The hottest Writing Substack posts right now

And their main takeaways
Top Literature Topics
Construction Physics β€’ 18999 implied HN points β€’ 19 Feb 24
  1. The author's writing process involves mainly two types of posts: explanation-driven and exploratory. They often write to understand complex topics themselves and then share their findings.
  2. Extensive research is a crucial part of the author's writing process. They gather information from a variety of sources like books, dissertations, and online resources.
  3. The author follows a structured approach starting from research, reading, and thinking, then moves on to compressing and structuring content, before finally drafting, editing, and posting their work.
Rob Henderson's Newsletter β€’ 3541 implied HN points β€’ 18 Feb 24
  1. The author shares their journey from financial struggle to success, highlighting how generosity from readers helped him transition to writing full-time.
  2. Pre-ordering a book can significantly impact its success by influencing bookstore orders, placement, and potential to become a bestseller.
  3. The book "Troubled" contains personal narratives about foster care, social class, and challenging societal norms, aiming to promote important conversations in the culture.
Rob Henderson's Newsletter β€’ 4318 implied HN points β€’ 15 Feb 24
  1. The key to writing is having a point of view and putting in the effort consistently, regardless of any specific method or process.
  2. Creativity involves both insight and persistence; don't underestimate the value of persistent effort in generating creative ideas.
  3. Writing regularly may involve accepting that initial drafts may not be perfect, embracing bad writing as part of the process, and persisting through writer's block.
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Why is this interesting? β€’ 1327 implied HN points β€’ 20 Feb 24
  1. Paul Theroux emphasizes the ease of staying updated on world events via online news sources and the convenience of assessing contradictions.
  2. Theroux recommends starting with Shakespeare for reading and emphasizes the satisfaction of diving into his works.
  3. Theroux prefers trains over planes for travel and advocates for road trips for the sense of freedom they offer.
bookbear express β€’ 148 implied HN points β€’ 23 Feb 24
  1. Watching content like the Reesa Teesa TikTok series on faster speed while working out can be a fun and engaging way to consume information.
  2. Balancing structured writing times with breaks for chores, reading, and exercise can help maintain productivity and prevent distractions like endless social media scrolling.
  3. Creating personal routines and boundaries, even without external accountability like meetings, can help manage time effectively and avoid unproductive habits like excessive online browsing.
bookbear express β€’ 715 implied HN points β€’ 20 Feb 24
  1. Making things is hard and consistency is key. Practice constantly, read, and stay interested in topics you love.
  2. Accept that the creative process is challenging, but that's a good thing. Embrace the difficulties and keep pushing forward.
  3. Being stuck in the middle of a project is a natural part of the process. Learn to appreciate and navigate this phase to succeed in creating.
Experimental History β€’ 19425 implied HN points β€’ 16 Jan 24
  1. Making a living on the internet doesn't have to involve creating 'slop' content like clickbait or scams.
  2. Success online can come from creating honest, original, and interesting content that people genuinely enjoy and share.
  3. Supporting creators financially for content you enjoy can help create a better internet ecosystem and encourage more quality content.
Adjacent Possible β€’ 102 implied HN points β€’ 23 Feb 24
  1. Deep dive conversations about craft in writing and research are now more accessible through platforms like podcasts and YouTube.
  2. Software tools like NotebookLM and techniques shared by authors like Tiago Forte can revolutionize the way we organize research material and notes.
  3. Integration of tools like ReadWise's 'Export to Docs' feature can enhance the ability to work with research material and create a 'second brain' for storing important ideas.
Patti Smith β€’ 10554 implied HN points β€’ 24 Jan 24
  1. The author reflects on the joy of learning penmanship and practicing handwriting with dipping pens and ink in school.
  2. The author's dream was to write like the authors of the Declaration of Independence and copied it line by line at different points in their life.
  3. The post celebrates National Handwriting Day and mentions a meditation on the importance and beauty of handwriting.
The Forgotten Side of Medicine β€’ 6289 implied HN points β€’ 28 Jan 24
  1. Writing from the heart is important in creating connections with readers and conveying the intended message effectively.
  2. Prioritizing quality over quantity in any work can lead to deeper satisfaction and better outcomes.
  3. Clear and relatable communication is key in teaching and writing, ensuring the audience understands and engages with the content.
