Ayush Chaturvedi starts most of his days with South Indian filter coffee and three hours of writing. He usually just writes morning pages and prepares his two newsletters, but in April 2021, he took on a different challenge.
For ten years, he had been a content consumer on Twitter, but he started creating his own content about a year ago. And in April, he wanted to take his content creation to a higher level. That’s why he decided to participate in the #30daysinpublic challenge with Kevon Cheung.
Initially, he wasn’t sure what to create, so he started doing some research inspired by Arvid Kahl’s book. He found that some of the best-selling online courses are about Twitter or habits. So why not combine both? The idea for Seven Habits of Highly Successful Tweeple was born. Read more about this decision and all the rest of his writing process in this thread.
One of the constraints of Kevon’s challenge is that it only lasts 30 days. That’s very little time to write a book. Despite this lack of time, Ayush managed to publish his book on 21 May 2021.
Is he delighted with the product? No, but part of the challenge is to let go of perfectionism. The biggest goal was to create something valuable. And that he did.
Now his book is published, he’ll spend more time improving on it and adding additional content for a second edition.
Twitter is a popular topic for online courses. Many people are obsessed with growing their follower count and generating passive income. So everyone with a couple of followers and some online income has created a course about it. (I plead guilty too.)
But Ayush still found a gap in this already satiated market. Almost no one talks about the Twitter users that don’t want to make money on Twitter. So what about them?
Twitter is the network of the future. It’s the place where anything of value or importance is happening right now. From the big shots to small independent creators, everyone shares what they’re working on and how they’re doing it. Twitter is the perfect place to test ideas and get quick feedback.
Thanks to Twitter, connecting with like-minded people across the world has become a piece of cake. It’s the perfect networking tool.
But Twitter is also an incredible place to learn. The best people in each domain are sharing their insights and ideas in short messages. You can learn anything you want for free.
So Twitter isn’t only for people looking to make money or follow the latest news. It’s also the place where creators, networkers and learners meet.
The chapters of Seven Habits of Highly Successful Tweeple represented by Sathyanand.
One month from start to finish
Writing a book in 30 days isn’t a walk in the park. It took a lot of effort, and yes, in the end, Ayush was feeling burned out. Doing research, writing, editing and publishing in one month is just too much.
But it was enough to launch the first edition and test the market. Now, he feels a lot more comfortable sharing his journey and talking about himself in public.
“Writing is thinking. Everyone should write. You’re not using your full potential if you don’t write. You can have so many more great ideas if you write. Even if no one reads it…“
Besides, without this challenge, it might have taken him half a year to write the same book, or he might never have written it at all.
Having to provide daily updates to his community gave him a daily reminder to make progress. There was no room for procrastination or complacency. The world was holding him accountable.
Interviews are challenging but rewarding
Ayush is an active Twitter user and he’s built some audience of his own, but that doesn’t necessarily make him an authority. In fact, no single person knows enough to tell you everything you need to know about networking, creating and consuming on Twitter. That’s why Ayush reached out to over 50 successful “Tweeple”.
Contacting these people was his biggest challenge; He is well aware that it’s paramount to give before you ask, but there was just no time for that. Without any previous relationship, he sent messages to some of his Twitter heroes. And as Twitter has such a great community, about fifteen people were happy enough to share their knowledge via written interviews.
He sent them all about five general questions and a few personal ones without a deadline. He wanted to keep it as easy as possible for them.
In hindsight, not setting a deadline wasn’t the best idea. He didn’t want to push it, but several people didn’t send their answers in time to be included in the book. Fortunately, there’s going to be an updated version.
His favourite reply was by Damon Cheng. Here it goes:
- How do you maintain a healthy relationship with Twitter and how do you not get addicted to it?
- I only use it on the toilet and in between tasks.
Tips, tools and secrets
Ayush used Notion for most of the writing process. He used it to track his #30daysinpublic, manage his outline, and do the actual writing.
The book, which is only available in PDF, was created with Canva. Even though he’s not dissatisfied with it, he’s looking into other tools for the second edition.
More interestingly, he’s the first author to admit extensive use of AI. He used www.conversion.ai and www.copy.ai for some of the landing page content and to rewrite the chapter intros. These tools improve his sentences but caution is needed. AI is fun to experiment with, but you always need human revision to avoid any blatant errors.
- Tweeting makes other writing easier. It teaches you how to be to the point, especially when writing for people with short attention spans.
- Write every day. Even if it’s just in your journal.
- Read a lot. Writing is like driving: if there’s not enough gas in the tank, you won’ get far. Consume quality content. Learn consciously and unconsciously. You don’t necessarily need to read books about writing. Read books that are well-written: not the classics, but books written in the internet age. Morgan housel, Nicolas Cole or Mark Manson, for example.
- You’re not only competing with other writers. But also with TikTok, Youtube and other social media. You need to have patience, because it’s going to be complicated. You have to love it and you need to be ready to do it for the sake of doing it.
And his secret
“I never give up. I keep showing up. Even if it takes 100 books to reach my audience or make a difference, I will write 100 books.”
It doesn’t matter if he fails. He has faith in the process and will keep going.
So what does this mean for Ayush’s future?
As I said, Ayush is working on a second edition. He wants to improve the design, add more content and research more Twitter tools.
He also has 15 to 20 ideas for future books, but he will wait a bit longer to write one until he has a bigger audience and a better sense of what they need.
In the meantime, he wants to become a full-time consultant and/or freelancer. Of course, he’ll also continue writing his two newsletters.
His first one, The Wisdom Project is almost 95 weeks old. Still, he keeps fine-tuning it until finding the perfect balance between mental models, cognitive biases, living a fulfilling life and thinking critically. For his second newsletter, Listen up! IH, he breaks down essential podcasts from and for indie hackers.