Change the Way You Usually Start Writing.

 

We usually ask, "What's the topic?"

Stop that.

Instead, first ask what you want the reader to do after they’ve read it.

 

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Think Like a Kid: The Power of Saying What You Mean

 

When I was 14 years old, I named a building. I won the competition because I wasn't clever enough to be clever. I just called it what it was. Writers and presenters get much greater response when they do this -- watch the video for the details. JOIN THE MAGIC SHOW AT A SPECIAL RATE. CLICK HERE.

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Questions to Ask to Build Critical Thinking

#criticalthinking Jun 07, 2020

Here's a useful one-pager (h/t Greg Groth, the Idea Enthusiast) that will help you think in an orderly way about new ideas: how to assess their value and decide if they are of use to you. CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE MAGIC SHOW AT A SPECIAL PRICE.

 

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Make Your Point and Move Along

 

About these long-winded "we care" letters. Yikes. Dense paragraph (after paragraph after paragraph) on what they're doing and how they're doing it.

Nobody's reading this stuff. Stop it.

Make your point, make it quickly, and move along.

#1: Figure out if people even care to read what you're sharing. (They probably don't.)

#2: Share it in a super-short blurb.

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Don't Confuse Coincidence with Cause

During the political season, we see a lot of strong examples of careful thinking -- and even more of not-so-careful thinking. So if you are disciplined enough to set aside your own politics and just look at the logic, there's a ton of good stuff to learn from in this realm.

For instance, here's a piece from Bryon York, a great writer who's been around for years. I love his stuff. Here he makes a common point, that there are certain backgrounds/jobs/qualifications that have yet to produce a President. In this case he points out that no one who has served more than 15 years in the US Senate has won election to the White House. He goes through lots of examples and details... but what he doesn't address is the mechanism -- the cause. Why might it be that senators of long standing don't move to the White House?

Long service and failure to win the White House are coincident. Fine. True enough. But why is that? What is the mechanism? What is the cause?

It's a basic law of thinking and...

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Wanna Learn Something Complicated? Learn to Explain It to Somebody Else

It's worked for me for years.

When I first started teaching writing, I got the gig because I was a good writer. When I got in front of the class, though, I realized that I didn't know the mechanics of what I was doing. I was writing by how it felt, not with a plan -- and you can't equip somebody to do what you're doing by telling them to aim for a feeling.

So I put my physics education to work and attacked the problem by understanding its component parts and relationships, then explaining what I saw back to myself. 

Here's a short article on that idea.

(Image via Medium) 

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