Case Study:

Packy McCormick

Packy McCormick - Write of Passage Case Study

“When you share what you write, you create a magnet that attracts people who are thinking about the same things as you.”

  • My personal blog is  packym.com 
  • My weekly newsletter is “Per My Last Email”.
  • One of my favorite blogs/online writers is Alex Danco
  • Best book I’ve read recently is The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
  • My current job title is undefined. I’m exploring starting an IRL community for curious people, partially inspired by my Write of Passage experience. Formerly, I was VP of Experience at Breather

Why did you first sign up for Write of Passage?

I saw a tweet from David about the course at the exact right time. I was looking for new ways to stretch my brain and think creatively, and I’ve always loved writing for myself, so Write of Passage seemed like the perfect way to practice, improve, and actually hit publish.

What did you like most about the course?

The people are what made the course. There’s something special about being part of a group that’s made up of the particular type of weirdo that would take an online writing course. Everyone in the group is putting themselves out there, trying to learn and grow. That creates a sense of comfortable accountability – comfort in knowing that you’re all riding the same rollercoaster, and accountability in realizing that others are expecting you to do the work alongside them.

“The people are what made the course. Everyone in the group is putting themselves out there, trying to learn and grow.”

What’s your #1 takeaway or lesson learned from WoP?

Your best writing will be a combination of your own unique interests, experiences, and perspective. It might take a little time to find your thing, but if you stick with it, you’ll find it.

What surprised you about the course?

Right up front, David and Tiago made some pretty big claims about the benefits of writing online. I was skeptical. There’s so much content out there already and I wasn’t sure that I had anything to add the conversation. What surprised me most about Write of Passage was that so many of their claims ended up being true.

In particular, the Serendipity Vehicle has proven to be a very real thing. When you share what you write, you create a magnet that attracts people who are thinking about the same things as you, who might have jobs in fields that you’re interested in, and who can accelerate your career.

How has Write of Passage impacted your creative output?

I went from zero creative output before Write of Passage to writing a newsletter weekly and longer blog posts once or twice per month. WoP got me in the habit of writing regularly, and it’s stuck.

“Write of Passage got me in the habit of writing regularly, and it stuck.”

Have you seen new opportunities as a result of your writing?

As I’m embarking on the process of starting a new company, writing has been the most helpful tool in my toolkit. At the earliest stage, starting a company is a lot like writing an essay. You start with a blank sheet of paper, a vague thesis, and an audience, and then you take in all sorts of evidence, ideas, models, and feedback as you try to turn that thesis into something coherent. Writing has given me a framework for doing that.

Equally importantly, more than half of my conversations with potential co-founders, customers and potential advisors have been because of my writing. Either those people have discovered what I’ve written themselves, or someone they know sends it to them when they realize we’re exploring the same things. I was not expecting this, but it’s been a major benefit.

What advice would you give to a new Write of Passage student?

It’s going to feel awkward to put up your blog, to ask people to subscribe to your newsletter, and to publish your first few posts. Keep doing it. Some people will love it, and the others simply won’t care. As you keep writing, you’ll attract more people who love what you write, and the people who don’t care will just stop reading. Or they’ll pop in occasionally, and at some point, as your writing evolves, they’ll reengage. Either way, the worst they can do is not read, so just keep writing.

“More than half of my conversations with potential co-founders, customers, and potential advisors has been because of my writing. It’s been a major benefit.”

Any final thoughts or recommendations about the course?

I was worried that I couldn’t find a unique Personal Monopoly off-the-bat. It seemed like everyone was interested in the things that I was interested in, and that those things had already been picked over. Just keep writing, reading things that interest you, and figuring out how to add your own unique input. As you write, you’ll have conversations with people, they’ll send you new things and spark new ideas, and you’ll continue to hone your perspective and voice. It’s not fast, but it compounds. At some point, you’ll look up and realize that you’ve found a topic or set of topics that you’ve gravitated towards and built expertise in, and that you’re adding new thoughts and insights to the conversation.