Counter Craft β€’ 1782 implied HN points β€’ 11 Feb 24
  1. Finishing your writing projects is crucial - don't get stuck tinkering, but complete and move on to the next
  2. The best writing advice is often simple - just finish your work before worrying about other aspects like querying agents or publicity
  3. Failure is part of the process - finishing means making mistakes, learning from them, and improving your writing over time
Story Club with George Saunders β€’ 77 implied HN points β€’ 22 Feb 24
  1. Differentiate between being 'sentimental' and being 'emotion-rich' in writing. Strive for genuine emotion in your work while avoiding unearned sentimentality.
  2. Your upbringing doesn't dictate the quality of your writing. Use your life experiences, no matter how 'normal,' to create impactful and powerful storytelling.
  3. Great writing comes from finding the sacred in everyday moments. Embrace the idea that every detail matters and has the potential for literary significance.
Shades of Greaves β€’ 1946 implied HN points β€’ 06 Feb 24
  1. There are various paths to becoming a professional writer, such as pursuing a career in novel writing, freelancing, television writing, or teaching writing.
  2. Writing professionally requires patience and perseverance; it is a challenging, unpredictable, but rewarding journey.
  3. To excel as a writer, you need to master the craft, be willing to break and rewrite rules, and navigate the complexities of the modern publishing landscape.
Culture Study β€’ 2051 implied HN points β€’ 28 Jan 24
  1. The author shares about fulfilling Trans Santa gifts with donations and the impact it had, showcasing the power of community support.
  2. The post discusses upcoming content on resistance to the Airbnb Space decorating style and invites readers to share their experiences with alternative rental aesthetics.
  3. The author mentions enjoying reading a fantasy series and gathering various links and recommendations to share with paid subscribers.
The Algorithmic Bridge β€’ 860 implied HN points β€’ 06 Feb 24
  1. Generative AI technology is often used for negative purposes like spamming, cheating, and faking.
  2. The democratization of creative freedom through AI may not be beneficial as it can lead to misuse by those who don't truly value it.
  3. Despite the potential of AI to revolutionize the world, its primary current use is for mundane and simplistic tasks, highlighting the complexities and limitations of humanity.
CRAFT TALK β€’ 2338 implied HN points β€’ 23 Jan 24
  1. Having side projects can help keep momentum if feeling frustrated with the main project.
  2. Sometimes working on a lighter side project can provide a break from emotionally heavy writing.
  3. Sidepiece projects can evolve into something more significant and meaningful.
Justin E. H. Smith's Hinternet β€’ 898 implied HN points β€’ 04 Feb 24
  1. The author believes writing is not a lifestyle to be celebrated, but rather a bad habit.
  2. They express frustration with the cultural recursion and excessive focus on writing within platforms like Substack.
  3. The author emphasizes the importance of conveying a unique sensibility through writing rather than focusing on writing rituals and advice.
The Garden of Forking Paths β€’ 2614 implied HN points β€’ 16 Jan 24
  1. Writing a book involves intense research and a challenging writing process.
  2. Getting a book deal can differ based on the type of publishing and requires convincing an agent and publisher.
  3. Success of a book is uncertain and depends on various factors like author platform and public outreach.
Tracing Woodgrains β€’ 884 implied HN points β€’ 03 Feb 24
  1. The author experienced a sudden surge in attention and opportunities after posting on Twitter.
  2. There is a struggle to balance writing between Substack and Twitter due to differences in reach and community building.
  3. The author values deep investigative writing but finds it challenging to dedicate time to it alongside other commitments.
Between a Rock and a Card Place β€’ 353 implied HN points β€’ 11 Feb 24
  1. Success is not always about winning or creating hits, but about the quality and impact of the work you do.
  2. Don't let pressure hinder your creativity; approach tasks with curiosity and a beginner's mindset.
  3. Embrace that not every project will be a success, as outcomes are often beyond your control, so focus on creating meaningful work instead.
Yassine Meskhout β€’ 393 implied HN points β€’ 09 Feb 24
  1. The writer turned on paid subscriptions, but values being read over being paid and doesn't plan to put writing behind a paywall.
  2. The writer mentions not needing money due to getting paid well in their job, expressing gratitude for readers' interests and potential financial support for more writing time.
  3. The writer's writing schedule is irregular due to their job, but hopes it can become financially sustainable in the future to write full-time.