What do I know?

Posted on (updated Sep 19, 2023)

I recently started an email newsletter helping people improve their English. I manage the content and list on ConvertKit (← affiliate link), which is a fantastic tool. Their motto is highly motivating: “teach everything you know”.

Few things in life give me as much energy as helping others become better at their craft. Yet in an industry plagued with Impostor Syndrome, it is easy to think that what we know is not worth sharing. If we consider something easy, everybody else must also find it easy.

Don’t shy away from sharing something because you think it is “too basic”. Many people might already know it, yet every day is somebody’s first day with whatever you know a lot about. To them, it is exactly this basic skillset that is most valuable to them, as it will help them advance to the next level.

Over on Medium, you can find thousands of “think pieces” meant to be thought-provoking and deep. They are usually variations of “but have you thought about this?” Their extensiveness seems impressive, and they might have their moments. That does not mean you need to be equally long-winded to be applicable and useful to a big audience.

The articles I refer to most often in my daily work are the ones that explain one small thing well. I have written code for almost two decades now. I still look up how to clone arrays in JavaScript and how to undo a Git-commit so often these pages are in my favorites. The same is true of this Gist explaining how to highlight code snippets in Keynote. When cooking, I often refer to this page of measurement conversions so I can figure out how much a cup of flour is. These pages are short and simple, but still immensely valuable to me.

Sharing knowledge does not need hundreds or even thousands of words. Others might have written about a topic you know a lot about countless times before. Your readers might have come across an explanation of something before. But unless you write about it, they will never have read it with your unique spin on it. It might be your explanation that makes it click for them. Your approach might be the one they needed to finally understand something.

Don’t question whether something is advanced enough to share it. Don’t worry if that knowledge already exists on the internet. The only question you need to ask yourself is this:

What do I know?

If there is something you can share, share it. Follow ConvertKit’s motto and teach everything you know. You don’t need to write a book about it. The only important aspect is that you put it out in the world.

When trying to find topics to write about, think about what you already do every day and tell your peers about it. When looking for inspiration, look no further than what you already know a lot about:

  • If you work with code, what are some improvements you often point out to others in your team?
  • If you spend a lot of time in meetings, what is something you do to make them more effective?
  • If you organize events, what is one helpful step you always include in your planning?
  • If you manage a product, how do you focus on what is important?
  • If you teach others, how do you package information to make it more understandable?
  • If you are a designer, how do you find and organize inspiration?
  • If you have an interesting hobby, how can others get started with it?
  • If you are in a relationship, how do you make sure you and your partner are happy?
  • If you are a parent, what is one thing you wish you knew before your little one was born?

We all need to share more of what we know. It does not matter what you write about. It does not need to be perfect. You might not think it is valuable. But someone out there will.

Now go write about what you know.

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