11 Tips from Naval Ravikant for Writers

“Good artists perform; great artists play.”

Brock Swinson
2 min readJan 22, 2024
Photo Courtesy of Awakened Millennial

Naval Ravikant is an entrepreneur, author, and thought leader known for his insights on happiness, success, and personal development.

Born in India, he co-founded the startup Epinions and later served as the CEO of AngelList.

Naval gained widespread recognition through his podcasts, interviews, and social media presence, where he shares philosophical and practical wisdom on topics such as mindfulness, wealth creation, and the pursuit of a meaningful life.

Here’s a few things that writers can learn from this modern philosopher…


Know what work is worth doing. “If the work doesn’t require creativity, delegate it, automate it, or leave it.”


Separate the art mind from the business mind. “If you create it for yourself, it’s art. If you create it for others, it’s business.”


Understand your creative superpower. “Sing the song that only you can sing, write the book that only you can write, build the product that only you can build… live the life that only you can live.”


Creative hours will limit your bandwidth. “You don’t have eight creative, problem-solving hours in the day — you have two. Spend your time wisely.”


Defend your time to work on important work. “Creativity starts with an empty calendar and ends with a full one.”

[Read 7 Mindset Hacks from Naval right here.]


Understand maker time versus manager time. “In an older society with few resources and mechanical work, the scheduled life is the most productive. In a modern society with permissionless leverage and creative work, the unscheduled life is the most productive.”


The best work doesn’t require permission. “The best jobs are neither decreed nor degreed. They are creative expressions of continuous learners in free markets.”


Set your own creative constraints. “We are living in the golden age of art, and it’s only going to get better. But we are desensitized by familiarity and overwhelmed by choice.”


You can be the playful trickster or the tortured martyr. “Good artists perform; great artists play.”


Know your north star in any given task. “One can optimize for productivity or one can optimize for creativity, but it’s hard to do both.”


Replenish the well. “Creativity arises behind the conscious mind.”




If you’re struggling to tackle your writing goals, steal my first book Ink by the Barrel for more insight on creativity and annihilating writer’s block. You can listen or read right here for free.