Giving it 80%


Hey y’all!

So, the readership of this little newsletter grew by 10% just this week, which means that many of you are here for the first time, and you came here mostly because I wrote a post about self-care that went sorta semi-viral, and so you signed up and then this week I wrote about how to season a cast-iron skillet and you are no doubt very confused.

Here is the least you need to know for this to make sense: I live, unapologetically, in the Deep South of the US, with all the blessings and curses that brings, where I work to bring about a better world. I live with depression, have ADHD, and am recovering from near-suicidal levels of burnout. I turn 50 this summer, and no longer want to be the best at anything, don’t want to “crush-it”, don’t aspire to develop “life hacks” or “maximize my productivity”.

I just want to live a good life, and help build a better world than the one in which we currently live. And because I refuse to believe I’m the only person who dreams of such a world, I write about my experiences.

I’m glad you’re here.

Meanwhile, here are links to what I published this week:

Names MatterNames are sacred things.
Giving it 80%I believe in structuring things in such a way that failure is impossible.
The Notebook : I am now that guy that carries a notebook everywhere, and it’s changed my life.
The Apocaloptomist:  I’m hopeful, in spite of the facts.  
Sitting in The DarkWhat do you do when someone you love is in darkness, and you can’t help them get out? You sit with them in the dark.
The Box at the Side of the RoadMy love affair with cast iron, and my never-fail method of seasoning a cast iron skillet.

Other things I think you will like:

Three years ago, I came across the writer Craig Mod, who lives in Japan and writes about the walks he takes. (That description is both accurate and also doesn’t say enough). But what I was fascinated by was his business model. He has a membership model (very similar to my Reader Supported model, but more refined) and in this (very long) essay, he is incredibly generous with explaining how it work, and more importantly to other independent writers and creators (such as, for example, me), he shares the details of how he does it. If you want to see one of the major influences on where I see my writing work going, the model long term looks a lot like this.

Melanie Richards has compiled a list of Good Things – sensory things that give her pleasure. I love this, and have noted in my notebook to make such a list myself.

And I thought this was great – in 1953, a telephone executive predicted video calls and cell phones in ways that seems uncanny.

I bought a pack of new pencils this week – these are my favorites – and I sat at my desk last night while on a Zoom call and sharpened them all, just because I love the smell of a newly sharpened pencil.

Thank you for reading. This newsletter is a reader-supported publication. The best way to support my work is to become a patron, buy me a cup of coffee, or forward this letter to someone else. And if someone did forward this to you, you can get your own subscription here.

Take care,


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