Writing Well

Our goal

This handbook helps you write nonfiction books and blogs.

What is writing?

Writing is the pursuit of thinking clearly with the help of paper. Writing slows down your thinking so you can dance with your ideas.

Why write nonfiction?

1. Leverage

Writing is the most radical thing you can do without money. Skilled writers change the world from their couch. One writer reaches millions of readers.

Keeping thoughts to yourself is therefore a disservice to the world. If you have something important to say and you say it well, you send strangers down paths badly needed.

2. Clarity of thought

Writing is a laxative for the mind. When you write, your brain can't help but to draw connections between your ideas and move them forward. This shines a light on their logical soundness. In fixing broken logic, you gain clarity of thought.

3. Human connection

The most efficient way to meet interesting people is to become someone they already want to meet.

You do that by doing interesting things and writing about them publicly.

When you write with an authentic voice, like-minded people want to meet the person behind that voice. Writing is a beacon.

What you'll learn

Together, we'll deconstruct a topic you want to write about. You'll learn to be interesting, substantitive, and resonant.

I’ll provide a cheatsheet on the last page of this handbook, but I recommend taking notes. Doing so forces you to slow down and draw connections between ideas. This helps you internalize—because reading without note-taking is like exploring a new territory without drawing a map.

Tip — See the bottom of your screen for quick navigation links.

Who should read this?

This handbook is for:

  1. Advanced nonfiction writers wanting to improve their craft: You’ll encounter unique insights to better understand how exceptional writing functions.
  2. Aspiring writers who fear publishing online: This handbook should increase your confidence. We'll overcome key blockers together.

Over the next 30 minutes, you'll become a more deliberate writer who understands why they're doing what they're doing. There's a science to nonfiction writing that many have overlooked.

Who's Julian Shapiro?

I spend thousands of hours deconstructing topics that interest me. I compile my insights into handbooks (like this one). Over a million people read them annually.

Readers like my writing for its density of insights and concision.

I also write threads on Twitter, which are read by over a million people per month. They're among the most viral long-form content on Twitter.

Before this, I wrote a column for the largest tech news site, TechCrunch. And I authored a boring programming book for Pearson Education.

You can learn more about me on my about page.

Start the handbook

Page I — Writing an introduction

Deciding what to write about.

Next page →