[The Art] Specificity Is The Secret
Why precision in your language matters (and how to make a fortune helping other people fix theirs).
I am a firm believer in the mantra: Volume Wins.
Volume solves most problems in life—especially at the beginning of any journey.
Want to get better at writing? Start by doing it a lot.
Want to get fit? Start by going to the gym more often.
Want to improve your relationship with your brother? Start by talking to him more often.
The benefit of volume, of course, is that it produces “more data points.” The more you do something, the more examples you have to examine—the more patterns you will recognize, and the more conclusions you will come to. For example: it’s very difficult to know how to improve at “writing Twitter Threads” if you’ve only written two Twitter Threads. But if you’ve written 100 of them, chances are, you can spot a few patterns between the ones that perform well (get lots of views & Likes and comments) versus the ones that don’t.
Over the past 3 years, I have taught & trained over 10,000 writers in our flagship program, Ship 30 for 30.
We started the program back in 2021, and to date we have run 19 cohorts—each cohort consisting of anywhere between 300 and upwards of 700 writers. That’s a lot of writers! Or, said differently, that’s a lot of volume. That’s a lot of explaining the same things over and over again, answering the same questions, going through the same examples, etc.
But whenever you are forced to do something repeatedly, you end up internalizing things about it you would never have noticed the first, or second, or even 10th time doing it.
Sometimes, the simplest lessons take the longest to soak in.
And, in my opinion, this lesson is one of the simplest, but one of the hardest, for writers to learn:
Specificity Is The Secret
Most writers don’t have a problem called: “I don’t have any ideas.”
(And if they do, there are plenty of tools, frameworks, and resources out there today that make it VERY easy to solve this problem. Typeshare’s AI-Powered Endless Idea Generator is a great example. Just type in the topic you want to write about and watch AI start suggesting topics.)
No, most writers have a SPECIFICITY problem. Meaning they know what they want to write about—broadly. But they haven’t yet built the muscle to reign in their thinking and force themselves to get more specific.
More specific, how?
In all sorts of ways!
But here’s the SPECIFIC answer to…
Get more specific in your non-fiction/actionable writing.
Get more specific in your fiction/storytelling.
Get more specific Naming & Claiming your category.
Let’s dive in:
The Specificity Checklist
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Art & Business of Writing to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.