front of them ($$$), doing math for me is no problem. I can calculate growth percentages in my head no problem if it means making more money—but ask me to do long division, and I’m stumped.
One of the most fundamental principles in investing, which I learned very early on, is the power of compounding interest.
Albert Einstein once noted the most powerful force in the universe was the principle of compounding:
Here’s a good explanation:
“In simple terms, compound interest means that you begin to earn interest on the interest you receive, which multiplies your money at an accelerating rate.
In other words, if you have $500 and earn 10% in interest, you have $550. Then, if you earn 10% of interest on that, you end up with $605. And so on, until eventually, your original $500 is eclipsed by the amount of interest you have gained.”
The idea here is that the more TIME you have on your side, the more you benefit from the multiplication of resources—hence why people stress the importance of starting to invest in your 20s opposed to your 40s.
This same rule applies to content creation, asset creation, and creativity in general.
As I’ve written about in previous letters, you always want to be playing what are called “iterative games.” The more you can create, and create-again, and create-again the same types of assets, the more likely you are to dominate in that particular area. For example, the first 10 articles I wrote on Quora back in 2014 were a small footprint that, all things considered, warranted a small reach. It wasn’t until my library of content started to expand to 100 articles, and then 500 articles, and then 100 articles that my reach began to multiply. And with each article I added to my library, the wider my reach extended, and the more likely it was that someone would not only come across ONE of my articles, but then go on to read a SECOND, and a THIRD, and so on.
In order to reap the rewards of compounding content creation, however, you need to go through the hard work of creating an asset library.
99% of the most successful writers on the internet have written hundreds, if not thousands of articles. 99% of the most successful YouTubers have recorded hundreds of videos. 99% of the most successful authors have written dozens, if not 50-100+ books. 99% of the most successful photographers have taken and published hundreds, even thousands of photos.
The recipe is always the same: create, create, create, until your library ends up being so big that any NEW thing you create moving forward benefits from this massive multiplier effect. (The same way having $5,000,000 in the bank dramatically changes your ability to live off what you earn from your investments, meaning you no longer need to “work” to sustain yourself—your asset library works for you.)
There’s no other way around it.
You can “think” about writing.
You can “brainstorm” what you’re going to write about.
You can strategize and plan all you want, but at the end of the day, your goal is to CREATE a library that ends up paying you dividends at such a dramatic rate, you no longer need to create with such ferocity (although, the more you do, the more you’ll benefit). Hence: me evangelizing the importance of something like the Ship 30 for 30 challenge.
When you write with the idea of “compounding interest” in mind, it sort of takes the pressure off needing what you write to be “perfect.”
It’s not about needing to write something that’s perfect.
It’s not about creating a masterpiece every single day.
It’s just about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys), taking an idea, plopping it down on the page, refining it a little bit, and then adding it to your library. Because that idea is going to attract 10 other ideas. And those 10 other ideas are going to attract 100 other ideas, and so on.
So, instead of trying to avoid it, or “hack” it, or sneak around it, just lean into it.
Create. Create. Create.
Because the faster you create, the faster you start benefitting from compounding interest.
And it’s the creators who benefit from compounding interest who end up lapping everyone else.
4. The Pulse 🚀
Here’s what you need to know this week:
Substack’s first digital conference in January 8th. Looks kinda cool. Might check it out.
Another interesting story about the future of self-publishing. This self-published author landed a deal with Netflix.
5. What You Should Be Reading 📖
Just cracked open Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces.
I’ve actually never read anny of Campbell’s work so I’m looking forward to this one. After reading Save The Cat and learning about the world of screenwriting, I’m particularly fascinated at reading the material out there digging into the formats and structures of story.
I just published a limited edition Christmas cover for The Art and Business of Online Writing! This cover will only be available through December 31st, and will never be reprinted again. So if you’re thinking about grabbing a last-minute gift for any friends, family members, or coworkers who want to master online writing, throw this in their stocking!
Hi, where is the next issue of How I Wrote This? It's been missing since two Mondays
I joined! :)