April 17, 2018

Q&A about writing daily

Long-time reader Ant Pugh wrote in to ask a few questions about my daily writing practice (shared with permission):

Hi Jonathan, I would be really interested in hearing more about how daily emails actually looks from a logistic standpoint ie. * Do you write daily? * Do you have a set time when you write? * Do you every write a few days worth and queue them up? * What happens when you don’t feel like it? * Do you skip days or have a backlog queued up? * Do you write directly into Drip or use another tool and then copy/paste? —Ant

Please read on for inline replies....

Do you write daily? —Yes, every day.

Do you have a set time when you write?—Not at all. I do tend to get into routines that I like - for example, I prefer to write late at night - but it’s not something I schedule in my calendar. What usually happens is I’ll be struck by inspiration at some point during the day and then in my next free moment, I type it up.

Do you every write a few days worth and queue them up?—No, almost never. I write them and press send as soon as I’m done.

What happens when you don’t feel like writing? —What happens when a plumber doesn’t feel like going to work? He goes anyway. Writing is a critical part of my job. I do it whether I feel like it or not.

Do you skip days?—Maybe once every month or two I’ll miss a day, but I’ll usually make up for it by sending two messages the next day.

Do you write directly into Drip?—Unfortunately, the Drip interface for composing messages leaves a lot to be desired (and on touchscreen devices, it’s completely unusable). So, I write in Ulysses, which has delightful apps for Mac and iOS that sync instantly to all my devices. Once I’m happy with the message, I copy it as an HTML snippet and paste into the source view of the Drip compose window.

Thanks for sharing your questions, Ant!

Parting thoughts:

A daily writing practice isn’t just about promoting your expertise - although it certainly does accomplish that - it’s actually a way of building your expertise.

It forces you to think more deeply about your subject - which can lead to brilliant insights - AND it improves your ability to communicate your expertise effectively to people who have varied backgrounds and experience levels.

IOW - Writing every day makes you smarter AND it makes you better at making other people smarter.


If you want to move from selling your labor to selling your smarts - or if you’re already selling your smarts and want to charge more for it - beginning a daily writing practice is a proven path.



P.S. As promised, I recently opened up two seats in my private mentoring program.

If you have been working for yourself for the better part of a decade and feel like you’re doing pretty well but you can never seem to get ahead, you might want to check it out.

Before you do, let me say that mentoring is not for everyone. We go deep. You need to be prepared to change habits and routines that you’ve been addicted to for years.

Change is scary. It’s hard for everyone. But if you think you’re ready, here’s the link for more information:

1-on-1 Private Mentoring Program