As 2018 comes to a close, a dumpster fire of a year, I am re-evaluating a lot of things, including my newsletter (and this blog) as well as reconsidering how how I’ve been reaching out and writing to all of y’all.
You might have noticed I sent less newsletters and wrote less blog posts this year. There were lots of reasons for this. I was finishing and then promoting a book (Sexism Ed!). I was working to get a handle on my mental health (anxiety and depression), which remains a work in progress. I helped launch and now edit a new magazine, Disability Acts. I was working on other books (zombies! zombies! zombies!) and book proposals (endings! apocalypses!). And this year, I needed to keep my attention and energy on my family.
All of this to say, 2018 was a lot.
It was not the best year, and I am painfully aware that other folks have had it so much worse. Sometimes, we have a hard year or years. Sometimes, we are just glad for them to be over. Sometimes, we learn something from the hard. Sometimes, we don’t know or plan or prepare. Sometimes, we have to be still and sit with what’s happening in our lives. Sometimes, we have to reckon with our place in the universe. Sometimes, we don’t want to reckon, so we slog through the best that we can. And sometimes, we get a glimpse of the future and it’s bit brighter than we thought it might be.
And back to this newsletter, I have decided to move it from Tiny Letter to Substack. And due to the wonders of technology, if you are a subscriber, I was already able to move your subscription. You don’t have to lift a finger!
Here’s a preview, if you want to see what’s happening (and look how pretty Substack is). Please note that the content of the newsletter will remain the same. I plan to continue to write cold takes, personal essays, and cultural criticisms. I will still write about religion, mental health, emotion, parenting, gender and smashing the patriarchy. Everything will just be at another site. And the newsletter will remain free!
(What will happen with the blog is still an open question. I’m trying to decide what a blog should do now and what it might do for me, so stay tuned to see what I come up with.)
So, thanks for sticking it out with my newsletter. I am glad that I can write for you, and I am even gladder that I can continue to write for you.
I often think of that moment in We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems, in which Gerald (and I am a Gerald) notes that he just wants to be read. When I read that book for the first time to my kids, that line made me tear up . I knew Gerald’s plight and recognized that frantic note that coated his words.
Being read is privilege, and no writer is ever guaranteed readers. Yet, we still write anyway. We often write having no idea if anyone will pick up our books or read through an essay or linger over our words. We never know what might land or resonate or infuriate or empower. We never know what happens to our writing when it appears in the world.
I often imagine that publishing books or essays is like dropping a stone in a well. You drop it, and it travels down, down, down, down, and you pause to listen to hear when it lands. The stone might make a small plop before it sinks to the bottom, and the surface of the water barely ripples. But, maybe, just maybe, the stone makes a big splash, and the surface of the water ripples and ripples in its wake. I tend to write imagining my stones will sink to the bottom, and if I am lucky, I’ll hear the faint plop before sinking. But, when a splash and ripples appear, I am awestruck and humbled and grateful that there’s a moment when my writing meant something to others.
To be read, then, is a joy that I come back to again and again. I just want to write, but I also want to be read. So, readers, thank you.
Here’s to hoping that 2019 is a better year for all of us.
Best wishes to you, lovely readers, and happy holidays.