You ask. I answer.
Thanks so much for creating this space! I have several questions as I’ve reflected on your insights here—sorry in advance for the length!
1. What is your advice for someone who’s newsletter is growing steadily in paid and free subscribers, but who can’t seem to get anyone to engage with the writing on social media, in comments, etc.? Asking for a friend ;)
2. Recently on Twitter you mentioned that you’d like to see people offering windows into what they’re actually writing instead of talking about what their newsletter is all about. Could you expand a bit more on ways newsletter writers can do this online, on Twitter, and on Instagram?
3. You’ve built a newsletter that examines food, food systems, care, the pleasure of cooking, attention, among so many other things, in routinely complex ways. As you’ve risen in visibility, do you have/how do you deal with fears about people with more power and institutional support misrepresenting your work?
4. Kind of as the flip side of the previous question: when you were just starting out, did you encounter others in the writing, publishing, or academic industries who were largely dismissive of your work? If so, how did you navigate the feelings of that? How did you address those people?
5. Do you think it’s stupid for someone to be trying to build their career off a newsletter at this point? Do you have a sense that the Substack wave has crested and passed for those who aren’t already established?
6. Finally, I love the way you write about eating, vegetarianism, and pleasure. I also really admire how un-self-conscious you seem about making your own “self” visible and accessible, in a spirit of sincerity but also not taking yourself too seriously. I don’t think many people have achieved this well! Maybe not really a question so much as an observation and a thank you!!
I love the advice of seeing where things go organically… it’s so easy to box yourself into a grand master plan that, inevitably, does not go, well, according to plan 🤷🏼♀️