The Shippers is an interview series featuring #ship30for30 alum who have completed at least one cohort and published at least 26/30 days during it. You’ll meet a new creator, hear how Ship 30 impacted how they create online, and what they took away from the experience.
Today we meet Ev Chapman, a prolific creator and self-professed lover of systems.
If this interview helps you decide to jump aboard a Ship 30 for 30 cohort please consider signing up with this link as it helps me cover the (admittedly small) cost of putting these together.
The following transcript is machine-generated by Rev.com and cleaned up using Grammarly.com. It isn’t perfect, but it is as good as it is going to get.
Introduce yourself and the main topics of your writing
Tim: So, yeah. So now we can move on to the scheduled programming, which is I wonder if you could start out just by introducing yourself and then kind of in terms, especially of the main types of topics that you like to write about online.
Ev: Yeah. Cool. So my name’s EV and I write most days online and mostly on Twitter, but a little bit on medium as well. And I write mostly about creator economy note-taking for creators and how you can kind of create a, or like create effort effortlessly through yep. Taking notes. And they’re really about designing the kind of life that you wanna live.
Tim: And can you talk a little bit about how those things kind of became the things that you wanted to write about? Like I found that the buckets weren’t immediately obvious to me, how did you get to it?
Ev: No, definitely not. Like, I think when I first came in and I thought I was gonna talk about mindfulness and maybe a little bit of self-improvement but I actually find, I mostly write about things that I’m doing at that time. So like I, and I, I love to write about processes and, and that kind of thing. To learn how to create online. I started to actually write about that and now I feel like it’s, it’s a little bit of a meta topic cuz I’m creating content about creating content. So it’s a little weird, but I find that whenever I’m actually doing something, the learnings from that, I usually am writing about that particular thing. So I write a little bit about launching products cuz I’ve done that. Or if I redesign my pantry, I wrote about that. Like it’s like random things. So I think like for me it works in whatever is my focus kind of at that time I tend to write about those things and that becomes my buckets.
Tim: Yeah. Is that because it helps you kind of clarify what you’re doing like or yeah, something like that.
Ev: I think so I think there are probably two parts to it. One, I think I’m just a massive oversharer. So like I just like if I’m doing something, I think it’s interesting. So I’ll share about it. And then also I’ve realized along the way that it actually helps me to clarify my thinking and to clarify what I’m doing and people, I mean, people find it interesting when I share about it.
Tim: Yeah. Sweet. And one of the things that I’ve kind of tried to learn about or taken in mind is just, I think about like things like, and it’s related is like the idea of like, did you exhaust or something like that is like when you can kind of use the things that you’re doing anyway to create content, then it’s like that effortless idea or less effort because it’s like, I was already gonna do this and you know, maybe I can tell some people about some things about it.
Ev: Yeah, I think so. And I, I read halfway through last year I read Austin clown’s book, show your work. And I think it just confirmed things that I was already doing. So if I, I regularly like, I mean like yesterday morning I was just going through my list of writings and I just screenshot, oh, like this is my breadcrumb method. And like, you know, I leave little breadcrumbs for myself on, you know, what needs to be done next on a piece. Yep. And so I just like really simple things like that I think, oh, that looks interesting. And so I just, you know, that’s the kind of thing that I got in the habit of sharing and I think it works because you’re in the middle of doing things. And so you are not trying to like to sit down and say, okay, what’s my content calendar this
What was it that got you over the line joining ship30for30?
Tim: Week. Yeah. That’s it. Yeah. That’s it, it’s like a little bit more flexible maybe or like, yeah. So can you talk a little bit about like, what was about shift 30 and then like when you looked at it and said maybe, maybe not, what was it that eventually got you to like, you know, hit the, hit the purchase button and yeah? And get, and get, get the party started.
Ev: Yeah, I think I had the, I had a few friends that we were doing a 20-day blogging challenge in January and I think I got to 14 days and like literally, no one was looking at these blogs except for these, you know, 10 other people who were, who were doing the challenge, which is nice. But like, it was really hard. Like it, it felt like when they say publishing into the void and I’ve had, I’ve had various blog projects in the past. Like, you know, I’ve, I’ve been creating online in some way or another for about 10 years, blogs I’ve logged for a year. I’ve started a podcast, all sorts of things, but not as I could never get over like those first few weeks or kind of those first few months of creating and that’s it stuck. And so then while I was writing these blogs, I’m on Twitter and I just started seeing these essays pop up.
