The Best of David Perell

Writing online is one of the best ways to cultivate creativity. David Perell is the ultimate teacher. Known as 'The Writing Guy,' David Perell covers all bases when it comes to writing online. 


This is a list of his resources which I found extremely useful as I began my writing journey. Use these resources to start writing, it'll transform your life.


Not convinced about the idea of writing online? Start with this piece, Why You Should Write, it'll change your mind.


1. The Write of Passage Podcast


The Write of Passage Podcast is a 21 episode podcast series. It's packed with short, actionable lessons on how to improve your writing and grow your audience. The short and anecdotal nature of the episodes makes for easy listening while remaining extremely impactful.


If you're looking for an episode to get you hooked, listen to episode 6. It covers the important idea of producing more than consuming, something which can easily happen in a world where virtually anything can be accessed with the click of a button.


Listen here:






2. David Perell Essays


I've carefully chosen these essays as I believe that they'll be most impactful and useful as you begin your writing journey. David has plenty of essays on his website (you should read them all), where his growth as a writer over the past few years is clear to see. A testament to the fact that his advice works.


Five essays to get you started on the writing train:

a) One Big Idea

Find your niche, dive deep and become an expert. The more random the niche, the better. The rewards of diving deep on one big idea are far greater than you'd ever expect.


"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” - Bruce Lee


b) Audience First Products

The internet offers an abundance of economic opportunities. The key is knowing how to take advantage of these opportunities. This essay highlights the abundance of economic opportunities provided by the internet and presents actionable steps to begin taking advantage of these.


It focuses on David's three-step process to capitalize on the transition to the online economy:

  • Build an audience

  • Build a product

  • Scale the solution

This essay links well with David's tweetstorm about 'Becoming a Citizen of the Internet'.


c) What Should You Work On

People aren't deliberate enough about choosing what to work on. People who are extremely talented are working in the wrong place. The desire to conform leads to people pursuing careers which leave them feeling bored, unchallenged and underused.  This is troublesome because we need our greatest minds working on problems which wouldn't be solved without them.


This essay shows you why it's vital to be deliberate in choosing what you dedicate your time to. A fantastic essay that forces you to think whether you're using your talents in the best way possible.


d) The Go-For-It-Window

This essay is invaluable as it highlights the benefits of non-conformity and the benefit of constantly seeking opportunities. Opportunities are created by gaps between accelerating technologies and stagnating social norms. These opportunities are lucrative, but the window closes suddenly and you'll need to act quickly to take advantage of them.

e) How I Choose What to Read


Reading gives you access to the best minds of centuries past. David mentions in episode 5 of The Write of Passage Podcast that the best way to improve your output, is to improve your input. By following this guide on how to be deliberate in what you choose to read, you'll immediately improve what you consume and accelerate your pace of progress.


Some key take-aways:

  • Read books that the ideal version of yourself, 20 years from now, will wish that had read.

  • Trust the Lindy Effect. Read books that stand the test of time.

  • Read books that intimidate you. Have a bias for books that would push most people away.

  • Favour biographies, because they're about the people who weren't afraid of non-conformity and who changed the world.


3. Tweetstorms

These are short pieces on interesting topics, and which are certain to make you think.

a) Yin Yang Creativity


An interesting thread on creativity.


"Great artists are the antenna of society. They articulate the unknown. They reveal what we're blind to. That’s why art makes you see things in a new way."


b) Citizens of the Internet

If you're interested in the future of work, this is a must-read.


“The average quality of information is getting worse and worse. But the best stuff is getting better and better. Markets of abundance are simultaneously bad for the median consumer but good for conscious consumers. I call this the Paradox of Abundance."


c) Helping You Learn During Quarantine


A collection of fascinating reads, about a host of topics, to keep you learning while you may be in quarantine. This list is full of timeless recommendations.


4. Newsletters

Monday Musings

This is David's weekly newsletter which covers all the coolest things he's learnt each week. The content is great and the perspective from which it's written is even better. The newsletter is also the best way to know when he releases a new essay.


Friday Finds

This newsletter contains the best books, articles, videos, podcasts, and more, that David has found each week. It contains some gems!


This article contains only a fraction of what you can learn about writing and producing from David Perell. Have a look at his website to discover a new world of writing!

If you found value in this piece, you may like these 16 Tips for Better Writing from Dilbert Creator, Scott Adams. 

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