Write Of Passage: How To Capture The Value
Write of Passage changed my life.
It’s only been one year since I took the course and it feels like I invested in Netflix back when Blockbuster was thriving.
But anyone I’ve talked to who’s interested in taking the 5-week course has one reservation: the price.
Yes, it’s expensive.
But it’s an investment in your writing career. One that will pay dividends far down the road.
What did my life look like before Write of Passage?
I had been writing a blog on and off for years. I loved writing but felt directionless. I did have a website where I posted my blogs. I didn’t have a note-taking system. I didn’t understand how to use Twitter. I knew nothing about newsletters. My audience was literally friends and family.
And where am I now?
I have published an essay and sent out my newsletter every week. That’s 50 essays and 46 issues. I’ve grown my Twitter following from zero to 450. I’ve grown my newsletter subscriber list from zero to 135. I’ve connected with a core group of people who provide feedback on my essays. And I’m working alongside David Perell and Will Mannon as lead alumni mentor in the upcoming cohort.
It’s been a pretty great year.
Here’s how I made the most of my Write of Passage experience.
- Attend all the live sessions.
- Nothing compares to the energy of the live sessions. Sure, you can watch the playback but it won’t be nearly as invigorating as experiencing it in real time. Even if you don’t finish an assignment, jump on the call. Magic happens during the live sessions. And you never know what ideas will spark in a breakout room.
- Give feedback.
- The more you provide feedback, the better your writing becomes. When you see what works and doesn’t work in other people’s essays, you become more aware of those things in your own writing.
- You will be able to see which writers you want to connect with based on their interests or if you’re just really impressed by their writing.
- Reciprocity is real. People will want to give you feedback on your essays when you’re taking the time to help them with theirs.
- I’m going to let you in on a secret: David and Will are watching. When you provide thoughtful and valuable feedback, they see it. And they find ways throughout the course to recognize students leading by example.
- Share your work.
- Even if it’s just an outline! I’ve known students who didn’t feel their draft was ready so they never shared it. You’re not utilizing every aspect of this course if you’re not getting feedback on your work, no matter what stage it’s in.
- Raise your hand.
- It’s okay if you’re shy or nervous. My heart was pounding and my armpits were sweating during every single live session in the first cohort. But whether you’re struggling with something or you had a breakthrough, there’s a good chance the whole group can benefit from your experience.
- Worry if you can’t keep up.
- Most people can’t. The course is designed to make you feel like there are too many assignments. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. You are being challenged to get out of your comfort zone. Embrace it.
- Go it alone.
- This doesn’t work without the community. I always thought being a writer was a lonely job. Sitting at my computer with only my thoughts. Write of Passage showed me how collaborative writing is. It’s too hard to do it alone. A group of people provide support, encouragement, motivation, and inspiration. David calls this the SoulCycle effect.
- Wait to share your work online.
- Make that website live. Send out that first newsletter. Hit publish on those essays. People want to see your progress and growth. If you wait years to perfect your website, newsletter, or written work, you’ll have years to make up for people not reading your content. You can’t grow your audience if you refuse to take the stage. You have something to share right now. So share it!
When you can invest the time and energy to be an active participant in the course, doors open.
Here are a few big winners from past cohorts:
- Cohort 1 alumni Packy McCormack went from zero creative output to sending out a weekly newsletter to over 17,000 subscribers.
- Cohort 3 alumni Ana Lorena Fabrega gained 24,000 Twitter followers and is now the Chief Evangelist for the Synthesis School, which provides online education for kids.
- And Cohort 5 alumni Robbie Crabtree launched his very own Performative Speaking Course which was recently acquired by OnDeck.
There are many more examples of students who leveraged WoP to advance their careers.
A Big Investment
Yes, Write of Passage is a monetary investment in your future. But to get the most out of this course, you must invest your most valuable resources: time and energy.
This is an intense, community-driven experience. And the rewards are worth it.