Ev: Sure. and I saw one and then you see another and you’re like, what is happening? And so eventually that led me back to Dicky and then, and then, and then Cole and, and so, so halfway through, I was like, oh, this looks really interesting. And the essays were actually really interesting to me as well. Yeah. And I thought, oh, and so I said to a couple of my friends, Hey, have you seen this thing? Shit 30. I think I’m going, I think I’m gonna join. And they were really like, why would you pay money to write? And so I was like, I don’t know, but I’m just gonna do it. Like maybe, that will be the thing that makes me actually finish something and actually feel like I’m writing. And so then yeah, I, I ended up, I don’t know, I think I missed the whole of the onboarding week. I was super busy at work. And so then straight like and it’s actually a year from Yeah,
Tim: Nice one, happy anniversary
Ev: I know, right. For the longest time, I’ve ever written online. Like everything else. I lost steam, like, you know, a few weeks or a few months in.
Tim: Do you have thoughts about that? Like, like I, I feel like one of the things that maybe people get put off by is that idea of like, I don’t know, somehow, somehow there’s this idea that it has become, I think kind of common is like, once you start blogging, you’re kind of on the hook for, to blog every day forever. And then, and that’s kind of daunting and also its kind of like, seems like the motivation to start doing it and the motivation to continue doing it has to be kind of different but related or something. I don’t know. What do you think?
Ev: Yeah, I, I think I, I do like, I mean, after doing it for a year, you, you go through the dips where you think like, oh, like, why am I doing this? Like, you know, especially writing every day, these days, I tend to just write on weekdays. But I think one, I think you have to find the thing that you love doing. Like, you have to love the actual practice of it. So I actually do really enjoy writing the atomic essays. Yeah. And so even if no one reads them, I think, you know, it still, it still gets me thinking about something clear. And so I’m benefiting anyway. So I think that definitely helps, but there’s still this other side to it. And maybe it’s less in the atomic world, but like, definitely like I’ve seen a few YouTubers, like have to kind of the way that they upload because it is a grind at the end of the day. Like there’s, there’s something about the creator economy that is like, like you, you are on the grind every day after that. Like, and, and once you start to grow and, and then people start to really want your content, you are even more
Ev: Yeah, they’re really waiting for this God to like, I mean, that’s why I stopped doing this because I, I just can’t keep up with that kind of thing. Whereas I love the atomic essays. I feel like it benefits me as well as benefiting others. So it’s easy to keep going.
Ev: I, I don’t think I’ve found a perfect balance for it. Like, you know, trying to just balance the daily stuff and maybe taking a break and that kind of thing.
What was the technique, tip, framework, or hack that helped you the most?
Tim: So you mentioned, the kind of format of the essay itself is compelling to you. As, as a way of distilling a thought down, I’m wondering like, you know, as part of the, the shift 30, there’s like a bunch of techniques and tools and ideas that the creators share and that discuss. Can you talk a little bit about looking at what you’ve learned? Is there something you’ve taken away as far as frameworks or techniques or things that have been impactful for how you create and think about creating?
Ev: Yeah, I think, if you look at most of my essays, they follow the one free one formula from, from Cole. So they always start with one, one sentence, a three-line paragraph, and then one sentence, and then usually I do three bullet points and then I’m out. And I don’t know why. I, once I discovered that formula, literally now I just think like that, but I have an idea of like, yeah, got it. Okay. Three points, duh. So now I like, and that actually, I think there are people who I think when you first come in and let’s say you’re used to writing long blog posts or that kind of thing. I think you struggle. I know I tried to struggle to like, figure it down, get everything into that essay. And you’re like, I’ve just tried to like put all these words in, but like, I think I’ve now just thought I, okay. It’s just one idea. Like, and I’m just trying to get clear on this one thing. And so I think, yeah, I just, I just kind of have fallen into that. I don’t really use any, I don’t actually know if any other formulas probably have like 10 others or something.
Tim: There’s a bunch. Yeah.
Ev: Yeah. I don’t, I just use 1, 3, 1. That’s it.
