WE CHANGE EVERY SIX MONTHS. SO HOW CAN I HELP THIS CREATIVE CYCLE?
Whenever someone joins my newsletter, I immediately send them an email (spoiler: I don’t personally wait by my computer to hit send, it’s an auto-responder…sorry to disappoint). Along with a “thank you” message, it asks the new reader to reply and share one thing they’re working on or one challenge they’re facing.
Of course, not everyone responds…which is totally understandable. Who I am, especially that early on in our relationship. Just some faceless blogger on the other end of the Internet—not exactly the kind of person you’re eager to share your insecurities with. But some brave folks do respond. And some of them keep responding to the point that we become real friends (shout outs to Laura, Mike, Jay, and Margot, among others).
I started sending that email early on in my blogging “career,” and I don’t plan on stopping. It’s a great way to connect with new readers and meet new people.
Now I realize this whole setup is a bit “inside baseball,” but the fact that I’ve never really changed or altered that email is kind of a big deal. Because in the world of creativity, things are always changing. We start new projects, finish (or abandon) old ones, learn different skills, seek new inspiration. And of this, I am incredibly guilty.
I go back and forth on what to do with my blog All. The. Time. It seems like every other week I post another article in the style of Chicken Little—“woe is me, the sky is falling, creativity is hard. What should I write about? Where is all this going?”
But then I read this newsletter from artist Caroline Zook, where she said:
Listen, in my opinion, if we’re doing this whole human being thing correctly, then we’re going to be changing all the time. Every six months I feel like I’m a new version of myself with slightly (or not so slightly) different wants and needs and desires and dreams.
So I guess I’m not the only one riding this roller coaster of confusion and indecision.
Sometimes, I think the constant shifts and changes mean I’m a terrible, no good, very bad writer. Sometimes I get down on myself over the fact that I can’t just choose one topic and stick to it like some of the heavyweight bloggers out there.
But I am coming round to the fact that maybe that’s just not me. And that that’s OK.
Maybe we’re supposed to change every six months?
It’s like I said two weeks ago (well…like Alain de Bottain said two weeks ago):
Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.
So what if I can’t sit still and do one thing for long? So what if I am always chasing the next project or skill? Things change. I change. If you read my last essay, you’ll know that I am applying to grad school. I am close to announcing a new project that’s been underway for the last five months. I am traveling a lot this summer. And I am thinking about how I can continue using this blog to advance my own creativity while helping you bring your ideas to life.
It kinda seems like the only thing that doesn’t change around here is my welcome email…
But I don’t think it’s just me. I bet you have just as much going on under the hood. You probably don’t have it all figured out either (sorry not sorry!). So whether it’s been two weeks or two years since you joined me on this journey, I want to repose the question: how can I help you? What’s one question I can answer that’ll help you on your own journey? It could be anything—about your current project, one of mine, work-life balance, my favorite Beatles album (it’s the White Album). Anything at all. Just click here and start typing.
I promise to read and respond to your email, and I’ll share the best questions and answers in my next letter.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Three Things is about creativity, improv, and inspiration. If you enjoyed this week’s letter, you can sign up to get them delivered to your inbox each week by digital carrier pigeon.