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Lean on past work

Matthew Stanley, Samsara Diagnostics

"I think that we often feel pressure to be original, but I experienced some level of freedom when I realized how I could use my backlog of past writing. I have been writing and posting for years on various platforms and even half-started a thesis for a grad program. But when I actually took the time to inventory my past work, I found a wealth of pieces to re-work, break into chunks, re-post verbatim, or which sparked new ideas for posts.

The reality is that if my audience is growing, the majority of my audience a year from now should be people who haven’t read my past work. Further, reviewing and reworking my past work has been a way of gaining deeper insight into my own priorities and voice as I’m developing. As I’ve grown more comfortable with how to leverage my backlog, I’ve seen more and more possibilities for where I could take my business.

At its core, the mentality of a creator who writes, re-tools, and posts different types of writing aimed at different audiences requires breaking out of the academic mindset which strictly follows certain forms and conventions which don’t necessarily correlate to the rigor of thought or impact. From working in software startups for years, I’ve slowly been unlearning the “school mind” which I think ultimately constrains productive work."

Advice Contributor

Matthew Stanley

Matthew Stanley writes about philosophy, theology, and Japanese studies at Samsara Diagnostics.

See Matthew's Site