Writing Selfishly


Fred Perrotta

This blog is a completely selfish endeavor.

I hope that other people find it useful, but that's not why I write. My writing is a way of talking to myself. Not out loud but online. I write to myself or, sometimes, a past me.

Tim Urban of Wait Buy Why (quoted in Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss) does the same thing.

I started out basically imagining writing for a stadium full of replicas of myself -- which made things easy because I already knew exactly what topics interested them, what writing style they liked, what their sense of humor was, etc... And it worked. Four years later, many of those people who happen to like my type of writing have found me.
By focusing inward on yourself as a writer instead of outward on what you think readers will want to read, you'll end up creating the best and most original work, and that one-in-a-thousand person who happens to love it will end up finding their way to you.

I write to work out ideas. To put forth a rough draft on a topic where I expect my thinking to evolve.

Then I revisit old posts or share them with others to stress test them. Sometimes I get useful feedback on Twitter.

Even an article that people thank me for writing, like How to Get an Interview, is really to help me. I wanted to get fewer, higher quality applications, so I wrote an article about how to apply for jobs at Tortuga.

Tom Critchlow nailed it in Small b blogging:

I call it small b blogging. It’s a virtuous cycle of making interesting connections while also being a way to clarify and strengthen my own ideas. I’m not reaching a big audience by any measure but the direct impact and benefit is material...
Small b blogging is learning to write and think with the network. Small b blogging is writing content designed for small deliberate audiences and showing it to them. Small b blogging is deliberately chasing interesting ideas over pageviews and scale. An attempt at genuine connection vs the gloss and polish and mass market of most “content marketing”.

I'd rather have one interesting conversation about an article that I wrote than to have 1,000 people read it then silently move on.

I try to write clearly and succintly, though you shouldn't expect any Ultimate Guides to anything here.

Instead, this is a place to think out loud and to connect to others doing the same. Now let's continue the conversation on Twitter.