23 reasons to write online

Write to dispel the curse of knowledge, to find your people, and to become.

23 reasons to write online
Photo by Liana Kerr.

People write for lots of reasons: To become famous. To make money. To sell. To connect. To join. To have written. To create social proof. To influence. To communicate. To make a world. To right a wrong. To increase the n. Because everybody else is doing it. Because someone else said they should do it.

Today, 23 reasons I think you should consider writing online. Pick one reason, pick them all, make them your own.


  1. To allow a small number of as-yet-unknown, possibly very consequential people to feel as though they’ve gotten to know you a bit, before you ever speak. (I’m a consultant. 3 out of 4 interviews I have with prospective clients involve them bringing up something they read or listened to from this web site. I enjoy that.)
  2. To make your first conversations with certain new friends immediately engaging and specific, since they will have already apprehended your bullshit and felt there was something there.
  3. To disqualify people who don’t grok what you are up to. They will glance off the edge of your atmosphere and float somewhere else.
  4. To sort things out, to somehow make sense of an absurd world, and cram the results into enough of a structure that it becomes hopefully intelligible to at least one other person.
  5. To dispel the curse of knowledge. You know much more about certain things than most people, and your life experiences mean those things have become connected—intertwingled?—in contingent, weird, productive ways.
  6. To dispel the curse of knowledge. You probably don’t realize how much you know about the stuff you know about. Lay it all out on a page and, goddamnit, turns out you know a lot. That in itself is good to know.
  7. To dispel the curse of knowledge. Here is a super powerful capability: to be able to borrow the perspective of someone who doesn’t know the same things as you do, and support them as they develop their own expertise.
  8. To get clear about the language you want to use. And I don’t mean cussing (you must swear at least a bit in your writing so people will know they are dealing with a human being and not some tediously apologetic autocomplete LLM). I mean knowing what things you are thinking about, and what you would like to call each of them.
  9. To identify your lil’ shortcuts, jargons, and irritants.
    (For me, these include the words “just” and “here.”)
  10. To find out where you are wrong.
  11. To find out where you are right.
  12. To eventually give each idea its own URL, which is cool.
  13. To take these ideas—now having their own URLs—and e-mail them to those who want to read by email, publish in an RSS feed for those who want to read by feeds, and the like.
  14. To maybe even circulate these URLs across the various algorithmic hellscapes (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), giving people something to glance at between the advertisements. Your items are errant kibble in the feed, but you can automate the postings and just—see #9—let the machine operate.
  15. To locate the people who are your people. Bring them in, wherever they are. One person a month is fine. This is the real deal.
  16. To have a very slow conversation with someone over the span of months or years.
  17. To accumulate a “swipe file” you can borrow from when called upon to present, speak, convince, design, etc.
  18. To draft a book, one page at a time, with the garage door up.
  19. To create the conditions for eventually revisiting your old stuff and noticing with horror how your thinking has changed over time.
  20. To get other people to tell you what to read next: this link, this article, this book. You’ll always have a backlog.
  21. To learn.
  22. To practice.
  23. To figure out who you are, so you can become that person.