Sahil Lavingia

Sahil Lavingia quotes on writing

Founder Gumroad, funder @

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Learning to write is much more important than learning to code.


Learn to write. If you're a designer, you write a lot. If you're an engineer, you write. If you're a founder, you write. If you're a VC, a lawyer, a painter, a podcaster, an accountant, a comedian… you write. Learn to write!


Everyone who writes well reads a lot.


You think you know something, until you try writing about it.


Things you can improve: - Your attitude - Memory - Discipline - Creativity - Time management - Stamina - Writing ability - Charisma - Happiness Things you can’t: - The past


You can launch yourself into the center of your favorite industry with a year's worth of deep research and a month spent writing one really great post.


Reading is the inhale, writing is the exhale. Breathe.


Things that take longer than you expect: - Building a company - Writing a book - Taking a roadtrip - Saving money Things that take less time than you expect:


Write like your audience is smart and busy.


One learns to write by writing, not by reading. One learns to paint by painting, not by watching. One learns to build by building, not by analyzing.


What can you write that no one else can write? Write that. What can you say that no one else can say? Say that. What can you build that no one else can build? Build that.


One well-written blog post can take you farther than the most impressive CV.


Worse writers than you have written and published books. Worse founders than you have built successful businesses. If they can do it, you can too.


How to make a really good painting: make a few hundred really bad paintings. How to write a really good article: write a few dozen really bad articles. How to succeed: fail a lot.


Knowledge comes from reading, listening, watching. Wisdom comes from applying this knowledge: writing, making, building.


Writing becomes a more valuable skill every day.


Sending 100 copy-pasted cold emails in one hour: 1% conversion rate. Sending 10 unique cold emails in one hour: 80% conversion rate. Plus you’ll have practiced your writing skills, and done more research on the people you’re trying to help.


You can make a full-time living doing whatever you want, as long as you can create entertaining and educational content about it.


People who need to write: founders, VCs, lawyers, software engineers, designers, painters, data scientists, musicians, filmmakers, creative directors, physical trainers, teachers, writers. Learn to write.


Don't write because you're smart. Write because you're stupid and have something to learn.


How to learn to write: First, stop comparing your first draft to anyone’s published masterwork. That stuff’s been written, rewritten, reviewed, copy edited, line edited, and more. Let them inspire you, but not demotivate you.


If you write, you're a writer. If you make art, you're an artist. If you're starting something out of nothing, you're an entrepreneur. There's no test you have to pass to make these things part of your identity.


You can't make what you don't measure. If you want to read more books, lose weight, save money, call your parents more frequently, Start measuring.


To improve at something, consistently put yourself in an uncomfortable place. Start a startup, train for a marathon, or commit to writing every day. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.


Reading is easy. Learning is hard. Writing is easy. Thinking is hard. Painting is easy. Observing is hard.


Writing is a great excuse to read.


The fastest way to clean your house is to start writing a book.


Building products, writing, and painting are not mental excercises, they are physical ones. Reading to improve is like watching someone else workout – it does almost nothing for you. To run better, run. To paint better, paint. To write better, write. To build better, build.


You only have to write one really great thing to be known as a great writer. You only have to build one really great company to be known as a great founder. If you are consistent over decades, it seems almost inevitable!


It doesn’t really matter what kind of exercise you do, it matters that you exercise. It doesn’t really matter what you write about, it matters that you write. It doesn’t really matter what you build, it matters that you start building. Just start!


You'll learn more from one launch than a thousand blog posts.


If you're a writer, you're the CEO of your own business. If you're a painter, you're the CEO of your own business. If you're a musician, you're the CEO of your own business. Today, being great at business will get you farther than being a great artist.


You can have a conversation with a few people at a time. Your blog posts can be read by thousands of people at a time. Your products can be used by millions of people at a time. Productize yourself to scale yourself.


Tweet for the job you want.


Writing online isn’t about proving how smart you are, it’s about: - showing others how much time you’ve spent to grok a particular topic - saving them time and mistakes Anyone can do it.


Make your audience happy, motivated, and informed, by making your content entertaining, inspiring, and educational.


You can learn more about someone from what they read than what they tweet.


"Show don't tell" is close to universal advice. It applies to: - Writing stories - Leadership - Product development


Everyone should write. Everyone should draw. Everyone should paint. Everyone should make music and movies. Everyone should dance, run, lift. Everyone should design, code, build. Everyone should create. Until then, millions of people will die unaware of the gifts they possessed.


If you want to think more like someone: Read their favorite books. Read the same articles. Listen to the same podcasts. Follow the people they follow.


There are times when you should write, work, build, draw every spare second. And there are times when doing nothing is the most productive thing you can do.


If you're building software or creating content, remember: You'll never know the full amount of the positive impact you've had on other people's lives. But you will become quite familiar with most of the negative ones.


Painting has helped me understand how I see. Writing has helped me understand how I think. Building has helped me understand what I care about.


Start by contributing: - Add your take to a thread - Write fan fiction - Help someone build their company Then contribute by starting: - Start conversations - Write a novel - Start your own company


People often poke holes in tweets, not realizing they were written to hit an emotional resonance instead of an intellectual one. The intended audience gets it, and responds positively. Others see this and “dunk” for their own audiences – spreading the message like wildfire.


Every writer you love has written far more, far worse words than you have. Every painter you love has painted far more, far worse paintings than you have. Every founder you respect has failed far more, far worse than you have. That's why you love and respect them.


Writing is a way to scale the conversations you have in person.


Tweets are appetizers, small and experimental. Blog posts are main courses, consistent and relatively safe. Books are tasting menus. You trust the creator and lean into whatever narrative is given to you.


If you tweet dumb things the smart things will seem smarter.


Being a writer is easy: you just have to write. Being a writer is hard: you have to write.

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