Dread and a new format

Newsletter #28

Looking at my posting cadence, it’s plain to see I haven’t kept up with my fortnightly schedule. In fact, it’s gone from bad to worse.

I’ve come to a point where I dread writing this newsletter.

Building my WordPress plugin is an exercise in vulnerability and anxiety –

“will people like it?”

“will people want it?”

“am I doing things wrong?”

“am I doing anything right?”

All this takes so much out of me that I have nothing left to give this newsletter.

Originally, my motivation for this newsletter was to have a creative outlet. But I now get that and more with my work. So not only has the need been lessened, I’ve now actively been looking to create less.

I still love this newsletter and the outlet it gives me.

I don’t want to let this newsletter die. But I think it needs to take on a different form.

In the past, I pushed myself to write longer posts, and write them well.

But now I need a different sort of reprieve. I need a place and format to share my thoughts and struggles with building my WordPress plugin. And that can’t be something long and overly involved. I simply don’t have the bandwidth or inclination anymore.

So for now, this newsletter will become a simple weekly check-in.

I’ll also start to write more about my software journey, and less about generic productivity and self-improvement stuff. Although that stuff will still come up on occasion.

Here goes the first version of this:

🔥 Highlights from last week

  • Launched the closed beta of Newsletter Glue on Indiehackers. Didn’t intend for much fanfare, just wanted to pick up a small handful of people to get the ball rolling.
  • Got my very first total stranger trying my plugin and liking it!

💔 Lowlights from last week

  • That same total stranger then said that Ghost has all the features he needs built in without the need for plugins, and he might use that instead. Not anyone’s fault of course, but demoralising nonetheless. It’s making me wonder if I’ve picked the wrong market as many newsletter writers don’t seem to enjoy WordPress at all.
  • Taking forever to write a post on publishing newsletters with the Gutenberg editor. I’m pretty excited about it, but it’s tricky to write, and I’m not sure if anyone aside from me cares.
  • I hate the performative aspect to being on Twitter, but it feels like I’m obliged to do it right now. Maybe I just hate it because I’m being a sour grape(s?) as I don’t have much of an audience and am not very familiar with the platform. I have to admit I quite enjoy reading everyone else’s tweets, so maybe I just have to get better at it.

🎯 Goals for this week

  • Finish the post on newsletter publishing and share it widely. My thesis is that this post will help people see how powerful and useful the Gutenberg editor is now, and how my plugin fits into that equation. And in doing so, get more closed beta sign ups. If this doesn’t happen, I’ll pivot to content restriction and start building that part out instead.
  • Follow up with the 10+ people who signed up for the closed beta a month ago. Share the plugin with them and get feedback.

🤔 Product thoughts for the week

  • I can’t tell if my problem is distribution (am I reaching enough of the right people?) or product (am I building something people actually want/care about?). Or both.
What do you think? Let’s discuss. 💬

🍊Fresh From the Interwebz

Usain Bolt would have been outrun by our ancestors, claims anthropologist

Peter McAllister, the author of Manthropology: the Science of Inadequate Modern Man, says that “research indicates that Neanderthal women had 10 per cent more muscle than modern European men. Trained to capacity, a Neanderthal woman would have reached 90 per cent of Schwarzenegger’s bulk at his peak in the 1970s.”

I kind of like the idea that we’re the weakest we’ve ever been. Simply because it indicates that we have so much more untapped potential.  Link to article →

Why are films shot in two colours?

A beautifully edited and curated video essay on duo-tone cinematography. I never realised the extent to which colour played a part in signalling scenes/moods/acts in a movie. Link to article →

Have you been misjudged, or did you misunderstand the point of the judgement?

This was enlightening, to say the least. If you only read one thing, let it be this:
“Our early training and our self-centeredness combine to make us believe that every judgement of us is about us. In fact most aren’t. This is a rare case where being less self-centered will make people more confident. Once you realize how little most people judging you care about judging you accurately—once you realize that because of the normal distribution of most applicant pools, it matters least to judge accurately in precisely the cases where judgement has the most effect—you won’t take rejection so personally.

And curiously enough, taking rejection less personally may help you to get rejected less often. If you think someone judging you will work hard to judge you correctly, you can afford to be passive. But the more you realize that most judgements are greatly influenced by random, extraneous factors—that most people judging you are more like a fickle novel buyer than a wise and perceptive magistrate—the more you realize you can do things to influence the outcome.” Link to article →

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