Wisereads Vol. 38 โ€” How to Write a Book with David Kadavy, Peter Attia's longevity advice, and more

Happy Mothers Day ๐ŸŒธ, everyone! Last week, we shared James Joyce's Dubliners, a collection of short stories on middle-class Irish life. This week, we're sharing the entirety of How to Write a Book by David Kadavy, a short, fun read with tips to tackle your first book.

Keep reading to add to your Reader account below ๐Ÿ‘‡

Most highlighted Articles of the week


The Battle for Attention

Nathan Heller ยท The New Yorker

Nathan Heller investigates attention through the eyes of the Order of the Third Bird, a secret group that gathers to meditate on artwork. "In its objective state, van Gogh’s 'Starry Night' is daubs of paint on a canvas… It is only when I give the canvas my attention (bringing to it the cargo of my particular past, my knowledge of the world, my way of thinking and seeing) that it becomes an art work... an art work is neither a physical thing nor a viewer’s mental image of it but something in between, created in attentive space."


A Useful Productivity Measure?

James Shore ยท jamesshore.com

As a VP at OpenSesame, James Shore measures developer productivity based on the ratio of time spent on value-add work compared to muda. "Like any engineering organization, we spend some percent of our time on fixing bugs, performing maintenance, and other things that are necessary but don’t add value from a customer or user perspective. The Japanese term for this is muda."


How I Think About Debt

Morgan Housel ยท Collab Fund

In studying Japanese businesses that have endured through centuries, Same as Ever author Morgan Housel reframes the impact of debt. "As debt increases, you narrow the range of outcomes you can endure in life."

Most highlighted YouTube Video of the week


The Possibilities of AI [Entire Talk] - Sam Altman (OpenAI)

Stanford eCorner

Sam Altman, speaking at his alma mater, shared advice for young adults and his predictions on AI's transformative potential. "In the short term things change less than we think, as with other major technologies. In the long term, I think they change more than we think and I am worried about what rate society can adapt to something so new and how long it'll take us to figure out the new social contract."

Most highlighted Twitter Thread of the week


This is Peter Attia

Ben Smith

Outlive author and longevity expert Peter Attia's advice on training for a "Centenarian Decathlon" comes together in a bite-sized thread curated by Ben Smith. "Getting older doesn't mean you have to decline physically. Exercise not only delays actual death… But also prevents both cognitive and physical decline better than any other intervention."

Most highlighted PDF of the week

Memo to "The Unit" Writing Staff

Dave Mamet

Dave Mamet, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, once penned a memo to the writers of the now-cancelled show "The Unit," urging them to prioritize drama over mere information in their scenes. "How does one strike the balance between withholding and vouchsafing information? That is the essential task of the department. And the ability to do that is what separates you from the less species in their blue suits."

Hand-picked book of the week


How to Write a Book

David Kadavy

Having written a few books and sold over 100,000 copies, our friend David Kadavy has some formidable writing experience. His short guide, How to Write a Book, distills this knowledge into actionable tips to help you unlock the book in your head: stop fantasizing, lose your inner critic, and build a tiny daily writing habit.

"One of my proudest accomplishments from becoming a writer is getting comfortable with writing poorly. It can be paralyzing trying to get those first few words onto the page, because your inner critic is laughing so loudly. By telling yourself, I can always improve this, you remind yourself that you will take a second, third, or fourth pass at your writing. You kill perfection paralysis."

David is generously sharing the entirety of How to Write a Book with the Readwise community. If you'd like to support his work further, you can purchase a paperback copy or check out his other books, including Mind Management, Not Time Management and The Heart to Start.

Handpicked RSS feed of the week



Deb Liu, Ancestry CEO and founder of Facebook Marketplace, delivers career coaching in her Substack, Perspectives. From The Danger of "What's Next?": "Next will come in its own time, but now is more important. As a striver and planner, it is hard for me to not keep pushing for more. Learning contentment and peace has been a process. But over the years, I have learned to quiet that constant ambition in favor of seeing the absolute joy in where I am."