How I Write

How to beat Writer's Block + more

In 2023, I:

  • Wrote 70+ blogs here

  • Published a book

  • Tweeted 1,000+ times

  • Ghostwrote for 10-20 clients

How do I write so much?

I think it comes down to these core beliefs and strategies:


I have a core belief: writer’s block isn’t real.

I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out.

I think the common conception of Writer’s Block is one of three things:

  1. Fear of self-judgement

  2. “I don’t have any ideas”

  3. Laziness (#SorryNotSorry)

Let’s cover how to attack each of these.


We all have an inner editor.

And that inner editor is usually a grumpy old English teacher.

When that editor is too strong, it’s impossible to get words out because you’re too busy editing and censoring yourself while writing.

Here’s 2 tricks to turn off the inner editor:

  1. Open up Microsoft Word or Google Docs or wherever on your laptop. Turn your brightness down to 0 so the screen is black and you can’t see the words. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Start typing and DON’T EDIT until the timer is up. Just write for 10 minutes.

  2. Every phone has a dictation software where you can talk out ideas. You can do this in the Notes app or Google Docs or wherever. So if the words aren’t coming while you’re on a laptop, just speak out the ideas in your natural voice. Basically word vomit for 10 minutes while you’re on a walk or pacing around your room. THEN open up the laptop and start editing. That’s legit what I did for this article. I spoke it into my phone for a half hour and then edited it for 2ish hours.


Wanna know the most common misconception about writers?

People think writers start with all the ideas, but the ideas start coming during the process of writing and editing. It’s the actual process of sitting down and doing it that creates ideas.

Sometimes I sit down and i’m like “Oh shit I don’t know what to write, maybe I should go watch some TV” and then I remember writer’s block is fake and I just start writing about my day or a book I read, and boom, ideas start flowing.

Sure, you start with maybe an inkling of an idea—I usually have a title in mind or a concept I want to cover—but it’s the process of writing that brings out all the intricate details and the branches of the tree.

I’d also suggest 2 things:

  1. Keep a dashboard full of ideas you want to cover. Whenever you have an idea, add it there. You can then add onto it and use it to build out a content calendar. That’s how I always have content ideas for Cyber Patterns. I have backlog at all times. If you need a dashboard, here’s my free Notion template. Just press duplicate.

  2. Create a better knowledge collection system. If you’re a creator, you need to be keeping a database of highlights from books, articles, videos, podcasts, whatever. There’s a million ways to do it. After much experimentation, my main system is to read books on Kindle and use Readwise to send the highlights to a Notion database. I also use Readwise to collect highlights from articles, tweets, podcasts, etc. Here’s a link for free Readwise for 60 days.

On top of these 2 things, I’d keep something in mind.

Humans have been alive for thousands of years, it’s hard to come up with a truly original idea. Every idea is a remix of another idea in your own voice.

This idea is a remix of David Perell’s How I Write Podcast and his podcast is a remix of the hundreds of writers who wrote books about their writing styles. Stop trying to be so original, just try to be a good remixer. You’re not a PhD student discovering a new chemical element or whatever, you’re a writer just trying to communicate your thoughts.

Don’t be afraid of becoming a content-kleptomaniac. “It ain’t stealing if you put a spin on it,” says author Steven Pressfield.


Accept that writing is work.

The sooner you realize that, the better.

For most of my life, I saw writing as an easy romantic art-form. Smoke a joint, write some poetry in the woods, I’m a motherfucking poet, boom. Maybe that worked in the 70s, but that’s not gonna get you far now.

Now that the internet has made writing online so lucrative, it’s a lot harder and more competitive to be a writer—which means you have to work significantly harder than lighting joints and writing poetry.

As I started writing online more in 2021, I finally realized writing is hard work like anything else. And internet writing specifically is dominated by what Paul Graham calls Fierce Nerds. If you want to write great work, you need to hustle like an investment banker because that’s the caliber of intensity you’re competing with: people writing long hours through the pain and boredom and frequently turning down plans because they’ve got work to do.

You’ll piss your friends and family off because you put your work first, but as Steven Spielberg said, “pain is temporary, art is forever.”

How do you get the motivation to write though?

Keep reading.


Writers are natural procrastinators.

We survive on deadlines. So what do you if you’re not a working writer and don’t have deadlines enforced by others?

You create deadlines for yourself. These are forcing functions to make sure you get your reps in and most importantly are pressing publish.

That’s what I did with Cyber Patterns. I started out the blog writing every few weeks and then in April 2021 said I’m gonna do every Sunday no matter what. Even when that meant staying up til 2 on Saturday night, I’ve published every single Sunday for 80+ weeks and I ain’t stopping anytime soon.

I recommend the weekly deadline for blogging because it’s often enough you don’t forget about it, but not frequent enough to be a burden. You may not be able to create a world-changing viral banger every week, but the real important thing if you’re serious about writing is that you’re staying consistent, improving at your practice, and forcing yourself to write.

Stop trying to be earth-shattering, start trying to be consistent.


The days of Steven-King-like writers writing for 8 hours on end are over.

My generation was raised on Lucky Charms and Twitter. We’re ADHD-ed out. We’ve got distractions and bills to pay baby. None of us can afford houses and the Chinese government is trying to zap our brains with TikTok.

I’ve accepted I cannot write for 8 hours straight—and I don’t know anyone who can. Maybe if I sign a $1M book deal and don’t have any other commitments, I’ll be able to do that 8-hour straight day, but I’ve got clients emailing me and a dozen projects going.

I wish I could have some perfect daily routine but I don’t. I wake up, drink coffee, and get shit done. I try to write in the mornings when the coffee is freshest, but because my video business has been taking off, I’ve been spending more mornings shooting in sunlight and late nights writing.

If I could leave you with any piece of wisdom, it’d be this:

You don’t need a quiet house in the woods in Maine and silence for 8 hours, you just need to be consistently writing any chance you can.

I’ve written bangers every from my office to a coffee shop to a subway to the back of an Uber. Write wherever you can whenever you can. A 20 minute session is better than nothing. Just write.

There is no perfect time or location or music to write.

You just have to write.


Want breakdowns on how creators make money?

Avi Gandhi at Creator Logic breaks down millionaire creators’ businesses going into the % and $ splits of their revenue. He answers questions like:

  • Which platforms drives the most revenue?

  • How much did X make in subscriptions v. ads?

  • What % of customers came from TikTok v. YouTube?

Creator Logic the most well-researched, detailed newsletter on the financial side of creators I’ve ever seen on the internet.

🤯 Whoa. Google used Legos to hold their original servers—and the Lego colors inspired Google’s colors.

🤑 MrBeast’s manager explains Jimmy’s decision to post a video straight to Twitter and payment per platforms. Lot of video creator alpha in here.

🧠 Much-needed article about the statusification of mental health issues by Erik Torenberg. Absolutely based.

📍 Creative director Oren John breaks down The Art of Destination Marketing. The vibes are immaculate as always.

🔥 Argentinian President Javier Milei blew up the internet with his pro-capitalist speech at Davos. Here’s the full thing in English.



Thanks for reading, nerds.

Let’s blow up the internet together.

Jason Levin