Real transparency delivered regularly, because we need each other.

I’m 32 as I sit here editing my Substack “about” page, and I can’t find a way to better articulate what my 25-year-old self had already laid out in an old blog post I published when I was still in university. So here it is, what this newsletter is about, in my own words from 7 years earlier (with light edits for readability).

I recently read this article (2022 Nick: now a web archive link) by an indie app developer John (creator of WordPress app, Desk) who asked writers who publish their work on the Internet to step up to an important challenge of being fully transparent. What he was asking is for us to reflect deeply, write truthfully without omitting the ugly.

When I first read it I felt connected to his call, enough to Tweet his post to my friends and followers.

In facing my own problems with people around me this few days, I find myself stranded. Although thousands of posts are being published every minute, I couldn’t find more than a few that were written with a naked heart. In my sadness I’m unable to find solace on the Internet, in people’s stories, as much as I want to. 

So here’s my plea to you, if you’re a regular reader of this blog (2022 Nick: here I’m referring to the old blog I kept in uni) and keep one of your own too, start baring your heart and soul in your writing. Show the world that life is not all rainbows and butterflies, and that somehow that is also okay. Tell them that the sweet would never be as sweet without the sour. Give them a piece of you, like me giving a piece of me to you. Ultimately, know that there are people out there that may need that sense of commonality for comfort, no matter how weird or distorted that sounds.

I won’t believe that I’m the only person who has sought other (random strangers’) stories on the Internet in times of sadness, hardship, excitement, even happiness. And I doubt that you do too.

Why should I become a paid subscriber?

There’s a free version of the newsletter that anyone can subscribe to. For most people, this will be enough.

However, over the course of blogging for 7 years, I’ve learned that there are a handful of people who really dig the things I talk about and the way I talk about them. They tell me that I write like I talk and that my constant learning and writing inspires them to do the same with their time. But most commonly I hear something to this effect: “I read the stuff you write because I know/feel like I know you personally.”

When you become a paid subscriber, you directly contribute to me being able to keep doing this *waves finger awkwardly around the room.* More vulnerability, more honesty, more documented attempts to be a better person. Putting it out there: if I have enough subscribers to pay the bills, I will do this full-time because writing is, as I’ve found after years of searching, the thing I love.

As a way of thanking you, you’ll gain access to:

  • Posts that are too vulnerable, honest, and intimate to be shared publicly.

  • Paid-subscriber-only honest discussion threads around unpublished topics.

  • Guaranteed replies from me via email.

If there is more you believe I could offer to paid subscribers, feel free to message me (subscribe, then reply to an email dispatch). For now, this is what I can realistically and happily offer.