Hi, I’m Matt Tillotson and this is The Mix Tape, a newsletter with ideas mixed at the intersection of writing and sports. This week:
🛳The truth about boats
🚪The value of opening up
☠️The resume is dead
📝Treat your writing like a project
⚾️The old ballgame
Everyone thinks of the Miss America gaffe when Steve Harvey’s name is mentioned, but there’s something way cooler about Harvey: he’s an excellent motivational speaker. He gives powerful talks to studio audiences before his shows.
Here’s a clip of his greatest hits. Harvey has led a remarkable life and shares his wisdom with intensity and humor:
The truth about boats
This Philip Bump guy just dropping boat facts:
So true. Glad the Ever Given has finally been de-wedgified from the Suez Canal.
The value of opening up
Write of Passage cohort 6 has ended. It was my fourth time through the course and the second as an alumni mentor.
I love to geek on out on writing (obvious, if you read this newsletter). And watching people push through their fears to press publish on an essay will never, ever get old.
But that’s not the real reason I keep coming back.
I’ve always been slightly introverted, but over 20+ years of a corporate career year I slowly became more guarded and more insular. As the business battle scars accumulated, I spoke less and revealed less. My walls got taller.
But the people in Write of Passage crack me wide open. So many people there taught me the value of vulnerability—of being open and honest about struggles and fears.
I learned the value in vulnerability is not just for myself but to others who could relate to my challenges and gather strength from them, just by knowing they’re not alone.
Life is messy. Sometimes it’s a real shitshow. And despite appearances, that’s true for all of us, at least from time to time.
And that’s why, as I told course founder David Perell and the cohort in the final session, I’ll keep coming back to Write of Passage until they block my IP address.
Open up. It’s good for you and serves others who need to know they aren’t the only ones struggling, also.
The Resume is Dead. And Content Killed it.
Avthar Sewrathan on the importance of creating online content for our careers:
Your content portfolio can consist of projects, code, essays, podcasts, videos, interviews, designs, art or any other artifacts you can think of. These artifacts will demonstrate your thinking, personality and execution abilities. This makes your content portfolio more important than the perfect bullet points on your resume and even having degrees from the ‘right’ schools or stints at ‘prestigious’ companies.
He sums it up nicely:
Resumes are a proxy for what you can do. Content is actual proof that you can do the work. Content allows your work to speak for you.
It’s a rule of writing, and of life: show, don’t tell. Resumes show. Content creation tells.
Treat your writing like a product
Productlessons.xyz encourages us to treat our writing like a product, which means iterating (editing!) and thinking from the customer’s (the reader’s).
Writing is the meta-skill of modern business. Easy writing makes for hard reading, so instead of aiming for easy, invest in the process of editing.
Start with unrestrained creation, and end with ruthless deletion until there is nothing more to take away.
How to make your writing more skimmable:
Better-organized writing is a huge power-up. Most people are very bad at it. Do you enjoy reading huge walls of text in emails and online articles?
No one else does, either.
Bullets. Headlines and subheadings. Bold text. Add these tools to your writing arsenal and your writing will have greater impact.
The old ballgame
I was fortunate enough to get to one spring training game this year: the Pirates and Orioles, in Sarasota last Thrusday. With crowd capacity throttled down, tickets were hard to come by.
It was really great to get to a sporting event again. I realized I hadn’t been to any kind of game (except my daughter’s soccer games) since a Lightning-Stars hockey game in late December of 2019. Ugh.
And by the way …
I’ve started a new daily newsletter experiment: Notes on Baseball. It’s a short email with links and ideas about the game.
We have one positive review already!
(Actually two, but the other one is from my dad. Does that count? It does for me.)
Anyway, if you’d like to check it out, you can do so here. I’d appreciate it.
Welcome to six new subscribers this week!
As always, thank you for reading and sharing.
Please hit reply if you have questions, comments, or open rebuttals. (Or just want to say hi.)
I got so much out of your newsletter. Especially on the value of opening up. Thanks!
Thank you for the advice about opening up. It's a message I need to hear.