Writing Well


To write well is to think clearly.

If you can think clearly, you can find something worth saying.

An ideal place to start is thinking through what bothers you most in life. Then write a post that works through the issue. The best writing is therapy that you publish for the world to learn from.


If you have something important to say and you say it well, you send strangers down paths they sorely needed.

Writing is the most radical thing you can do without money. Write once then reach thousands. Skilled writers change the world from their couch.

That’s leverage.


To write is to think with the help of paper.

That's why becoming a better writer makes you a better all-around thinker. You learn to communicate more clearly and more persuasively.

The world's great minds became brilliant through the habit of writing. Writing is how they realized their intellectual potential.

Social capital

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

How? Do cool things and write about it. Or podcast about it. Or vlog.

When you produce content with an authentic voice, people want to meet the person behind that voice.

The Shakespeares, Twains, and Austens of the future won't emerge from the book publishing industry. They’ll come from YouTube, podcasts, and blogs.

What you'll learn

Together, we'll deconstruct whichever topic you've wanted to write about. You'll learn to write and rewrite your thoughts so that they resonate.

I’ll provide a cheat sheet at the end, but I recommend taking notes. Reading without note-taking is like exploring new territory without drawing a map.

Who should read this?

This handbook is for:

  1. Professional writers wanting to reach the top 2%: You’ll acquire novel insights on style and better understand what makes your writing good.
  2. Aspiring writers who fear publishing online: This should increase your confidence. We'll overcome key blockers together.

In 30 minutes, you can become a remarkably better writer.

Who's Julian Shapiro?

I spend thousands of hours deconstructing interesting topics. I compile my insights into free handbooks (like the one you're reading). Over a million people read them annually. Insights that don't make it into handbooks are shared on Twitter.

I also write TechCrunch's growth marketing column, and I authored a boring programming book for Pearson Education.

You can read more on my about page.

If people cannot write well, they cannot think well. And if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.
– George Orwell

Start the handbook

Page I — Writing an introduction

Deciding what to write about.

Next page →