I enjoy writing for this website immensely.
I relish how linear audiobooks are. For one, the thoughts that usually impede my reading no longer bother me. (“Should I chase this footnote?”, “Should I highlight this sentence?”)
I try to do the same in my writing. For example, to make reading more focused, I don’t do in-text links. While reading online I have frequently had the experience of becoming distracted by other pages linked mid-text.
A word to writers: not every reader needs to read every word you write! Now that text is digital, put extra details in toggle blocks— like this comment. (HTML reference)
I continue to revise essays long after I’ve posted them. Why shouldn’t text be living?
Sometimes I see people with a message they’re sharing, and these people will continually create ‘new’ books, essays, speeches, and/or online courses. But it’s all the same ideas. What if instead they directed their effort toward making one exposition of extraordinary high quality? Make one essay/book/video on the topic that’s exceptional, and iterate on it over time. If we all did this, wouldn’t the world of content be much simpler? I believe most content is more complicated than necessary.
Meanwhile, in the paragraph above for example, almost every sentence linearly introduced a new idea. These ideas could’ve been said in many more words, but I believe that’s inelegant.
And, providing details is OK, but hide them from the main view—like this comment. Not everyone needs to slog the details! In my opinion, details should be hidden by default, and not merely aside.
I have a few hundred text files for different ideas. Over time I revisit each and add new thoughts. For some drafts, after several months, the text begins to coalesce into something coherent.
The design of this website is meant to be legible and simple. No froth. Only ideas matter.
The design of this website was inspired by Derek Sivers’s website, and he also helped me start. His essays showed me the beauty of succinct essays.
To keep my process simple, I manually write this website’s HTML/CSS.
Drawing © Ariana Dyer.
Posted 2020 May 21, last updated 2021 March 26.
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