I did it! I started an email newsletter. This is something that’s been on my to-do list for quite some time but I’ve finally found a way to do it that I think will work for me.
What is that way? To write an email newsletter for me. That might sound counterintuitive and perhaps send you scrolling to the “unsubscribe” button, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. One thing I’ve learned about myself (especially when it comes to creating things), is that if I’m doing things for an external reason, like “building an audience,” it’s not going to work. If I do this for any reason other than for its own sake, I will quickly come to resent the process, the quality of my work will suffer, and it won’t be long before I quit. But if I have my own reasons for doing it I’ll enjoy the process a lot more, which means I’ll be more likely to stick with it, I’ll produce more work and better work, and will have a much greater chance of creating meaningful, helpful content for myself and others.
So with this in mind I set to work to figure out my own reasons for writing a newsletter. I’d heard over and over again that email newsletters were very important if you wanted to make a go at anything online, but I had to figure out my own why. While trying to flesh things out, I wrote down the following line:
It can’t be another should, there has to be a deeper, more sustainable reason.
This line of thinking eventually led to me landing on writing for myself which gave me a why that resonated with me, and helped me uncover the intrinsic reasons that would be there regardless of whether or not anyone would read it. So here is my list of selfish reasons why I’m starting this email newsletter:
1. To force myself to write more and have external accountability to do so.
2. To force myself to create within time constraints.
- If I enforce a consistent schedule, I know I won’t be able to spend all of my time writing a short newsletter so I’ll have to work quicker and be less polished (read: get over my perfectionism issues). This is a muscle I need to work on that will benefit all other areas of content creation as well.
- There’s a time and a place for spending more time on ideas, which I hope to do in vlog format in the near future. The email newsletter can be its own more casual medium that can also serve as a testing ground of sorts to get my feet wet and gauge which ideas I do want to flesh out more fully.
3. To better internalize what I’m learning and to gain insights and clarity through added reflection that I wouldn’t otherwise do.
4. To help kickstart my dreams of an online creative career and document the process as I go.
5. To help kickstart a weekly review process that I’ve been meaning to implement for quite some time.
- I’ve toyed with having a small component of the newsletter dedicated to a couple of quick points from my yet-to-happen weekly review. This would create accountability for both a weekly review and a weekly newsletter.
So there you have it. I’m not sure of the logistics of everything else. I’m not sure how frequently I will publish or how much I will force myself to write when I don’t feel like it, but I’ve finally gotten the ball rolling and I’m both apprehensive and excited about what this will turn out to be.
If I’m fortunate enough to have people care to read what I have to say, if I’m fortunate enough to be able to help others with what I’m learning, and if I’m fortunate enough for this newsletter to play a part of being better able to pursue my creative dreams then I will be forever grateful. But at the end of the day, if none of that happens, it’s okay, because I created this newsletter for me. But by creating this newsletter for me, I think it’s the best chance I have of creating a newsletter for other people.
If you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU. It genuinely means a lot to me that you would take the time to read what I have to say. If you feel so inclined, I’d love for you to introduce yourself.
Is there something you’ve been meaning to start for awhile but haven’t yet? Is analyzing why you want to start something part of your process or are you normal? 😉 Are you more motivated by external or internal factors? I’d love to hear from you on these topics or anything else that interests you.