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“Attention Optimism”

If you're trying to create and publish content consistently, time optimism and attention optimism are your two greatest self-saboteurs.

When you're a time optimist, you underestimate how much time it will take to write a post or come up with an idea.

And when you're an attention optimist, you overestimate how much energy you'll have in a given day to work on high-concentration tasks like writing and editing.

Time optimism and attention optimism are the reasons we remain inconsistent when trying to start or scale something online.

That's why, to win back both time and attention, you have to prioritize processes and continuous learning.

But process building and learning are also uncomfortable. It sometimes feels easier to just keep flailing because that's what feels familiar!

I want to help you prioritize processes and learning this year -- particularly when it comes to writing.

So I'm releasing a special video series throughout this month. Mark your calendar for the following dates:

🎥 How to Reach Your Goals with Writing (Wednesday, January 10)

🎥 How to Edit Your Writing (Monday, January 15)

🎥 How to Organize Your Writing (Friday, January 19)

🙋🏻‍♂️ LIVE Workshop: “How to Work Less and Publish More in 2024” (Wednesday, January 24)

You can RSVP for this video series below in one click if you haven't already done so.

Let's make 2024 easy!

🔗 Register for the Series with One Click

91 Literary Devices, from Useful to Weird

Want to become a wizard with words? Study how the pros do it.

A literary device is a tool used by writers to give their prose more punch or meaning. Literary devices – and their spoken counterpart, rhetorical devices – help you create tension, convey complex ideas, and create vivid imagery. Sometimes, tweaking a single word or phrase is all it takes to take your writing from drab to fab.

Many literary devices go all the way back to the days of ancient Greek poetry.

Here's a new blog post that nerds out on all the different ways to share your message with sharpness and wit.

🔗 Nerd Out on Literary Devices

via Mercedes Barba Photography

In case you missed it, Substack is currently neck-deep in quite the censorship scandal. In a nutshell, they'll continue to platform neo-Nazi content in order to monetize on it.

I've been telling people to not use Substack as their official email service provider since 2019. And yet writers still use it. They also declare that they absolutely, positively cannot host their newsletter anywhere else.

A lot of professional and semi-pro writers refuse to learn even the basics of online marketing, and frankly it really irks me. You're an adult, you can learn new things, and ESPs like ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit have so much walkthrough content available on-demand. As I enter year eight of self-employment, it's interesting to watch talented people paint themselves into corners again and again.

Here are some links to catch up if you missed this holiday scandal.

🔗 The original note from Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie.

🔗 Anne Helen Petersen's take.

🔗 Radley Balko's take.

🔗 Ken White's take.

🔗 MIke Masnick's take.

🔗 Substack Says It Will Not Ban Nazis or Extremist Speech (The New York Times, friend link)

🔗 Substack's Nazi problem isn't about speech — it's about money (Business Insider)

🔗 Substack says it will not remove or demonetize Nazi content (The Verge)

🔗 Casey Newton, founder of Platformer and one of Substack's biggest stars, announced Platformer will be leaving the platform after this week if the company does not reverse its position.

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Cheering you on,