Writing as Thinking

Your way

Okay, are you writing yet? Remember that part about the tree and the planting? 

Brian did that. He worked in a corporate job but didn’t really like it. The pay was good, great some years, and he had a family to support, so there was no way he could quit and become a writer. He knew writers and knew that writing is work. It’s showing up, filling the gap, following the rules, and rewriting the one inch frames. 

Brian started journaling. Nothing much, just a few pages each morning. He got into a rhythm. He and a friend, a professional writer, were playing poker together at the time and one night they got to talking. ‘This would be good to write about, right?’ one said to the other. They started a draft about a poker player, they called it Rounders. Decades later Brian Koppelman had another hit, Billlions, which he said, “is like an extension of all the stuff we’ve been writing about for twenty years.”

Writing compounds. 

Howard is another writer. He started well before Brian. He wrote letters about his investments. He mailed them to people who wanted them. He kept writing not for his readers but for himself. “One of the reasons I love to write is because I tend to think of new things as I write that I hadn’t thought of before.” Now Howard Marks’s letters are so popular Warren Buffett said he reads them as each new one comes out.

Tyler writes too, everyday. When asked how much he works, Tyler replied that he works all the time. He’s always working because he’s always thinking and part of that is writing. He said, “Almost everyone should learn to write well and learn to write easily.” That’s important continued Tyler Cowen, because "I think that's essential for thinking.” 

The way NOT TO write is to write for someone else’s values. Cowen’s blog, Koppelman’s screenplay, and Marks’s letters are all the best forms of writing for them. Write for you, share if needed, and reflect to think better.