Before doing something, ask yourself why you are doing it. What is your rational purpose? What do you hope to accomplish? If you are successful, in what way or ways will the world be different? Write that down. Then assemble your tools, whether arguments, assets, team members, or whatever.
I’ll digress for a moment to recommend some philosophy to you, not merely so you’ll be better read, but so you might help yourself to focus and be more successful. As a youth and then again as a young man, I read and learned from the Stoic philosophers, notably Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. Their main works are short, and you could read them in a few hours. (I’d start with Marcus’s Meditations and then read Epictetus’s Handbook [sometimes cited with the Greek name, Enchiridion]; there’s more from Epictetus if you’d like, but that short book may be good enough.)
They teach that one should know what one’s rational purpose is, and go where one chooses to go, rather than where one is carried. That also applies to writing an essay, an op-ed, a blog post, or a book: rather than starting with a blank computer screen and diving into writing, you should start by outlining or listing your purposes, your arguments, and your evidence, and then building your essay around those elements.
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