Screenshot Essays

February 14, 2024 • #

A recent tweet from David Perell prompted me to give this concept a shot.

I’ve done 3 screenshot essays in the past week, and it’s invigorating. I struggle going from messy, one-liner level notes, or jumbles of bullet points into longer form pieces. The screenshot format is fun because ideas don’t have to be big to contain enough substance to fit a screenshot. In fact, the more compact, the better. 200-250 words.

What I’ve noticed so far is it makes it much easier to remove the friction to expand on tiny seeds from my notebook. For example, right now I have a single bullet in my notes that says “Build for yourself”. If I wanted to write 1,000 words on that idea, it sounds like a big hill. I don’t even know where to start. But 200 words? I could mash that out. Then in the process of the 200ish words, the seed develops into a seedling. There’s some forward progress that kickstarts the creative engine. My last Res Extensa essay began as an expansion on a fleeting clipped quote.

There’s a lower barrier to producing them, easy to consume, easy to share, and importantly, easy to produce consistently.

Topics:   essays   writing