The concept of learning in public has grown a lot in 2020. I sort of do it with this blog, but the idea of a “digital garden” has been a big way that people are taking their learning public. Anne-Laure Le Cunff has a great post about that, along with example of digital gardens that she likes to follow.
This leads to an excellent video I saw from Doug Neill, where he unpacks some of Elizabeth Gilbert’s thoughts (author of “Eat, Pray, Love”) on learning in public. Here is his video:
He references the full interview that Elizabeth had on the Chase Jarvis show, which you can watch here.
Doug’s summary included four great insights:
Keep the distance short between learning and sharing
When you learn something new, sharing it relatively soon after can be a good practice. It forces you to unpack what you’ve learned and try to gain insights from it.
Learning in public keeps you tethered to reality
As Elizabeth says, learning in public creates “compassionate alignment with reality”, because you’ll tend to treat yourself like you’d treat a close friend. You’ll give encouragement when needed, talk them down when needed, and help keep things on a more focused path.
Have more curiosity than fear
It can be scary to share things in public, not knowing how others might think. That fear will never completely go away, but you just need to have more curiosity than fear to keep going. Curiosity drives advancement, so don’t give it up too easily.
Focus on the path
Lastly, Elizabeth shares that she feels she has “responsibility to this path, not to readers or followers”. If you strive to write for your followers, you’ll stop being so curious and instead have a set direction to go, which isn’t the point. Praise and criticism are both vapor, so just stick to your path.
If you have three minutes, check out Doug’s video. When you have a spare hour, it’s worth your time to watch Chase’s full interview with Elizabeth. If you’re ready to start learning in public with your own blog, this short course can help you quickly get started.