Tim: That’s cool. And wonder what, as you said, you’ve kind of started thinking and thinking a bit like that. Like yeah. What is that like? How does that shape your life? Like when you, when an idea pops in your head and that shape, what is, what does that mean for you?
Ev: I think it it’s, it’s kind of become subconscious in that like when I’m wrangling an idea, I’m like thinking about it, and usually, I’ll just do a big brain dump. Like, when I actually like to have an idea, I just, spend however long, just dumping it all out and then as I then edit and then go to publish it, it just ends up with like, I I’m like as I’m kind of looking at it. Okay. Put this here, put that there. And then suddenly it just comes out. Okay. Here are my three points. Got it. I’m really clear on that. And that’s, I think the process I love in that, like, I’ve got this like, like just like a stream of consciousness, like brain dump and, and then it’s almost like I’m taking all of those puzzle pieces and then trying to formulate them into something that makes sense.
Ev: Yeah. which ends up looking like a 1 31 formula and, and three different points and, and that kind of thing. Yeah. And I find the boundaries really help. Otherwise, I could, you know, I mean, I could write forever on something. Whereas like the, I think the constraints and the boundaries help me to then to go, okay, what is the main point I’m trying to convey? That’s like my first line. And then how, what’s the context that that’s kind of my, my first paragraph and then going into the different, like points from
Tim: There. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. Being able to apply models is just so powerful. Right? Like the sucking, you have a useful model. I mean, like, let’s say everything’s a nail. If all you got is a hammer, I’m not saying all you got is a hammer, but definitely, when you have the thing that you can turn around and like to use to simplify it’s, it’s, it’s a pretty magical feeling. Eh,
Ev: I think so. And I think it takes all of the decision fatigue away. So if you know, you’re gonna write an atomic essay and, you know, that’s the formula you don’t have to then think about, well, how am I gonna do this? How long’s it gonna be? And I think that’s really the key. If you want to then start to be prolific with essays or with what, you know, I don’t think so, it doesn’t even have to be essays. It’s like, okay. Yeah. Like if you’re gonna do, you know, interviews like this, or if you’re gonna do YouTube videos, like, like fit it into the same thing, it’s all so good through your audience, because then your audience knows what to expect from you. And they’re not like getting all these different things. Yeah.
Tim: Yeah. And I guess too, like, I, I think you just said this and I just wanna affirm what you just said about like yeah. The 1, 3, 1, and the various other things worked probably just as well in a video format as they do in a written format. I mean, there would be some tweaks that you’d have to do, but it’s totally, totally doable that way. Hey.
Ev: Yeah, I think so. I think it’s really just an idea framework in the end. Yeah. Yeah. And like I’m keen to actually maybe do some, like, get back onto TikTok
If you were to start from the beginning again knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
Tim: Nice one. So if you were to go back to where you were at the beginning of your ship, 30 kinds of experience or whatever knowing what you know now, what would you do differently as far as your participation and the experience?
Ev: Thank you. That’s a really good question. Like, oh, what I do too, I, I probably, I definitely would engage more in the beginning. It probably took me. I, I reckon definitely like my first cohort, all I did was just put my head down and, and just learn to write. But I think what has been the most rewarding is meeting people, and having conversations, like coming out of my shell a little bit more. I think I choose to write because I’m much more of an introvert than I am an extrovert. But, but also like you, I think you get a lot of like a lot of wind in yourselves when you have good conversations with people. Yeah.
Tim: For sure. I can’t remember what I saw, but then, it was, it was a post on hacker news and it was something to the effect of blogging is networking for introverts. Yeah. And I thought that was like, kind of cool. Cause it means that if, if you go meet somebody who’s been reading your writing, you can kind of like, just skip to the part of the conversation that is interesting to both of you. Like, you don’t have to do that, like Yes. You know, all the dancing around, what are we gonna talk about? You can just kind of go, go straight there and that can be helpful for an introvert.
Ev: Yeah. And, and I think it’s actually, I like, it’s weird to reach out to somebody on Twitter and say, Hey, would you like to do a zoom meeting with me? Like that? Sure. It’s not a normal thing in the world. I don’t think so. And so, yeah, but actually being able to do it with Ship30 people, you jump onto calls and you already feel like you, you know them a little bit because you’ve read their writing and there’s, there is always an instant connection. I actually haven’t found it hard to connect with anyone. One that I’ve met on zoom.
