This will be the last week of me sending this newsletter out—at least in its current form.
I've been considering this decision for a while, and a few days ago while on one of my walks, my head and my gut told me it was time.
So today, I thought I'd share some of the reasons why I came to this decision.
I no longer felt I was contributing
In the early days of this newsletter, I had hoped to share helpful links with others and at the start, I think I succeeded at that.
But along the way, I discovered so many wonderful people doing similar work—and many of them doing it so much better—that it became overwhelming.
After a while, I felt like I wasn't adding anything to the conversation. I was only an echo chamber sharing and resharing links that I discovered on other people's newsletters. I knew I had to stop.
I was no longer enjoying it
It's been a while since I've been inspired by this work.
In the beginning, it was easy. I took pleasure in finding things and sharing them with you. But somewhere along the way, that joy disappeared.
A part of it comes from sharing work that I've already seen shared by others, but it was compounded by many of the other points on this list.
I tried to change things up and disconnect myself from repeating what others had used, but I couldn't turn the tides. My lack of enthusiasm grew and the work suffered.
This one hurts.
The advice I often hear is to show up and do the work. It may not happen in the first year or the second, but eventually, you'll see some growth.
And despite getting wonderful recommendations and spending several years doing this, the needle didn't really move.
I've heard and seen other people's subscription numbers, and mine are nowhere close. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, and despite a few theories, I don't really know how to fix it. And to be honest, I've sort of lost the oomph to keep trying.
Not reaching readers
As a fiction writer, I want to be reaching out to my readers. Unfortunately, creating a newsletter that shares links about writing doesn't fulfill that goal.
Certainly, some writers are readers, but not all readers are writers.
And this isn't a new problem. I've been waffling back and forth on who my audience is for the run of the newsletter. But unfortunately, the choices I've made up to this point haven't helped me connect to the readers of my fiction.
Not doing creative work
Finally, the effort spent on this newsletter—researching, reading, curating, editing, publishing—takes away from doing the work I actually love doing: writing fiction.
And this point is the one that stays with me the most.
When I look back over this past year, one of my most joyous periods was when I spent the month writing a new story every day.
Most of it is hidden away at the moment because it needs to be cleaned up, but I'd rather focus on this type of creative work than the newsletter.
So, I'm going away for a while.
I may return or I may not. And if I do, I may only send out a newsletter once or twice a month, or may just do a limited run that focuses on a particular project.
I'm pretty sure it won't return to just being links. Some may sneak in with a personal essay or some of my fiction, but there's also a good chance there'll be no links at all.
So thank you so much for subscribing to this newsletter. I appreciate that each and every one of you invited me into your mailbox.
But a change is needed, and for now, I simply need a break.