Creators' Corner #12 - fishing and writing, finding your niche and getting personal

Creators' Corner #12 - fishing and writing, finding your niche and getting personal
Throwback to Dresden on Saturday. Captured inside the beautiful Dresden Zwinger (old fortress turned palace). 

Hey everyone 👋. It's good to be back. I was away visiting friends in Berlin over the weekend. I also spent some time soul searching my personal monopoly and thinking about what I want to achieve with this newsletter (see section 2 below).

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Berlin was incredible. The city is always buzzing with artists and creators. On Friday I had the privilege of watching my friend Reggie perform a live gig. He is also the creator in the spotlight this week (section 3 below).

On Saturday we visited the neigbouring city of Dresden. Once home to the Kingdom of Saxony (1800s and early 1900s), Dresden was completely flattened by Allied forces after WWII. Author Kurt Vonnegut wrote the famous antiwar book, Slaughterhouse-Five, about the firebombing 0f this city. It's like Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) meets The Things They Carried (Tim O'Brien).

Dresden's famous landmarks were subsequently reconstructed in the old Baroque style (pictured above).

(longer) Line-up this week:

  1. New essay: The Fisherman's Approach to Writing (+ a new sketch)
  2. Personal Monopoly Accelerator: highlights so far
  3. Creator in the spotlight: Reghardt (Reggie) Scheepers
  4. Quote of the week
  5. Running for good

1. The Fisherman's Approach to Writing

My writing-curious friends often ask me how I come up with ideas to write about. So I've decided to write an essay to answer them (very meta).

From the intro:

Good writing is downstream of good information capture, which is downstream of being aware of the topics and ideas that resonate with you.

In this essay, I will codify my process for:

  1. Cultivating awareness
  2. Capturing ideas

I call this the fisherman’s approach to writing.

When you go fishing, you start by making the right preparations to catch the fish you want to eat. You set the right bait and cast your line in the right waters, readily waiting for a bite. You then move from a passive to an active state when there is a nibble, yanking the rod to catch the fish.

When writing, we need to be aware of the topics that resonate with us (create a readiness) to capture the ideas (the fish) when they appear. It is important to know what is important to us and then set up a system to record our thoughts when they arise.

Click the link to read the full article -->

The Fisherman’s Approach to Writing
My friends who are writing-curious often ask me how to come up with ideas to write about. This is something I also struggle with from time to time. I encounter a sense of panic when I didn’t know what to write about or what to put in my next newsletter.

Bonus: I came up with a new coined phrase and I created a new sketch :). Baby steps.

2. Personal Monopoly Accelerator

I am on a quest to find my niche. Having had a taste of how the creator economy works, I want to see if I can create something under my own name or build a side hustle.

After Write of Passage finished in April I jumped straight into my next course – Michael Sklar's Personal Monopoly Accelerator.

Some highlights  so far:

  • Soul searching: I have spent a lot of time going through my personal assets and liabilities. Assets are the things we have spent 1,000 or 10,000 hours doing, the things we get complimented for, the things we are obsessed with. Liabilities are our blind spots and limiting beliefs. My main asset is combining technical and communication skills. My main liability is risk aversion.
  • Observation from doing these exercises live: there is resilience in vulnerability. You stand to gain more from making yourself vulnerable and open to feedback.
  • Consistency: Just keep on writing. Keep on publishing. Eventually things will start to emerge. There will be a body of work, which will give you credibility. There will be a ton of feedback, which will give you signal on what to continue creating. Trust the process.

The following content buckets are emerging so far:

  1. Analytical/actuarial skills. One thing is becoming clear - I need to go back to my core skills. My skills engine lies in numbers and making sense of data. I am very interested in creators, startups and people taking risks. I am trying to bridge the gap between my skills and interests. I might pivot into writing more about insurance, concepts around anti-fragility and taking small bets.
  2. Leadership/management/coaching. I want to help people overcome their limiting beliefs. I want to help people find purpose in their careers or pivot into what they are passionate about. I am trying to write for the person I was one year ago.
  3. Online writing/ creator economy. I think more people should start writing. I think more people should publish their ideas and creations online. Everyone has an interesting background, career and story to share.

3. Creator in the spotlight

Musician Reghardt (Reggie) Scheepers is our creator in the spotlight this week. I'm lucky to call him one of my long-time friends and I was fortunate to see him perform in Berlin while I was there.

Reggie performaing at The Blues Express Festival in Luxembourg

Reggie grew up in South Africa and made the move to Berlin three years ago to further his musical career. He has performed with the likes of The Temper Trap, Jesse Clegg and Suzanne Santo. This summer he will be on tour with singer-songwriter Josh Savage.

Check out his Instagram page here.

Keep rocking Reg 🤘.

4. Quote of the week

"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader." --Robert Frost

A constant reminder to myself to bleed more on the page and get more personal in my writing. Readers want to connect.

5. Running for good

My running group and I have entered the Wings for Life World Run taking place this Sunday (8 May).

It's a charity run with all proceeds going to spinal cord research. We plan to run at least 30km and will need to maintain an average pace of 4:52 min / km to hit this target. Link to donate below:

Hooray! I’m running in the Wings for Life World Run 2022!
What are YOU doing on May 8, 2022?

Have a great week further and happy creating.

-- John


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