Find the edge, think like a tour guide, and close the loop

Find an Edge

Nothing you will ever write will be 100% original. Anything we create is built upon preexisting things. Whether we do it consciously or unconsciously, we are weaving and mixing ideas to create new ones.

Writing something original in that sense is just finding your edge. Whether it is the way you fuse other ideas, your personal experience, or even your unique voice, your edge makes the content your own.

Knowing that you have managed to do so is not easy, but one thing is sure: the more content you create, the more of you will be present in it.

Think Like a Tour Guide

When you design your content, be it a video, a podcast, or a blog post, you should create the logical path you wish your audience to follow. You are their tour guide. When you make a turn, they will follow you. When you stop and point to something worth seeing, they will look in the same direction. If you pass an interesting viewpoint and don’t stop, your audience will likely miss it.

Like in a guided tour, each participant might eventually find different things attractive. Some will continue to explore some points of interest more and hopefully come back to them in the future. But as long as you are designing the tour and leading it, you don’t leave your group just to wander around. If you think something is worth noting, point your audience to it. If you feel something requires a closer look, describe it in detail. And if time is short and you have to conclude, you have to decide what to skip and probably come back to on another occasion.

Close the Loop

No single piece of content should cover everything. It doesn’t matter if you write a social post or an entire book, and regardless of the topic you write about, you will not cover it all. But this does not mean you should leave loose ends.

You decide which threads to start, which challenges to address, and which questions to ask. But it is your responsibility to close any loop you open. You must not leave unanswered questions if you explicitly asked them. You cannot leave hanging threads if you deliberately opened them. Your audience doesn’t expect you to cover everything, but they expect you not to increase their uncertainty. The closure of questions and dilemmas you have introduced is essential in this regard.

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yellow spice version: 2022.05.0017

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