While I prefer to write in-depth essays, with a bit of storytelling to set the mood and at least one visual framework, I do have to agree that sometimes a few dozen (or more) quick tips are more than enough to give one the push they need to punch the damn keys.
Or, better yet, offer them the final push they need to understand at an emotional level some important aspect.
That’s why today I’m sharing with you a list of 99 quick tips that will surely help you become at least more productive creative entrepreneurs.
1. The stories you write will never be “done.” Publishing them means abandoning them. Let go and publish your stories.
2. Eliminate 20% of the words you wrote to make your draft 100% better.
3. The most valuable thing you can learn from successful writers isn’t how they write, it’s how often they write.
4. Great writing is 99% rewriting.
5. Writing that resonates with an audience isn’t about what’s in the writer’s head — it’s translating into words what’s in the reader’s heart.
6. There’s no such thing as an “aspiring” writer — if you write, you’re a writer and if you don’t, you’re not.
7. You don’t need ideas to write, you need to write to find ideas.
8. First drafts feel bad, but rewriting a bad first draft into something you’re proud is one of the best feelings ever.
9. Reading doesn’t make you a better writer, but not reading at all means you can’t call yourself a writer.
10. It’s not about having something to say — it’s about having the guts to say it.
11. “Wow, that’s great grammar,” said nobody ever.
12. Writer’s block is just creative bankruptcy. You pour out what you put in. Feed your brain.
13. The only guarantee in writing is the first 100 things you write will suck. After that, they won’t be so bad.
14. “I can’t write” is a lie.
15. 75% of writing isn’t writing — it’s thinking, editing, and publishing.
16. Your writing is only as good as your ideas.
17. To impress people with your writing, stop trying to impress people with your writing.
18. The opening scene often determines the fate of a piece of writing. No one talks about the brilliant fourth paragraph if the first three paragraphs are boring.
19. Don’t connect all the dots for the reader — let them have some fun.
20. The good news is you can write anything you want. That’s also the bad news.
21. Stop thinking in terms of good or bad. A piece of writing is for them or not. Some will love it, some will hate it.
22. If you’re writing for yourself you shouldn’t expect to attract an audience.
23. Authenticity is just as important as creativity.
24. The attention your writing gets is often the outcome of the curiosity your story’s premise triggers.
25. Write like no one’s listening and everyone needs to.
26. Your writing is a reflection of your environment — change the environment and you change the writing.
27. Writing should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
28. Writing has a rhythm to it. Great writing flows like music.
29. When in doubt, rummage through the most hidden drawers of your soul for what hurts the most.
30. To define means to place in a cage. Think in terms of verbs, not nouns.
31. If the blank page scares you, start with someone else’s words until you find your own.
32. Readers don’t resonate with what is original. They resonate with what’s familiar yet appears to be strange. Like experiencing a deja vu.
33. The creative brain is all about collective intelligence. Learn to deploy the frameworks of those who punched the keys before you.
34. Writing is a journey of self-discovery, both for you and who reads you.
35. Finishing one book is more important than starting 100.
36. Work expands to fill the time you give it.
37. Perfection is productivity’s nemesis.
38. If you’re not doing it, it’s not a priority.
39. The most valuable to-do list is a done list.
40. It’s easier to do something every day than once in a while.
41. The secret to productivity? Do it when you don’t feel like it.
42. You can only be productive if you’re clear on the result you hope to produce.
43. Productivity requires opposite skills: The ability to pay attention and ignore.
44. The more you do what you want, the more productive you’ll become.
45. The goal isn’t to do everything . Learn to delegate the tasks that don’t inspire you.
46. No one can make you do anything but yourself.
47. Every moment is an opportunity to quit. Or not.
48. The best productivity system is to do the work.
49. Busy is not the same as productive.
50. As the saying goes, “You can do anything — you just can’t do everything.”
51. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel — you can learn from the person who did.
52. The most important relationship in your life is the one you have with time.
53. The most effective productivity hack: Say no.
54. You’ll never run out of things to do (if you’re lucky).
55. You don’t manage your time, you spend it. Invest wisely.
56. Marketing is storytelling and the most interesting stories are true.
57. The best marketing strategy is to write a great book.
58. You can buy exposure, but you can’t buy attention.
59. To learn how to capture an audience’s attention, notice how someone captures yours.
60. The more your marketing sounds like marketing, the worse it will perform.
61. The most valuable marketing can’t be bought — it can only be earned.
62. You don’t need a big budget, you need a big story.
63. Great content and great marketing are the same thing.
64. You can’t have marketing hits without marketing misses.
65. Discounts are the white flags of marketing.
66. You can’t market to people you don’t understand.
67. Word of mouth marketing always happens — it’s just not always the words you want.
68. It’s easier to write the book readers want to read than to make people want to read your book.
69. There’s no marketing without repetition.
70. Email marketing represents the best and worst of what marketing can be.
71. Marketing’s more effective as a conversation than a lecture.
72. Marketing is connection.
On Building a Platform
73. Don’t confuse a newsletter with email marketing — one’s designed to provide value to an audience and the other to extract value from an audience.
74. You don’t need as many followers as you think to accomplish your goals.
75. Most writers fail because they’re trying to sell more than they’re trying to add value
76. If someone’s not opening your emails, they’re not in your audience — remove them from your list.
77. The more you know about your target audience, the better you’re able to serve them.
78. Don’t get bogged down trying to figure out your tech stack — it’s the least important element of a platform.
79. Email subscribers are more valuable than social media followers because when you share something with them it reaches more than 10% of them.
80. A blog creates an opportunity for the people who care what you have to say to reveal themselves.
81. Writing a blog about more than just updates on your books teaches you a lot of skills and enables you to connect with people who normally wouldn’t stick around.
82. Blogging is a two-way medium. Use it that way.
83. Just click publish.
On Social Media
84. When you post an image, don’t use the caption to tell your audience what it is— use it to explain why it should matter to THEM.
85. Make the most of all three opportunities you have to attract engagement in every post: The image/video, the caption, and the comments.
86. Don’t “Like” posts you don’t actually like just to be nice because doing so will train the social platform algorithms to show you more posts you won’t like.
87. Social media itself isn’t a goal — it’s a tool you use to accomplish your actual goals.
88. Break successful big pieces of content like blog posts and podcasts into multiple smaller pieces of content and expand small pieces of content like tweets that do well into bigger pieces of content.
89. Any time someone asks you a question, turn your answer into a social media post — they’re not the only one who had that question and your answer will provide value to your audience.
90. Most social media strategies fail because they chase attention instead of earning it by speaking to people’s needs, thoughts, fears, hopes, and experiences.
91. You have two audiences: People who know you and those who don’t.
92. Never follow someone on social media solely because they followed you, are related to you, work with you, or out of guilt.
93. You don’t have to be on every platform — do you really feel like any one platform doesn’t have enough people using it for you to build an audience and accomplish your goals?
94. True social media success is built not by being fake but by being more honest, authentic, vulnerable, and real than most people are willing to be.
95. Do the opposite of what celebrities do on social media: Use it to connect instead of promote, post about your audience more than yourself, reply as much as you post.
96. The best social media marketers and content creators are the ones who experiment the most.
97. Create content that will change the lives of the people who consume it.
98. Promise (and deliver) your audience a lot of value in a limited amount of time: You’re reading this in part because I’ve boiled the advice down to a collection of quick tips you know won’t take you long to get through.
99. Either find a way or make one.
Ultimately, success as a creative entrepreneur comes down to your willingness to either find a way or make one.
Adapt, overcome, and improvise.
Do what you can with what you have until you become so good they just can’t ignore you.