Writing to Learn


The more I write, the more I learn that it’s an essential life skill.

Two years ago, my writing was limited to emails, marketing material, and process documents for my business.

The turning point came in the summer of 2021 after my last business failed.

I took a couple of months off to decide what to do next. I binged on the Tim Ferriss podcast and audiobooks on business, productivity & personal development.

I studied online courses about developing digital products, qualified as a personal trainer, and learned how to speed read.

Despite spending time learning these skills, I wasn’t doing anything to develop them.

The old adage of “Use it or lose it” range true.

FAST Method

While learning how to speed read with Jim Kwik, I was introduced to the FAST Method.

Forget: Forget what you already know so you can learn something new.

Activate: Being active while you learn.

State: To retain information, spice up your learning process with some emotion.

Teach: When you teach something, you learn it twice.

After finishing the course, two things stuck with me:

  • Taking notes about what you’re learning (Active)
  • Sharing what you learn with others (Teach)

I didn’t know it then, but note-taking and sharing what I learned would lead me to start my YouTube channel and this blog.

Knowing + Understanding

In March 2022, I joined Ali Abdaal’s Part-Time YouTuber Academy.

I wanted to do something useful with everything I was learning.

I decided that creating content on simple habits, tools and strategies for high performance and lifestyle optimization was the best outlet.

The problem I had was, while I knew the ideas, concepts, and methods of what I learned, I didn’t understand them very well.

The difference between knowing and understanding is significant.

Knowing involves recalling facts, data, and experience.

Understanding requires you to think and use that knowledge.

Start Writing

Shortly after starting my YouTube channel, I read this blog post by Nir Eyal. He explains how he uses writing as a tool to problem-solve.

I decided to use writing to solve my own problem - understanding the things I was learning.

I developed a regular writing habit.

That lead to starting this blog, a newsletter, and getting active on Twitter.

When I learn about something I’m interested in, I carry out research - by reading blog posts, listening to podcast, and watching YouTube videos.

I take notes. Lots of notes.

This helps me understand what I’m learning.

Armed with a better understanding, I can apply what I learn in my own life.

Then I write. I write blog posts, Atomic Essays, and Twitter threads.

Sharing what I learn allows me to learn it twice.

That’s how a writing habit helps me to learn.