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Sunday Six: Deleting Digital, How to Read More Books & Rules for Creatives.

How to read 20+ more books this year. Why information is killing you. 10 rules for a restful Sunday.

Hey Friend 👋

6 months ago, I was sitting on an airplane flying back from California reading a book — Published by Chandler Bolt.

I ate it up in one flight. Four hours flat with notes all over the pages. It felt surreal…

“Oh my gosh, I might actually write this freaking book…”

Four. Years.

Four years of knowing I wanted to write a book but didn’t know where to start.

Four years of starting and stopping because I didn’t think I was worthy to write a book.

Four years of seeing other people publish books and thinking “One day, maybe, well see…”

After I read Published, I had a new-found energy that gave me the belief to realize that not only can I write this book, but I am going to write this freaking book.

So I did.

I wrote my first book ever.

In fact, I wrote it in 3 months. Then it spent the next three months in the hands of editors and designers.

While I am beyond thankful for everything that I learned from the book Published, there is no better teacher than actually doing it yourself.

And in writing a book, I learned and documented things I wish would have been in the book Published.

Things like:

→ Creating a writing schedule and goals

→ A simple task management system for book milestones

→ The essential pieces to the actual writing that makes the book sing

There were also things that I read in Published when it came to the marketing side that I took a wildly different approach to because well… I wrote a book on Meaningful Marketing. I want to launch the book with the tactics I share in my book.

And lastly, Published and every other incredible author and company helping people publish books focus on ONE MAJOR METRIC.

Sales.

Yes, the big scary yucky “S” word.

But they know (just like everybody else) that nowadays, people who write books want to sell them.

But there is a difference between people who write books to sell a book, and people who write books to help people (and people buy them because they help).

Alex Hormozi says:

“There is a difference between books that try to teach you and books that try to persuade you. Read the books that try to teach you, not the books that try to persuade you. That books that try to persuade you have you in their sales funnel to sell you more stuff.”

While I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with selling books (I mean… I’m selling mine.) — I am wildly interested in finding the timeless approach to book writing that our ancestors had.

Those who wrote to share information to pass down to their children and grandchildren as a way to navigate life or stories to not miss out.

Not to sell more products.

And because of the things I’ve found, built, re-engineered, including my non-culturally popular perspective of a non-sales approach to writing books.

I started a project.

And I’m sure you can guess where I am going with it.

But you’ll hear more about it within the next 2 months.

So stay tuned on the Sunday Six (and only Sunday Six).

Until then, Meaningful Marketing launches on December 5th!

You’ll be hearing about pre-orders soon here on Sunday Six and all over social media.

(By "all over," I mean my very small corner of the internet where I share things)

So thankful for each and every one of you supporting me along the way!

Sunday Six ☀️

How to Easily Read 20+ Books A Year

Here’s a snippet from one of my favorite newsletters from Alex & Books:

One of the biggest reasons people say they don’t read books is because they can’t find the time.

But time isn’t found, we have all 24 hours in a day. Instead, try to replace time.

Aim to replace 15 minutes of social media scrolling in the morning and 15 minutes of watching Netflix in the evening with reading.

If you do, here’s what will happen:

  • 15 minutes of reading = 10 pages
  • 10 pages in the morning + 10 pages in the evening = 20 pages a day
  • 20 pages x 5 days a week = 100 pages per week
  • 100 pages per week x 52 weeks = 5,200 pages a year
  • 5,200 pages ÷ 250 pages per book = 20 finishing books a year

And if you also spend time reading on the weekends, you’ll end up reading about 30 books a year.

So instead of trying to find time to read, find times to replace with reading.


This snippet matched a tweet I posted earlier this week:

There are 27 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In total, it takes 50 hours and 27 minutes to watch them all.

The average human can read a book in about 5 hours.

50 hours watching Marvel = 10 books unfinished.

The Creative Act by Rick Rubin

This has been one of my favorite books in 2023. All thoughts in this book are bite-sized (the way I like them) and force you to ponder for a while.

That’s why I haven’t blown through this one. Every thought is light as a feather to read, but heavy as an anchor to absorb. And what good is reading a book if you don’t absorb the thought?

The book is clearly for creatives but unlike any non-fiction creative book I’ve read before. It’s not practical at all. In fact, as you read it, you assume he’s high as a kite while writing it. Until every thought starts to pierce the way you’ve thought about creating.

It’s also a subtle jab towards the stigma of creatives. People assume creatives are depressed, skinny jean-wearing artists who are broke and have never had a "real job."

Such foolish thinking.

It’s the ones who aren’t conformed to mainstream thinking.

The ones who risk outside of the box.

The ones who change the world.

It’s there Leonardo Da Vinci's as well as the Steve Jobs.

The Malcolm Gladwell as well as the Bob Iger.

Do you see?

