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Aug 01, 2019 12:01:23

How to Get People to Write

by @basilesamel PATRON | 455 words | 383🔥 | 431💌

Basile Samel

Current day streak: 383🔥
Total posts: 431💌
Total words: 204512 (818 pages 📄)

I already explained in previous posts why people should write. Now, let me tell you how I think 200WaD can get people into a sustainable writing habit.

When a user signs in the website for the first time, a great onboarding process would consist in guiding him/her in finding the inner voice we all possess but we usually shut down. It takes time. Personally, I felt some sort of breakthrough around Day 170: ideas and words started flowing way more easily, not only in my writing practice, but also in other areas of life.  

Growth is the consequence of two main stimuli: the visual and the social. A streak takes care of the former, while a community ensures the latter.

When a user starts his first post, I want to design the editor to suggest a simple outline to write an introduction: 

1) Who are you and where are you from?
2) What do you do for a living?
3) Why did you decide to write? 

Depending on the answers, it's possible for another member of the community to easily suggest similar members and corresponding writing prompts. The idea is not only to avoid writer's block by suggesting a one-week or 30 days writing program (one prompt = one day), but also to make the newcomer understand how writing is not purely abstract work and how it has a huge impact on your daily life if you write about things that matter to you: writing as a way to find yourself.

After writing for several days, your attention to all areas of your life is expanded. It's a liberating force. The idea muscle starts taking shape.

The 200 words format is important. Just enough to write something meaningful, not too much to allow you to be consistent, no matter how busy life can get.

The first month is the hardest. It eventually gets easier if you focus on your streak. Writing is a full-body exercise: ideation, researching, editing, publishing, introspecting, retrospecting, time management... it's hard to keep up when your muscles are atrophied.

Then, if you keep showing up no matter the hardships, you develop confidence. The little voice inside you gets louder. You develop an audience: 200WaD members with the same interests, or wherever you decide to distribute your content.

After Day 200, your mind is an azure sky. Chances are, writing helped you take matters into your own hands: you built a side-project, took on a new hobbie, met new people or reconnected with others. You feel more in charge. When you understand writing is an essential part of the transformation process, you become addicted. 

You were a writer all along.

From there, you can only go upward. 

From Basile Samel's collection:

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  • 1

    @basilesamel great write up! You're absolutely right about the time it takes to find one's stride and get the idea muscle working! And yes, an onboarding process with prompts would be a great ice-breaker and idea-stimulator :)

    Jack Lyons avatar Jack Lyons | Aug 01, 2019 14:38:10
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      @jacklyons, for now, I do it manually then I'll introduce the Writing Programs feature which are user-generated collaborative lists of writing prompts.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Aug 02, 2019 03:23:20
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    @basilesamel Thought: people get to pick a bundle of prompts they're interested in based on why they signed up to 200wad in the first place. Subscribe to an entire bundle or pick FROM the bundles (because I suspect we each have multiple reasons for writing).

    Introspection Prompts: For those who want to explore their own psyches.

    Explainer Prompts: For those who have ideas to share but don't know how to express them well.

    Planner Prompts: For those working on projects and want help putting the pieces together and making regular progress (perhaps documenting the journey, as well).

    Book Prompts: For those working on an actual book they want to publish. A way to make regular progress on the book.

    These can also be tags/categories when writing the day's post: What type of post do you feel like writing today?

    Haider Al-Mosawi avatar Haider Al-Mosawi | Aug 01, 2019 23:21:51
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      @haideralmosawi my idea exactly! :) just like in meditation apps where you get to choose a program. I'll implement it after the writing circles and it will be called "Writing Programs". Anyone will be able to log in lists of writing prompts: collaborative writing prompts.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Aug 02, 2019 03:22:18
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    @basilesamel - Writing is a full-body exercise! ( I can't believe after all these days, I'm still getting gems like this. ) In our profiles, could you show how many days we've written since we first signed up? E.g. 127 / 245 or something like that. I think that would be more motivating long term. While streaks are fantastic and I'm all for them, they come more easily once we find our rhythm.

    Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | Aug 01, 2019 06:02:26
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      @brianball yes true, and your max streak

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Aug 01, 2019 15:37:10
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      @basilesamel -- ooh.. max streak is also awesome.

      Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | Aug 01, 2019 07:51:28
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