I’m subscribed to Kai’s newsletter, Dense Discovery. I highly recommend. But more than the usual content, the intro to the current newsletter is what hooked me in:
Whether it’s a newsletter, a podcast or a printed magazine, working in publishing has been described to me as ‘feeding an insatiable beast’ — after every meal, you immediately start looking for more food.
It’s not a nice metaphor but there is a certain truth to it that all publishers will appreciate: after one issue is always before the next. If you publish anything on a regular basis, you are constantly in the production cycle of a future edition.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy my work. I often say that I have the best audience a publisher could wish for! At times it’s difficult to feel a sense of achievement, though, because before you get a chance to celebrate having released a good piece of work, your head is already stuck in the planning of the next piece.
This caused me to respond:
Love your intro. I’ve been in a slump lately, unable to find any consistency in writing and publishing. One: cheers and respect to you for always showing up. Two: any advice? Over at nashp.com, I can’t find the words to create anymore. It’s been bothering me a lot lately.
I sometimes feel similarly about my work with Offscreen. Serving a niche topic/community has lots of benefits, but it can also get quite tiring.
DD has become a nice outlet for some thoughts and interests of mine that aren’t directly related to tech. So I guess my suggestion would be to not be afraid of venturing into other areas of interest, outside the realm that you usually cover. Also: change up the format. If writing essays feels like too much work, maybe find an article that you enjoyed, present some pull quotes and add your own thoughts to it. Or do something completely different, like recording an audio interview with a person you like or sharing a personal story about an image you took.
This seem like pretty obvious advice, but I think staying within the field we think our readers expect of us is a bit of a trap that’s easy to get out of.
Experiment. Most readers appreciate the change.
Don’t be afraid to ask the people you follow how they do what they do. Most people don’t ask them this question. They’re usually happy and thankful you’ve asked.
Great response. I’ll let this wisdom soak in and use it to help me create going forward.