Life/Work Advice from Shawn Blanc Advice

I thought this was worth sharing from a recent email from Shawn:

Here are some of the lessons I have learned, presented merely as an unordered list without commentary.

  • Show up every day.
  • Give yourself permission to stink.
  • As your talent as a writer grows your own perception of your writing will likely stay the same.
  • I still get a little bit nervous every time I post anything, even a trivial link. And I think that’s OK because whatever goes on the internet is instantly global and permanent — don’t write something you wouldn’t want your mom or son to read.
  • Saying no to opportunities and ideas is very important.
  • Go to conferences and workshops.
  • Build relationships.
  • Being “Internet Famous” is like owning a semi-successful coffee shop on the corner of town. It’s not so much about being popular but rather that you have a sustainable customer base to keep the lights on.
  • Always be honest.
  • Always be sincere.
  • There are a lot of people with similar interests as you. Your honesty about your opinions is what will help set you and your work apart.
  • Hold fast to your values and viewpoints.
  • Build your website on trust.
  • Don’t be rude.
  • Attention is far more important than pageviews or subscriber counts.
  • Sensationalizing your work reaps no worthwhile long-term benefits.
  • Take your work seriously.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Lots of amazing and interesting people have low follower counts on Twitter.
  • Read.
  • Go outside.
  • Work hard, but don’t work nonstop.
  • Don’t be embarrassed about making money doing what you love.
  • Fiddling with your setup is also known as procrastination.
  • Inbox Zero means not allowing the incoming to dictate your priorities.
  • Send short emails.
  • Send shorter emails than that.
  • Admit when you’re wrong.
  • Never pretend to know more than you actually do.
  • An article doesn’t always have to be published the moment after you’ve written the last paragraph.
  • Think about it.
  • Have an ideal reader.
  • Find an editor you trust.
  • Don’t use cheap web hosting.
  • Encourage others.
  • Family always comes first.
  • Producing a great project requires a lot of time and attention to detail.
  • Know your definition of good enough. Make your work great, but know that it won’t be 100-percent perfect and it’s more important to hit publish.
  • Give credit to your readers; they’re smart.
  • I have never liked the word “blog” but it’s making a comeback these days.
  • You’re not a blogger, you’re a writer.
  • Thinking about writing is not the same as writing.
  • Reading about writing is not the same as writing.
  • Tweeting about writing is not the same as writing.
  • Having a conversation about writing is not the same as writing.
  • Break your broken workflow habits.
  • Modern Art: “I could have done that.” “Yeah, but you didn’t.”
  • Blogging: “I could have written that.” “Yeah, but you didn’t.”
  • Trust your gut.
  • Take risks.
  • Learn something new every day.

— Shawn Blanc

Blanc Media, PO Box 9771, Kansas City, MO 64134, United States


Noooooooooo! I knew it, MPU can be a form of procrastination, haha!


This is so true! Thanks for sharing :slight_smile: