Writing Better

Why write nonfiction?

This handbook helps you write nonfiction books and blogs for three reasons:

1. Leverage

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

Writing is one of the most radical things you can do without money. Skilled writers change the world from their couch.

2. Clarity of thought

Writing is a laxative for the mind. When you write, your brain can't stop itself from drawing connections between ideas and exploring their implications. Writing slows down your thinking so that you can play with your ideas. This also shines a light on broken logic, which helps you gain clarity.

"I write so I don't sound like an idiot when I speak." —Charlie Bleecker

3. Human connection

The most efficient way to meet interesting people is to become someone they already want to meet. One way to do that is by doing interesting things then writing about them publicly with an authentic voice. Like-minded people will want to meet the person behind that voice; writing is a bat signal for your tribe.

Who's Julian Shapiro?

I spend thousands of hours deconstructing complex topics. I then compile insights into handbooks (like this one). Over a million people read them annually. I also write threads on Twitter, which are read by millions each year.

You can learn more about me on my about page.

What you'll learn

This handbook is for:

  1. Advanced nonfiction writers wanting to improve their craft: You’ll learn new insights to better understand how exceptional writing works.
  2. Aspiring writers who fear publishing online: This handbook may help increase your confidence. We'll overcome blockers together.

Over the next thirty minutes, you'll become a more deliberate writer who understands why they're writing what they're writing. There's a science to nonfiction that I believe has been overlooked.

Specifically, you'll deconstruct a topic you want to write about. Then, across five lessons, you'll make it more interesting, substantive, and resonant:

I’ll provide a cheatsheet on the last page of this handbook, but I recommend taking notes. Reading educational content without notetaking is like exploring new territory without drawing a map. Help your brain draw connections between ideas.

See the bottom of your screen for navigation links. The next page begins with how to generate great ideas.

Begin: What to write about

Let's identify and filter great ideas.