my tell-all guide of everything I've learned on the road to 3211 free subs / 111 paid subs
The not-at-all subtle art of giving way too many fucks
This is the other half of the post that just went out celebrating the 3211 free subscribers / 111 paid subscriber milestone we just hit at Both Are True.
That post was like the big party with Leo DiCapreo holding his little glass of martini looking smug as Jay Gatbsy himself.
This is the seedy back room party with the cigarettes and the small TVs and the old men playing dominoes. This is where we talk shop. Where I share some secrets and confess to some crimes.
I know that when I was just starting out, I was hungry for help and advice and just anyone to tell me I'm not insane for wanting to do this. So here’s some shit I’ve learned along the way that may or may not be useful to you.
The trap of posts like these, though, is to draw a straight, causation-ass (cassation) line from these ideas to "success." I don’t think that’s helpful (nor correct).
But reading about other people’s journeys can, must, at least oughta help. Because in my best moments, the ones where I am least seduced by the monsters of data-based validation, I know that the most rewarding thing about writing Both Are True isn’t seeing the numbers go up, but rather the engagement and connection I've felt from real human non-AI people and my work.
Community! If that weren't there, but the numbers were 10x higher, it'd feel empty. Hollow. (tho if a devil wanted to tempt me with such a fate, I’d definitely be open to chatting)
Now if it was the reverse - just a few people who were ALL IN but there was no growth, well I’d be miserable too, but that's BECAUSE I AM ALWAYS MISERABLE
Sometimes, though, I am less miserable than other times. This is what the french call Les Miserables (they actually made a little sing n dance CD album all about this - highly recommend checking it out!)
I've also been asked to do some workshops and help some peeps with their writing 1 on 1 lately, so I'm using this as a way to synthesize my thoughts like Daft Punk1 so that I don't sound stupid as a stump when I share them later on
For real. I hope these tips can help bring you closer to that less miserable place. I'm also happy to answer any and all questions here as well. Let's dive on in.
A Table? Of Contents?
It’s helpful for me to break these into categories, so I’m gonna do that now. AND that’ll be the first tip, which is organizing my thoughts. First, I do a word barf, which is a highly technical term I invented wherein you just write all the shit that’s in your head out onto the page without judging it or at least not letting the judging stop you from writing more.
Once you’re done, take a nap and make a sammie. Then go back through and split the barf into sections, each with a title / description. I’ll put these on notecards, or try to find a ‘mind mapping’ software which usually results in me losing 3 hours of time to find The Perfect Tool (don’t do this).
From there, it’s easier to see how the parts connect (or don’t) to one another, which is nice if, ya know, that’s your thing.
The writing (this post)
everything else (pt 2 of this post, to be released in the next month or two)
Like ok take this piece. I rambled for a while the last few days and then last night I made the above categorization structure. Now I’m gonna put all the rambles into their proper home and keep going. I may end up deleting them entirely, or I may marry them! Who knows.
✒ THE WRITING ✒
🧱 FORM 🧱
Format itself is really cool
Or at least something to think about! Form is sort of the packaging that your piece comes in, and it can do soooo much in terms of setting the reader’s expectations (so you can then subvert them!!!). Like, the other day I titled a piece “a list of things that are not, in fact, like life” and then my piece only had one item on the list. THIS WAS HILARIOUS. People lost their shit and some still haven’t found it.
Or say you wrote a biography about yourself (and make it clear it is NOT an autobiography). Now you’re playing with how a fictional ‘author’ is writing about you, which is fun because of the dissonance between what we’re reading and what we know to be true (you’re writing this!).
Regardless of the format itself, knowing what your format is going to be, both on a piece by piece basis AND also as a newsletter.
In improv, you’re taught to create a space for the audience to feel safe in, to relax and know they are in good hands. Then and only then….
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