Writing is hard. Editing is grueling.

If writing a book is the most difficult, the editing process is the most grueling. Young aspiring writers like to point to Jack Kerouac, who supposedly wrote On the Road in a three-week drug-fueled blitz. What they leave out is the six years he spent editing and refining it until it was finally ready.

Source: Here (with 2 Years of Exhausting Photographic Detail) Is How To Write A Book

Superb breakdown of what it takes to create a book. (Sidenote: This is/was one of my goals for 2017. I should probably get moving on that…)

On analyzing your audience.

Psychologizing your audience doesn’t have to be some big ordeal. I can see how surveying would be interesting if you have a group of very loyal customers, or pre-customers helping you finding product-market fit. I would definitely ask them what kind of information they need. I think that’s the key, it’s not the content their WANT to see… it’s information they feel they NEED to succeed. Where are the gaps they see in front of them, standing between them and their definition of success, or the metrics they want to maximize. How can you help them fill this gap? Really, you’re looking to provide utility, utility, utility. I think where a lot of content strategies misstep is providing customer stories, or trying to demonstrate value without considering what their customers’ goals are and how they can help with that first.

Source: AMA with Camille Ricketts, Head of Content and Marketing at First

Love this advice. I’m pushing myself to take a step back when someone hits me with a content request and ask a few questions first:

  1. Who are we creating this for?
  2. What problem does this content solve for them? (And if we don’t have a good answer, what problem can we solve for them?)
  3. What goal does it hit for us?

And then we go from there. 🙂

“The work you do isn’t hard work. It’s just work.”

Coding, or designing, or writing pitch decks, or making sales calls, or preparing spreadsheets, or writing blog posts, or social media marketing, or buying ads, or choosing the right color, or picking the right paper, or making a layout responsive, or investing in companies, or doing due diligence, or making decisions, or coming up with a strategy, or allocating capital, or figuring out how to spend the budget, or reading up on a subject is not hard work. That’s just work. If you can do it in an air conditioned room, with no physical threat to you or someone else, while seated, it ain’t hard work.

Source: If you’re reading this, you probably don’t do hard work

“Branding” is not a singular project.

I know that “branding” is not a singular project. Being a brand is kind of like being a rapper. Not a lot of rappers are loved because of their name and their first album. People love rappers because they put together a body of work over a period of time that they continuously find themselves connecting with.

Source: Design Director Alex Center Got a Masters in Branding at Coca-Cola – 99U

I also really like the follow-up statement to this:

Every single thing you do, every album, every tour, every tweet, and every decision you make, amounts to people either loving you and wanting to be a part of your orbit or not.

“Digital literacy.”

The term “digital literacy” is often referred to as if you can use a spreadsheet or a text editor. But I think digital literacy is closer to looking both ways before you cross the street. It’s a warning to think about what you’re seeing, what you’re hearing, what you’re doing, and thinking critically about what to accept and reject . . . Because in the absence of this kind of critical thinking, it’s easy to see how the phenomena that we’re just now labeling fake news, alternative facts [can come about]. These [problems] are showing up, and they’re reinforced in social media.

Source: The Internet’s Future Is More Fragile Than Ever, Says One Of Its Inventors

A highly recommended read.