Meaning-Making #28 — Understanding Kin | For Who Should You Write? | Everything is a Remix

written by JIBRAN EL BAZI |

Hey friends, hope you’re doing well.

Spring has started here in the northern hemisphere, which always brings me joy.

More sunlight, birds chirping, kids playing outside.

Good stuff! (Apart from the first day after daylight savings time! 😴 ).

Understanding Kin

I have something new to share today.

I am committing to creating at least 100 youtube videos. (Inspired by Visakan, who is a prolific Twitterer that also creates off-the-cuff short videos.)

The topics will vary, but it will always be about a question I try to answer or a topic where I’m learning more about.

They're short videos. I’m aiming for 4 - 8 minutes in length.

The first two videos (next to my intro video) are up already. Check them out on my YouTube channel here if you’re interested!

Now you may ask why I’m creating these? Well, I have a few good reasons, which I actually had for a long time. But before now I was (and still am a little) uncomfortable with putting my voice/face out there for all to see.

The main reason is for me to create these videos is to connect with other people around the world that also want to understand others, the world, and themselves.

That’s why I called the playlist Understanding Kin:

  • in both understanding my kin (I see all of us, humans, as kinsmen)
  • and finding kindred spirits, as in people that are also curious and want to learn about the world and share their ideas.

I noticed that reading about a topic will only get me so far. When I'm thinking/talking out loud, preferably with others, it's so much more fun and a better way to learn.

Since my thirst for knowledge is insatiable, I see this as a new route for me to learn and share. I can’t wait until my “vlog” skills are much better and I have a bunch of people who're responding with their interesting ideas on the stuff I put out there.

Then there are a few secondary reasons which are all related to getting better at speaking.

Things like better pronunciation (I’m not a native English speaker), increasing my vocal variety (sometimes I sound like a stationary engine), increasing my vocabulary, and explaining things more clearly.

This was a kinda long intro/housekeeping bit, so I’ll keep the rest of this issue short. Enjoy!

Two tips inspired by James Clear

James Clear, who I’ve certainly mentioned atleast once in this newsletter already, shared a few interesting bits last week.

One was in an AMA on Twitter, the other a quote in his newsletter. I think both are very valuable for anyone that creates content online.

#1 - For who should you write?

On Twitter, James answered these two questions on who you should write for.

Question #1
Question #2

Summary: write for yourself but think about how to bring a beginner to the topic along.

Now, as a starting writer, you’re not actually there yet. Because most (beginner) writers don’t know what to write about. As in, you still have to find your voice.

Here there really aren’t any shortcuts. The only way for you to find out what topic you like to write to just write!

After creating 20, 40, or a 100 pieces of content, a pattern starts to emerge. A pattern of how you write, of what you write about, etc.

A pattern of writing that you would reasonably not have chosen if you spent all that time guessing what you would like to write about vs just writing. (I think James even answered a question about that in the AMA somewhere. That it took him 6 - 12 months of writing two articles per week to finally find his voice.)

Check out his full AMA here.

#2 - Everything is a remix

“Italy is known for tomatoes. Thailand for chilies. Germany for sauerkraut.

But tomatoes originated in Peru. Thailand imported chilies from Central America. Sauerkraut started in China.

Everything is a remix—and the world is better for it. Share what you know. Learn from others.” - James Clear

Takeaway: don’t be afraid of creating something that’s already been done. Nothing is really new. But everything CAN have something unique from you in it. That’s why it’s so important to create for yourself (James' first tip). It’ll put something in your work that only you can do, even though the content is similar to what others make.

I wrote a little bit about this a few years ago, in the area of teaching, but it applies just as much in online content creation. Here's an excerpt from it:

“I mean, you can take some best practices here and there, but you won't ever be able to copy their genuine personality, so don't even try.

Just be yourself, and you'll be interesting enough.

Then you continue becoming a better you. Looking only to your past self to see if you have improved.”

That's it! I hope I inspired you to (also) create more.  I think it's of immense value for both you and the people around you if you allow yourself to "shine" like Marianne Williamson says:

"As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

Until next time!


PS. I'm still undecided on a name for this newsletter. So I'll keep calling it "Jibran ###". But if you have a suggestion for a name, please let me know!

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in my newsletter.
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About jibran el bazi

Hey I'm Jibran, I'm here to learn, to play, and to connect with other meaning-makers. I write to seek understanding and to help others to become their true selves. I often start my writing with a question in one of the below themes:

🧭 Understand yourself - "How do you find clarity on who you are and what you want out of life?"

Take charge of your life - "How do you pursue your purpose while living a balanced life?"

Pass on the torch - "How do you best help others to become their True Self?"

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