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Michael Dean

Architect turned writer.

Director of Content @ Write of Passage. Edited over 500 essays last year. My personal writing aspirations: polymathic scope, battle-tested prose, untethered rants, blitz imagery.

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Featured Posts

⚡️ 85 thoughts from May'22

I need to decide how I'll distribute my logs through email. The simple route is 3-5 per week. But there's a certain wonder in peaking into someone's unedited mosaic of thought. It's hardcore, but it's distinct. It stands out from the wave of filtered, curated tidbits.

🔎 Wallacisms: The Art of Writing Memorable Observations

"Big Red Son," is an outrageous David Foster Wallace essay about a 1998 adult film conference. By dissecting it, we'll learn some (non-vulgar) tricks to help our writing jump through the page. Use relatable metaphors. Make unlikely associations. Look behind the scenes.

📩 One-click Distribution

Hello world! This is the inaugural edition of Dean's List. I've decided to transplant both my website and newsletter into Ghost (this will surprise those who know me as "the Notion guy.") Sounds drastic. It is, but let me explain.

✉️ Newsletter Junkyard

We're in a newsletter arms-race. What happens when everyone has one and they all sound the same? Overwhelm, skimming, and email fatigue. The old tricks around niches & weekly streaks are becoming predictable. What makes a newsletter exciting to open each time?

🚶‍♂️Jaywalking

I went into the city on Saturday to meet up with Isabel in person for the first time. On a walk from Penn Station to Bryant Park, I decided to write down everything I experienced. Eight blocks north, and then a few more east. It’s a great exercise to practice, “placemaking.”

Recent Posts

👌 Starting from Zero

“Regarding pseudonyms, how do you promote your blog? Since your family and friends don’t know your writing identity, how do you spread the word about it?" One challenge with starting an account from scratch is The Cricket Effect. Whether you start under a pseudonym or not, it’s frustrating

🎭 Write Online as a Pseudonym

What are the benefits of writing under a pseudonym? Even when we find the courage to publish our ideas, we often get tripped up by our audience. The idea that our parents, co-workers, or clients could potentially read our essay is enough to scare the life out of our writing

🔬 Imitate Your Favorite Writers

"How do I actually translate my personality onto the page? I know the vibe I want to get across, but when I sit down and write, it feels flat." Some would say, “Voice is just something you have. Don’t think about it. It’s natural. It just comes out.