Here are 3 of my favorite thoughts from Rick:

“It’s not unusual for science to catch up to art, eventually. Nor is it unusual for art to catch up to the spiritual.”
“As artists, we seek to restore our childlike perception: a more innocent state of wonder and appreciation not tethered to utility or survival.”
“The ability to look deeply is the root of creativity. To see past the ordinary and mundane and get to what might otherwise be invisible.”

Link to here → The Creative Act by Rick Rubin

Curation is King

“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention” - Herbert Simonh

Information is complication.

Curation is simplification.

Because of the information age we live in, with Google and ChatGPT at our fingertips — we have access to anything we want to know (and don’t care to know) in the world.

While it has insane benefits, the obvious drawback is scattered attention.

Our attention scattered between social media to the news to conversations to emails to books to magazines to our work and so on.

Everybody is trying to feed you a new piece of information begging you for your attention.

And how you spend your attention is how you spend your life.

I’ve been in a phase of distancing myself from as much digital technology as necessary to give my head breathing room to think.

The next phase of that is aggressively curating the information I receive.

The books.
The emails.
The articles.
The social media.
The text messages.
The advertisements.

In fact, a great rule from a friend of mine that I may adopt quite radically and soon:

He said, “I don’t consume short form content. I only consume long form content such as books, articles and conversations with my friends about books and articles. Because I don’t need to care about anything and everything. In fact, I can’t.”

And neither can you.

Curate the information you intake.

The rest is stealing your attention. (Read; Time & Life)

10 Rules for a Restful Sunday

  1. Play with your kids as much as they ask. (Avoid “not now”)
  2. Find the nearest hammock and see how long you can chill.
  3. Take a Royal Shabbat Shluff (Hebrew for Sabbath Nap!)
  4. When you think of shopping, say “I don’t need it today.”
  5. The more beautiful outside, the longer you wander.
  6. Read fiction novels in a comfortable chair.
  7. Tell toxic people to take a walk.
  8. Give your phone a day off.
  9. Burn your to-do list.
  10. Enjoy life.

A Swim in a Pond In The Rain by George Saunders

George Saunders is a professor at Syracuse University where he teaches an elite writing course where only six or seven students are accepted annually (out of 600 or so applications).

For the time that he has been teaching this writing course, they’ve spent the semester breaking down short fiction stories by famous Russian authors such as Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Nikolai Gogol, and Ivan Turgenev.

Essentially, the powerhouses of golden age fiction writing.

The goal of the course isn’t a traditional writing course discussing structures, plots, and themes. But it’s a more human approach to discussing emotion.

Why did the writing make you feel like that? How did it connect with you?

This book, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, is a taste of the Syracuse classroom breaking down seven short stories by the fiction giants.

And it’s a dream for readers and writers to rip apart some of the greatest writing ever and try to understand why it made you feel a certain way.

Because if you understand why it made you feel, it can help you tell stories.

"The person who tells the best story rules their corner of the world." - James Clear.

Stories move people to action.
Stories inspire others.
Stories teach.
Stories sell.

Even Jesus taught most of his teachings through parables.

That should tell you the power of storytelling.

And what is storytelling if not emotional?

Facts don’t move people like stories.

Link to here → A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders

Unplugged, but Healthy.

For the last couple of months, I’ve been experimenting with moving my life towards a more analog economy.

In other words, fewer things that ding and buzz are replaced by things that don’t beg for my attention.

I made this move a couple of years ago in one major aspect when shifting my productivity management system.

I went from ToDoist to Trello to Asana to Notion to Things3 to God Knows How Many More Of These I Went Through…

Eventually, I landed on pen and paper. (Stealing inspiration from #BulletJournal)

I still have Notion for writing long-form content (like this) but I manage practically my entire life with pen and paper in a notebook.

  • Tasks
  • Ideas
  • Notes

Stacking one notebook on top of the other.

The next phase I’ve been working through is my Apple Watch. Even with all notifications turned off on my Apple Watch — the pull to always be connected is still there.

So I’ve decided to ditch it for the sake of buying my attention and focus back that much more.

Instead, I’ve been wearing mechanical watches. (Because they’re beautiful and so timeless)

I’m infatuated with the idea of a piece that won’t be outdated in 3 years.

If you look at an Apple Watch from 3 years ago, you can tell it's “old.”

With a mechanical watch, you can buy it and have it for a lifetime.

But I am missing one major piece of my life that Apple Watch does — fitness tracking.

I truly notice that my attention to my health goes down when I don’t have metrics like steps, resting heart rate, and calories burned to look at.

It’s not as top of mind.

And I’ve felt it — so I did two things:

  1. I ordered an Oura ring.
  2. I got a cheap FitBit off Facebook marketplace.

The Fitbit is to have something to throw on when I go for my runs.

The Oura ring to have something always on that doesn’t ding or buzz but simply tracks my sleep, steps, and heart.

I’m experimenting now and will let you know how it goes.

Either way, I am one step closer to creating a more analog economy.


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