Why You Should Write

Hey friends,

This week, I don't have any thoughts. None. Nil. Nada. I could've just made something up but really, I don't have any thoughts. But as Picasso said, "To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing," to know what I'm about to write, well, I'll start writing.

Ah, I know it — I'm going to talk about the blank mind, the white page, and the sudden experience of emptiness you feel each time you try to think of some cool idea. As I write this, I realize that writing, in fact, is the cure to the blank page. What feels like an empty canvass impossible to paint on is actually the tool that enables you to paint in the first place. The same goes for writing.

As I continue with the 26th edition of this newsletter and pat myself on the back for being consistent and not missing out on a week, I have felt the importance that writing has played in my life so far. I particularly appreciate two quotes in the context of the blank page and writing:

David Mitchell said:

A blank page is also a door — it contains infinity, like a night sky with a supermoon really close to the Earth, with all the stars and the galaxies, where you can see very, very clearly… You know how that makes your heart beat faster?

Jeff Bezos said:

People who write a lot, also listen a lot. They also change their mind a lot. Not necessarily with new data, but sometimes re-analyzing the same data. They also work hard to disconfirm fundamental biases.

Writing is like a surgical procedure that allows you to explore the deep troughs and recessed of your brain. It doesn't matter what you write, whether you publish it or not, and whether it even makes sense to you or not. What matters is that you write, and write to learn more about yourself and deepen, sharpen, and refine your thinking.

In many ways, writing itself is thinking and a necessary thing we should take time out for, because it compounds. Writing will not give you an instant benefit, but over a period of months (maybe years), it will compound and you will begin to realize how your writing, thinking, and personality have developed.

In the end, just one word: Write.

Have a great week,


Here, I talk about a possible end-state of our self-improvement, productivity, and self-development journey :)


Get the latest episode here. (Ali's monologue, lol)

What do the Karate Kid, Roger Federer, and a Buddhist monk have in common? They’ve practiced their same craft over and over again. But at some point, it just clicks. We’ve previously described how creativity can be found in randomness, today we search for creativity in repetition, in mundanity. With a combination of focus without an objective in mind and ‘getting the right feel’ there’s a point when creativity finds us when we least expect it.

Our Commonplace Book

Since I talked about writing above, I highly recommend reading this amazing Quora answer by Venkatesh Rao, a contrarian management consultant and CEO coach. Writing for thinking.