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Creators’ Corner #3 - the power of threads, finding energy and monetizing writing

John Nicholas
John Nicholas
4 min read
Creators’ Corner #3 - the power of threads, finding energy and monetizing writing
The Munich Running Society in front of the Friedensengel. Photo courtesy of our coach, Florian Gast.

Hey team! Five new people signed up this week bringing the total subs up to 62. Thanks for joining the ride. If you find this newsletter interesting, please feel free to forward it on. If you have suggestions or ideas, please hit reply below.

It’s fun to be back in Munich. The feature image above is from our running club meeting last night. We did 9 x 400m sprints with some stair work and a “finisher” set of body weight exercises. I wrote about the running club before in my 2021 Annual Review. It’s been the best way to make friends in a new city.

On the menu this week:

  1. One thought and one creation from me
  2. Two things I read
  3. One creator in the spotlight

1. What's been on my mind

Thought of the week

Posting a regular newsletter has been a revelation. There are three main benefits I'm seeing so far:

  • Producing something at least once a week makes me feel good. I keep creating even when there isn't a long-form essay to publish.
  • The newsletter is forcing me to consume information more intentionally. I'm constantly evaluating whether something I read or watch can be used in the weekly postcard.
  • I can re-purpose this content into tweets and other writing. It's all part of the bigger content flywheel.

Creation of the week

I created a thread summarizing David Perell and Ali Abdaal's best ideas.

The response to the thread has been phenomenal. At the time of writing, I have gained over 60 followers in two days. The thread made over 50,000 impressions and scooped more likes and retweets than any other post I've made.


Some learnings from this experience:

  • Treat threads like other writing. I got two of my friends who are Twitter pros to review my draft thread. Thanks to Louie and Tobi for the incredible feedback. It made all the difference.
  • The finished product looks straightforward, but writing a good thread is hard. I spent two hours drafting it and another two hours cleaning it up after getting feedback. Fingers crossed there are some marginal gains going forward.
  • The Twitter algorithm is important. You need a good hook (or lead-in tweet). My first attempt was very flat. Louie encouraged me to establish more credibility. You also get penalized for linking out to other platforms (like YouTube) and mentioning people in the lead-in tweet, among other things.
  • Luck plays a large role in this. This thread did well, but the next one might fall flat. By taking more shots, I increase my luck surface area.

2. Two things I read

Quote of the week

"If you can't figure out what kind of work you like, pay attention to what's easy to concentrate on and gives you energy vs. what makes you tune out and feel tired."

From entrepreneur and investor Sam Altman, the former president of Y Combinator (the VC firm Paul Graham started).

Sam's quote reminded me of this tweet by Naval Ravikant:

What gives you energy? What feels like fun, but looks like work to other people?

Tweet of the week

I've been following Paul for a while and I'm fascinated by his alternative take on the traditional career path. He recently released a book, The Pathless Path, which he describes as "an attempt at a new story for how we think about work and our lives".

While I encourage all my friends to work hard to get ahead, I think it is even more important to enjoy the work you're doing.


3. Creator spotlight

Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi (@NiharikaSodhi) is our creator in the spotlight this week. She is a 20x Top Writer on Medium, the online publishing platform. She also hosts a cohort-based course called Summit 21, which helps writers elevate their game.  

This week she wrote a great article about earning a passive income through writing:

Why Is Nobody Talking About This Passive Income Method?
It’s not always about the big things.

One of my goals this year is to earn my first $1 online and Niharikaa's path has shown a potential route to achieving this goal.

Give her a follow for more content like this. She's going places!

Until next time, have a great week and happy creating.


Notes and extras:

About this newsletter: You are receiving this email because you subscribed to johnnicholas.org. Occasionally, I send out longer content on the creator economy and life lessons, amongst other topics.

Hit reply if you have a few minutes to spare. Any comments are welcome! Something like: "Hey, I got it!” or “My favourite Twitter thread is...” or "Please write more about x, y, z." Replies train the email account it's not spam and feedback keeps me going.

I received some great additional book recommendations following my newsletter last week:

  • Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky. Thanks Chris.
  • Helogland by Carlo Rovelli. Thanks Jo.
  • The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh. Thanks Louie.
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Thanks Mujidat.
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John Nicholas Twitter

Actuary and creator.

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