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It's the least I can do
some thank yous
Each night, I open my Day One journaling app and read the past few years of entries before jotting down whatever happened in my world that day. My current streak is 950 days in a row, so there’s a decent amount of past material in there now.
The other night, I read an entry from two years ago. In it, I wrote about how I had been hustling and reaching out to friends and family—some of whom I hadn’t been in touch with for many years—to tell them about this very newsletter you’re reading right now. I contacted them via text, email Twitter, Facebook, and the like—whatever it took to cut through the algorithms that suck up our attention most of the time.
At the time, my goal was to get to 150 subscribers by the end of that week. I don’t recall if I accomplished it, but reading that entry gave me some perspective about how far I’ve come since.
I just looked at my stats and now I’m at 1,740 subscribers and 40 other publications recommend my writing. Reading those numbers fills me with gratitude.
It would be easy to pat myself on the back for a job well done. After all, it is wild how many people read the mish-mash of content I produce here, despite not having a clear niche, value-add, through-line, or whatever. I am proud of what I’ve built here. But this wasn’t just a pulling-myself-up-by-my-bootstraps-type situation. Sure, I’m the one who consistently sits my ass down at my laptop and attempts to write something coherent each week. But I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for a lot of other people.
So since it’s Thanksgiving weekend, I’m going to thank some of those people. In particular, I’m going to thank some other writers here on Substack, because now I can link to them using the new tagging feature Substack launched recently.
Thanksfor being one of my earliest cheerleaders. Your words of encouragement, even before I first hit the publish button, helped push me through my lingering doubts. And thanks for starting Invisible College where I write and get to make a living doing something I love. Check out Nick’s writing at .
Thanksfor our many DMs and for mentioning my newsletter as part of an interview you did with Substack, which essentially doubled my subscribers over the course of a couple of days. It was a welcome surprise and I was humbled by the writers you compared me to. Check out Kushaan’s writing at .
Thanksfor being an early fan. That feels weird to write, but you basically insisted on calling yourself that on a call we did once. I know life can sometimes be challenging and time can be scarce, but I'd love to read more of your stories since I know you have many more to tell (and you tell them so well). Check out Sasha's writing at .
Thanksfor the heaps of praise and editing help you gave me early on and our occasional chats since (we should connect again soon!). I was honored to receive praise and help from someone with your gift for prose. Check out Alicia's writing at .
Thanksfor your generosity and your creativity. Whether you know it or not, your writing has given me permission to write an insanely long sentence sometimes, embrace the comma, and use fancier words occasionally just because I like them. I certainly wouldn't have written this piece—one of my favorites—without your coaching. Check out Sasha’s writing at .
Thanksfor always being willing to share your honest perspective and for showing me that my writing can be meaningful even for those who have a much different life experience than mine. I'm in awe of your relentless ability to build products and ship your writing. Check out Louis' writing at and and (I told you he's prolific).
Thanksfor leading the On Deck Writer's Fellowship, where I first met some of the people on this list. Your editing expertise during our group workshop sessions was invaluable and I still think back on some of those lessons when reviewing my work and others. Check out Max's writing at .
Thanksfor creating a Substack writer's community where I first met some of the people on this list, for your kind words about my writing, and for sharing it with your audience. Your work ethic, prose, and thoughtfulness about being a creative on the internet these days are inspiring. Check out Elle's writing at .
Thanksfor routinely leaving insightful comments, generously sharing my work, and providing me with some much-needed laughs a couple of times per week. Check out Michael's writing at .
Thanksfor our wide-ranging chats from personal writing to crypto and your incredibly brave and inspiring writing. But most of all, thank you for the ride to LaGuardia a couple of weeks ago (I'm so glad you got out of that ticket!). Check out Sara's writing at .
Thanksfor providing a sanctuary for creative people who want to publish art that's true to themselves. Your words about my writing in your Omnibus issues give me more encouragement fuel than you probably realize. Yes, I just made up the term encouragement fuel and I quite like it. Check out Thomas' writing at .
Thanksfor the great conversations we've had (we should have more!) and for showing me how to cut to the absolute honest core through your incredible writing. Check out Alex's writing at .
Thanksfor having a name that Substack can't seem to find and for our many chats about writing, work, life, and just about everything else in between. I'm excited to keep following along with your new adventure overseas. Check out Shiv's writing at .
Thanksfor your detailed editing, as well as the numerous chats and laughs we've shared. I value your feedback since you're so great at crafting pieces that are funny, insightful, and vulnerable. I know you're insanely busy these days, but I'd love to read more of your words. Check out Mark's writing at .
Thanksfor our countless chats and DMs about everything from writing to crypto (let's chat again soon!). Your creativity and prolific output of essays and poetry are inspiring. Check out Cole's writing at .
Thanksfor not only having a great first name that you share with my daughter, but also, for almost always being one of the first to like my posts and for sharing your much-needed perspective on the world through your prose. Check out Emily's writing at .
Thanksfor your editing help in the ODW workshop sessions—I often think about how you described a piece of mine as having different temperatures throughout. I had a fun time as a guest on your podcast (even if I, apparently, killed it in the process, lol) Your writing, from your personal stories to sharing your deep design expertise, has been great to follow along with these past couple of years, as well. Check out Nate's writing at .
Thanksfor being here each week. You have no idea how big of a deal it was for me when I realized an actual published author was reading (and enjoying) my writing. Check out Elizabeth's writing at and her novel Casualties.
Thanksfor often being the one who breaks the ice and leaves the first comment. Your willingness to do whatever feels best to you creatively and your perspective on age has impacted me more than you know. Check out Mark's writing at
Thanksfor constantly reaffirming that it's okay to be a man and write vulnerably about our struggles. You're doing important work. Keep going! Check out Kevin's writing at .
Thanksfor our many zoom chats, your relentless commitment to building a more beautiful internet, and for being my favorite online curmudgeon (welcome to Substack, lol). P.S. I want a ping-pong rematch sometime. Check out Rob's writing at .
And thanks to you, dear reader, for being here. It means the world to me.
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