Welcome to another edition of the Hey Penguin newsletter.
There is no magic lottery ticket.
There is only process.
From the community
Most coffee tastes terrible.
Few coffees taste great.
And even fewer coffees taste great without leaving you drained the rest of the day.
Gee, I wish someone would fix this problem.
Note: I haven’t actually tried it yet. I’m considering doing a podcast episode with him (I’ve yet to tell Greg about this idea) where I try his coffee for the first time live in front of him on the show.
Greg is also a phenomenal copywriter. I highly recommend you read his personal story and the story behind why he started NooWave. He’s at a level I wish to be at one day. Keep kicking ass, Greg.
New from Paul
A couple months ago, I joined Writer’s Bloc — the online community of writers. It’s become one of the most important investments of my time that I’ve ever made. I love the community so much that I made a trailer for their Twitter account.
Here’s a free chapter of my book for stuck creatives.
Afraid of Squares
Just look at him. Square...the shape of evil!
You're stuck because you're afraid of squares. The page. The canvas. The screen. The frame. The shot. See the pattern? Squares.
Squares transform the vague into the concrete.
The canvas transforms the imagined salmon into a still life salmon. The page transforms the thought into the sentence.
But when we sit down to work, it's as if we're killing our ideas. The still life salmon doesn't look as beautiful as the imagined salmon.
Our ideas are shapeless. When we daydream about our ideas, it's like we're soaring through the sky. We're limitless. There's no boundaries.
But every country has boundaries. Otherwise, there's no distinction between here and there. The same should be true for the country of the creative mind. If there's no distinction between here and there, then you don't know where you are. You need to know where you are and where you're going. Are you going to Michigan, or are you going to the middle of nowhere?
When you impose order on your art, you're not killing your ideas. You're putting your ideas somewhere. To keep your ideas in your mind is to keep your ideas nowhere.
By default, the country of the creative mind has no boundary. But you'll never create anything unless you draw a line in the sand.
By default, the creative mind is a mind full of chaos. But you'll never create anything unless you put this chaos into a square.
Liked that? You can buy a digital version of the book on Gumroad by clicking here. I’m offering a pay-what-you-want model, so you can even buy it for free. Cheers.
Thoughts on creativity and building an audience
Let Your People Tell Your Story For You
When was the last time Kanye West wrote a blog post?
When was the last time your favorite musician or athlete went online and told a story about themselves?
I’m guessing that the answer is never. Your favorite musicians and athletes and writers have die-hard fans telling their story for them. The best storytellers, that is, the people doing interesting things everyday, are too busy to grab the megaphone. They’re too busy doing interesting things to talk about the interesting things they’re doing.
The key to having a good story?
Do interesting things. Let your audience tell your story for you.
Here’s my favorite example. Cloud 9 Mang0 is one of the greatest Smash Bros. Melee players of all time. Mang0 wasn’t always one of the greatest. But now he is. And that’s his story. Mang0 now has a legion of die-hard fans who can recite, in perfect chronological order, all of his tournament wins and upsets. How? Mang0 showed up. For more than a decade, Mang0 showed up to tournaments. And he won. And he kept winning. Month after month, year after year, Mang0 won over and over again. And not only that, but Mang0’s fans showed up wherever and whenever Mang0 showed up. When Mang0 won, the fans won. When Mang0 lost, the fans lost. Many of his fans would only enter tournaments if they knew that Mang0 would be there.
That’s the power of doing interesting things in front of people.
If you do it, they will talk about it.
Twitter is Like A Video Game
“You can just hang outside in the sun all day tossing a ball around, or you can sit at your computer and do something that matters”
In the typical open-world video game, like World of Warcraft or Skyrim, you collect quests from non-player characters (NPCs). When you finish these quests, you’re rewarded with EXP or GOLD (sometimes both).
At first, you can only work through low level quests. Quests like slaying a hundred boars. Low level quests give a small amount of EXP and barely any GOLD. You’re lucky if you find a low level quest that gives a substantial amount of gold. But this is exactly how it works in the real world.
You can only do higher level quests when you have a certain amount of EXP. Why? Well, why would you want someone who can’t properly wield a Rune Scimitar to slay Elvarg? Or why would you want someone with zero experience in designing thumbnails to make one for your YouTube channel?
Now let’s think about Twitter.
Here’s how to to build an audience/get a job/get a freelance gig/productize yourself on Twitter.
Start with some skills you want to improve. (That’s EXP).
Go on Twitter and talk about the stuff you have experience with.
Use the network to find the appropriate people to give you the appropriate quests. (You can’t just take any quest. You need to find quests that match the kind of experience you’re trying to build. A mage shouldn’t take a quest that’s designed for an archer. A writer shouldn’t take a quest that’s designed for an illustrator.)
Get your EXP high enough to take on higher level quests.
Do higher level quests, get paid in GOLD. (This is the same as selling online courses, building a massive following for your blog/podcast/newsletter/YouTube channel, etc.)
I’m applying this framework by…
Making content about creativity (EXP).
Posting it on Twitter
Waiting for people it.
Once people find it, I ask some of them if they’d like to be on my podcast. Or I’ll collaborate them, like I did with Writer’s Bloc.
I’m not here yet (getting closer everyday) but the last step would be to get paid in GOLD.
Find the appropriate quests. Get the appropriate EXP. And eventually, get paid in GOLD for your effort.
Are you stuck?
Here’s three simple questions to help with that.
Why are you writing this?
Why would anyone want to read this?
How are you going to make it interesting, exciting, fun, and memorable for your readers?
The third question will be the answer to the second. The second question will be the answer to the first.
Find your voice. Use your voice. Write about what moves you.
Hey, It’s Hey, It’s Seth.
If you liked this newsletter, or have any suggestions, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter. I’d love to hear from you.