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Notes on Chapter 1 of Authority by Nathan Barry

I was fortunate enough to receive a hard copy of Nathan Barry’s Authority. I’m going to try something new and post notes on the chapters as I read. If you want a quick recommendation, the answer is: Yes, you should buy this book.

Chapter 1: On Writing

  • Teach
    • Marco Polo wasn’t the first to go down Silk Road, but he was the first to write about it.
  • If you are learning, teach what you learn.
    • Be transparent about your skill level.
    • There are two short case studies, Pat the Architect and Chris Coyier.
  • Write consistently everyday.
    • Easily the most important piece of advice in the entire book.
  • Writer’s Block:

    When faced with writer’s block, lower your standards and keep going. - Sandra Tsing Loh

An interesting side-note the author just threw in there:

Rather than having to continue high school for a set number of years, I was given a fixed amount of schoolwork I needed to complete to graduate. I saw that as a checklist and dove in.

If I recall correctly, he finished high school by 15 or 16 years of age.

  • Don’t wait.
    • Don’t wait for someone to come to you, and don’t wait for all of life’s ducks to be in a row.
  • Start Small.
    • Sacha Greif’s first ebook was only 30 pages long.

Reading in between the lines, the author starts the book off talking about writing. Specifically, when to write (consistently) and what to write (write so that people learn). There is some incidental contact with the whys of writing, but later chapters delve more on the whys & hows of writing.



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