Incredible content from Write of Passage students and alumni
Welcome! This week, something a little different.
The Write of Passage course is underway, and The Mix Tape # 47 features content created by Write of Passage students and alumni.
But first: The moon put on quite a show here in Northern Michigan on the Fourth of July:
Building a newsletter powerhouse
Brandon Zhang is new to Write of Passage and is quickly becoming a content creation force. He’s piling up Twitter followers and newsletter subscribers while writing about the “Student Mindset.”
Brandon recently shared a huge thread on building a newsletter subscriber base. You should read the whole thing, and here are a couple of highlights:
Consistency wins. The great Jack Butcher created this graphic about compounding effort, and I shared it in my writing group:
The True Power of Twitter
Lev Naginsky is the lead alumni mentor at Write of Passage, and wrote about the real power of Twitter:
Today, Twitter is the global town square, neighborhood hub, networking space, the social pulse of the internet. It is frequented by the smartest people on the planet. People come to share their best ideas. Intellectuals gather to share their most cutting-edge thoughts. It’s a free conference hall where you can choose the speakers and the attendees.
If Facebook is for people in your past, then Twitter is for people in your future.
Twitter is about relationships and sharing value. Too many people use it to scream into the void. They are missing out.
Guide your audience using empathy
Robbie Crab is a trial attorney and professor in Dallas. Recently he shared a powerful Twitter thread on helping a jury move through despair in a horrific child sex abuse case, leading to justice for the victim:
Robbie knew the jury couldn’t emotionally handle a rehash of the horrible facts of the case. He put himself in the jury’s (his audience’s) shoes and connected with them. By understanding their feelings, he showed them a way forward.
Great thread. Read it all.
In the beginning, a small audience is a blessing
Write of Passage alumni mentor Charlie Bleecker, on embracing your small audience when you begin writing:
The smaller your audience, the more time you have to build a body of work you can be proud of. I give myself a deadline to publish every Tuesday, so I’ve now written 19 blog posts. There’s a few I love, but mostly, I’m proud of the number. Not every post is going to be fantastic. Most will be just okay.
Thankfully, people don’t remember the crap you’ve published. They remember the good stuff. So when it comes to your body of work, quantity will eventually yield quality.
“Despise not these small beginnings.” Starting small gives you space for self-discovery and creation without performance expectation.
The extrovert’s cheat code: alone time
Write of Passage student Shelby Smith published her first essay this week, on the benefits of solitude in building goals and learning more about ourselves:
The most successful people self-evaluate. Benjamin Franklin was iconic in this regard. He was constantly refining his virtues for how to behave and treat others. As sociable and charismatic as he was, he couldn’t have achieved such levels of influence if he didn’t spend just as much – if not more – time alone than with others.
Franklin took the time in between encounters to reflect on what went well and what he could improve on to make others like him more, to make people feel better, and to increase his social influence.
Even if you’re an introvert (🙋🏼♂️), Shelby shares useful tips for making alone time work for you.
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