Case Study:

Vincent Barr

Vincent Barr - Write of Passage Case Study

“Writing publicly converts rather quickly into serendipity. For me, that means new friendships, a writing community, professional alliances, and reconnecting with people whom I haven’t spoken with for 5 or more years thanks to my newsletter.”

  • One of my favorite blogs/online writers is Slate Star Codex
  • Best book I’ve read recently is Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, or Crucial 
  • My personal blog / EM newsletter link is www.vincentbarr.com; https://vincentbarr.substack.com/
  • My current job title is Founder and CEO of Stokefield, a consultancy that helps companies grow through marketing, analytics, and experimentation. 

Why did you first sign up for Write of Passage?

I signed up for Write of Passage after completing (most of) Tiago’s Forte’s Building a Second Brain. During the course, David did a live demonstration of his approach to writing – from outlining to drafting content to pulling in quotes and concepts – and the entire process of going from passive information capture to active content creation, instantaneously, just clicked. 

It was brilliant, and I wanted to move from consumption to creation as quickly as possible. 

What did you like most about the course?  

Receiving quality feedback early and often from a group of smart, motivated people. 

Attending the live sessions was also really valuable – I workshopped ideas, met interesting people whom I’ve built relationships with offline, and gained a running start on writing assignments for the week.

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

Before writing a new post, get clear on what question I intend to answer.

What surprised you about the course?

I was surprised by the range of industries, job functions, and writing domains represented by students. It’s a really fascinating, helpful community – and it’s not all tech people. 

How has Write of Passage impacted your creative output?

Write of Passage led me to start a newsletter, improve important areas of my website, and publish five posts in the course of four weeks. I accepted ‘good enough’ over ‘perfect’ knowing that the feedback I’ll receive and benefit I’ll gain from producing a lot of ‘good enough’ work will be far more helpful than one-time feedback on the ‘perfect’ post that may or may not ever come to fruition. 

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

Yes, writing publicly converts rather quickly into serendipity, as David mentioned.

For me, that means new friendships, a writing community I didn’t have prior to taking the course, professional alliances, and reconnecting with people whom I haven’t spoken with for 5 or more years thanks to my newsletter. 

I’ve met with four ‘strangers’ one-on-one from the Internet, each of whom shared interests, goals, and challenges with writing. 

Additionally, I met a sub-community of Write of Passers in New York City intellectual stimulation that wasn’t oriented around work while also not feeling like a stuffy networking ‘mixer.’

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

Follow the curriculum, lower your internal bar for quality, optimize for output, and attend the live sessions (even if you haven’t completed the assigned work).

Any final thoughts or recommendations about the course?

Create time for the course in your schedule before it begins.