What reasons would you tell someone not to do ship30?
Tim: That’s awesome. Yeah. is there any reason you’d tell somebody not to do a ship 30 cohort, any, anything that you’d look at and say, no, this is not for you right now?
Ev: Yeah. I think there, I find two people that go into ship 30, there’s one that goes in where they’re kind of curious, they’re exploring, there’s not too much pressure to kind of, you know, do something with it. And I think that’s the best kind of reason to join. Yeah, there’s the other kind of person who maybe they have a business, maybe they want to do something or they need it to be, be something. And I think that then creates a lot of pressure to write about a certain thing, to do it in a certain way to, you know, build your audience. And I, I think that it works better when you build up organically. I, I find less pressure to find your, the buckets that you wanna write about. Not that you shouldn’t join, but I think, I think that it’s like, no, it’s probably gonna take a long time.
Ev: It’s not, it’s not gonna be a magical 30 days. Like you are right in 30 days, but there’s so much more to explore kind of in the rest of that. So if you need, like, if you, if you need quick results and like to, you know, maybe sell something straight away or you wanna make money or that kind of thing, and you can’t do that in 30 days. So if you’re expecting that, probably not for you. Yeah. But if you want to start something and start your journey, I think that’s the best reason to
What are some unexpected benefits you’ve seen from your participation in the program?
Tim: Start, start. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. And have you seen any unexpected benefits from participation that you wanna just share?
Ev: Yeah, I think I wrote about this the other day, actually in that, like I am a hundred percent, a much more confident person. Oh, cool. Like confident in. And I think that comes back to every day. I have to work through what I’m thinking about something. And so it’s a, it’s actually become a forcing in function to work out things, work out what I think, why do I think that? And actually, it’s noticeable in every area of my life. People. That’s awesome seeing that I’m more confident to express my opinions and like, and really like, and I think also the small wins along the way help you, that help you to do that. Like before this, I was like, not like I couldn’t, I couldn’t consistently create. And so that kind of felt like that was my identity. Whereas now I have this whole identity around being a consistent creator. And so then that creates a kind of a winning attitude, I think. So then you’re like, well, I know how to do this. And so then, you know, yeah. So it’s, and I didn’t really expect that it wouldn’t be, I just expected to learn how to write and, and hopefully do that for, for a while. So, yeah. It’s interesting.
Tim: Yeah. Awesome. Thanks for sharing that. I, I mean, yeah. Having never met you before, you come across as somebody who definitely knows what you’re talking about, and that idea of using writing to solidify your thoughts and stuff like that. And then be, as a result, being more confident is something I hadn’t thought about before, but makes a lot of sense. Yeah.
Tim: So if you were gonna plug yourself or shout out something you’re working on that you wanna share with people that what, what, what would you be highlighting? What would you want people to look at?
Ev: Obviously, you can go down the rabbit hole on my website evchapman.com. That’s where all my writing lives. That kinda thing, there’s a whole, I mean, you can go back, you can look, you can read the whole of the catalog. I also have a course called consumer to creator. And so it’s basically how to like how to take what you’re consuming. Think about it, take notes, build a kind of a library of notes and then be able to use those notes to write and create online. And yeah, it’s, it’s a cool yes, cool course. It’s come out of just what I’ve been doing over the last
Tim: Year. That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s really cool. Congratulations on that. I, I think I saw that you were also interviewed, interviewed on how to launch something with like less than a, with a, not, not a normal audience. And I suspect that’s the thing you launched and I’m glad to hear that that’s something you’re seeing some traction with or
Ev: Yeah, definitely. And I mean, that’s just a result of doing ship 30. I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to do it if I, and yeah if I hadn’t been writing
Tim: Nice one. So with that, I wanna say thank you so much for your time and I really appreciate it. I really appreciate everything you’re sharing online and, the openness you seem to have and stuff like that, it all comes through. So thank you very much. I appreciate you.
Ev: Yeah. Thanks for having me. It’s been good.
Tim: Okay, cool. So I’m gonna stop. I’m gonna say it’s over now.
If this interview helps you decide to jump aboard a Ship 30 for 30 cohort please consider signing up with this link as it helps me cover the (admittedly small) cost of putting these together.