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Steal Like A Writer!
Gaining inspiration from Foster Collective's new media strategy
I’m going to steal!. Although, in my defense, is it stealing if the article is brilliantly titled, “Steal Our Media Strategy!”?
You know that moment when you get unstuck and break out of a way of thinking that you’re not sure why you got into it in the first place? That is how this article hit me. It was a breath of fresh air. In the article, Rob shares Foster’s new approach to publishing; basically, what got them here is not what will get them to where they want to go. With the emergence of content created using ChatGPT and other AI tools, it is critical to share our experiences, ideas, and insights that, as Rob put it, make us “unmistakably human .”I love this phrase as it helps us connect with what only we can bring and share with others. It is something that AI cannot reproduce. I see it as a revolution of thought. We are standing up for what makes us human. We want to read and learn from real experiences, not simply click-of-the-button regurgitation.
Ok, deep breath!
The heart of Foster’s new strategy includes three principles, which are:
Publishing cyclically to maximize the opportunity for experimentation and renewal
Going niche-less to create media that’s vibrant, diverse, and unmistakably human
Creating fluid playbooks to meet our changing needs amidst a shifting landscape
As soon as I read these principles, I realized I could apply this strategy to my writing practice as well. Instead of being bound to an artificial daily or weekly publishing cycle that becomes the goal in itself, I will focus on creating space for exploring ideas, topics, concepts that resonate at the moment. With the new strategy, there is space for me to breathe, learn, and enjoy going deeper into topics. I will publish in seasons that will be about two months in length. Just thinking about it releases the anxiety of publishing on a strict schedule.
This is how I will apply Foster’s strategy to my own writing practice:
I will publish cyclically
Instead of writing weekly for the sake of writing weekly, I can slow down and create space to explore ideas at a deeper level instead of rushing through them and moving on to the next topic.
I want to learn ideas and the nuances that come with them.
I want to explore the nooks and crannies and competing viewpoints and remove any biases I may have around a topic.
I want the space to explore.
Publishing cyclically in seasons can help me do that.
Instead of publishing weekly, I can publish every few weeks, and I can focus on a topic for a season (a few months) to explore its depths and then shift to what excites me or has my attention the following season.
I will go niche-less
It’s also time to go niche-less. This new space will allow me to slow down and holistically build my knowledge. There is no preset planning of topics; I will choose the next topic at that point. I will decide which topic resonates with my readers and myself. What is keeping my attention is what I will explore and double down on.
I will create a fluid playbook
Change is constant, so why stay stuck doing the same thing repeatedly? To keep things interesting each season, I will focus on different experiments, such as:
Driving traffic to my podcast
Sharing a course, I create
Monetization of content
Collaborating with other writers
Trying new storytelling techniques
the list is endless!
“This structure lightens the emotional burden of change, and makes us feel safer in taking risks. And it creates a reliable rhythm, where we always have the opportunity to reorient towards what’s most alive.”
- Rob Hardy
My New Publishing Structure
Again stolen from Foster but tweaked for me, my new publishing structure will look something like this:
Week 1: I will ask myself questions such as:
what excites me right now?
what could I experiment with?
What’s something crazy enough that it might just work?
Week 2-5: I will go all in on the topic and explore it from different angles to understand the various viewpoints. This space will allow me to speak with people, read books and articles, to dive into the depths of the topic and may include:
and much more!
Week 6: I will debrief and be honest with myself to see how it went. I will ask questions such as:
How did it go, and what did I learn?
What signals is the world sending me?
What surprised me?
What could I try next time?
My new approach to publishing, thanks to Rob Hardy with the Foster collective, is exciting, invigorating, and what I needed to approach my writing with intention and purpose.
One caveat is that I am not limiting myself to this schedule. I think of this as an overarching writing goal, but I will write as often as I need to in between.
First topic: Creativity
Creativity fascinates me. Questions such as how we can develop it, explore it, increase it, and apply it in our work and across all parts of our lives to live it to the fullest are driving my curiosity. Stay tuned for more!
Let me know if any of this resonates with you or if you think this is a big mistake. Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts. :)