Results of an Ecosia search for “nothing”

How to Sound Smart on Medium

A story about nothing…

I’ll be honest, I’ve completely run out of ideas. I’ve been writing on medium for 3 months and now the writer’s block has kicked in. My mind is empty, blank, void.

I’ve come to the slow realisation that I have, nothing, absolutely nothing of any value or worth to write about.

So in this story I’m going to share with you my thoughts about nothing, zilch, diddly squat.

Photo by Matus Hatala on Unsplash

This image shows a scene of waves lapping gently onto a distant shore, set against a misty grey sky.

The dimensions are 1600 × 1063 and the average colour is #8495a7. I don’t know where or when the image was taken. The photographer was Matus Hatala.

All this information has literally no significance whatsoever, and I’m just writing it to fill up space and sound technical. It is simply the first photo that came up on Unsplash when I searched for the word “nothing”.

But there’s more to our story than that…

I’ve inserted a line break to make it seem like I’m moving onto something new. Building towards a profound and meaningful point.

I’m keeping paragraphs and sentences short to hold your attention.

And now I’m going to insert a funny meme to endear you, the reader, to what I’m writing and give the story a wry splash of humour.

The Facts

OK, so now we’ve set the scene, it’s time to get serious. So let’s explore the facts.

Nothing is a word. A pronoun. The dictionary definition is:

  1. No thing; not anything
  2. No part; no portion
  3. One of no consequence, significance, or interest

The Spanish word for nothing is nada. In Dutch it is niets and in Italian it’s niente. All of those words begin with an “n”. Incredible.

But if we take a careful look at these graphs we see a different story:

Graph of distance over time from Wikibooks
The natural exponential function y = e^x by Peter John Acklam

The first graph shows distance over time, which in physics gives us a measure of speed.

Distance is how far something has travelled and time is how long it takes. MIND … BLOWN!

This is some pointless text I’ve added as a quote to grab your attention and break up the flow.

– Literally Nobody

The second graph shows a curve, some letters and some numbers. Maths. Science. Short, punchy sentences that create an arresting sense of impact.

There is no third graph.

Nothing Else

We’ve examined the facts and I’ve presented some graphs. It gives this post a sense of scientific credibility.

Now I’m going to make it personal. Share a bit of myself, show vulnerability. Give it the human dimension.

You might be thinking that this whole story is just a shameless rip-off of Will Stephen’s presentation “How to sound smart in your TEDx Talk”. And you’d be right.

But you’re maybe also thinking I’m going to build on this in some way, give you something more.

But, the reality is, I’m just cynically wasting your time. The numbers say it all:

  • 1
  • 24
  • 42
  • 9

The figures are staggering.

Zero is a number. Zero is nothing. Or is it? Is nothing the absence of a number? These are definitely questions.

Some Conclusions

I’m now going to wrap things up. Deliver the big punchline. Reach the final conclusion.

But first I’m going to insert an animated GIF to make it seem like I’ve made a mind blowing point. It shows I’m empathising with you, the reader in a humorous way, when in fact I’ve said nothing of any interest whatsoever.

The Big Takeaway

To sound smart on Medium, we need to give readers at least one actionable takeaway.

For this, I’d like you to think back to what I said at the beginning and subtract what you’re reading now. This is the very essence of the point. We started with nothing, ended with nothing, and now we have absolutely nothing.

Final Words

So, I’m going to leave you with one final thought. In the words of the mighty Steve Jobs, there’s just one more thing…

At the end of this sentence, after the last full stop, you will no longer be reading this story.

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