Day 39

Writing is a skill. In here I send notes of my writing from the 50 days of writing course by David Perell, to reflect, develop and build my writing style.

Day 39
Photo by JJ Ying / Unsplash

In the 39th email from 50 days of writing, David Perell talks about how writing must be a process of compression progression.

He mentions if a story can't get to the point, it will lose the audience's attention.

Which means to ship something excellent, you have to be willing to cut what may have taken weeks or months to produce. As West Side Story composer Stephen Sondheim once said:

You have to throw out good stuff to get the best stuff.

David also talks about how when we make compression progression, people make sense of the world by making it simpler and more beautiful. A Cornell University Paper states that the creators move towards compression progress not by following their rational mind, but by following their intuition for what's interesting. Doing this will compress any complex data sets into elegant deliverables which are easy to share and remember.

The examples of compression progression would be Nike, who compressed their entire marketing philosophy into three words: "Just Do It"

David is trying to say that the simple the writing, the longer it is going to stay.  He then goes on to explain the THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY FRAMEWORK which in brief summary -

The map of reality is not reality. Even the best maps are imperfect. That’s because they are reductions of what they represent. If a map were to represent the territory with perfect fidelity, it would no longer be a reduction and thus would no longer be useful to us. A map can also be a snapshot of a point in time, representing something that no longer exists. This is important to keep in mind as we think through problems and make better decisions.

I haven't given this framework time to read, but this is definitely in my reading list. Once I do, I will be uploading the notes from that for sure.

David finally expresses that by exposing our ideas to the force of compression can we trim the excess until what we're left with is nothing but a great article to read.

My thoughts:

Compression progression is an insightful paper. It argues that the people always make way to simpler things and stick to things that are simple. People compress any given information based on their needs. Look at the evolution of Mobile, from just having the ability to call over satellite, we now stream videos, shoot videos, surf on the internet and have storage more than 256gb in a few selected phones.

This advancement is to just compress dense information in a more simpler way. We as a species are skilled at doing so. Hence, it is our duty as a writer online to compress our writing and make it simple for the readers. In that process we may eliminate portions that we thought was awesome and the portions that you felt will be the best part might also be compressed to make it easier for the reader.

Key takeaways:

  1. Eliminate good things to be left with great things to publish.
  2. Online writing is about compression over complexity.
  3. The simple your writing, the better it will reach out to the reader.

Thank you for reading.

For more of David Perell's work, you can signup for the 50 Days of Writing Course by clicking and signing up to receive one mail every day with amazing take on writing.

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