Why I write this newsletter (plus celebrating a milestone)

Newsletter #20

I’m really proud to have made it to #20. I first started this newsletter on 21 May 2019, nearly a year ago. I haven’t always published on time, but I’ve kept publishing, which I think is more important.

In celebration of this milestone, I thought I’d write a few thoughts about my newsletter-writing journey so far. I hope you’ll indulge me!

Why I write this newsletter

After 20 issues, my original motivations for writing this newsletter haven’t changed. I write it because I find it both satisfying and fulfilling. It’s a productive side project, not a way to pay the bills.

At its heart, this newsletter is an outlet and a means for connection.

You see, I work for myself, so I’m often alone with my thoughts and ideas. Writing helps as an outlet for all the thoughts swimming around in my head. It also forces me to clearly articulate my thoughts and defend them. You’ll be amazed at how often I start a newsletter with an intended topic only to realise midway that it’s not as compelling as it seemed in my head.

Sharing my newsletter is also a way to connect. Often, a friend will read a newsletter and message me about it. And we often end up having a nice chat about it over email, phone, or tea. It’s not easy to keep in touch with people (especially those I’m not that close to), so I’m glad to have a handy conversation starter to rekindle friendships that would otherwise have fizzled out over the years. And of course, this matters even more now that we’re all cooped up at home during this COVID Quarantine!


In celebration of newsletter #20, I’ve given the website a makeover.

If you have some time, I’d love for you to take a look around! 🤗

WordPress -> Member Hero -> Mailchimp

Warning: This next section is Nerdy McNerd stuff, so feel free to skip past it if it’s not your cup of tea.

I’ve also updated my workflow. My new set up automatically sends out blog posts as newsletters.

This means, I now:

  1. Write and publish in WordPress.
  2. Behind the scenes, Member Hero (the plugin I co-founded) links the post to Mailchimp.
  3. Mailchimp then sends the post as a newsletter to you.

This benefits me because:

  1. The process is simpler and writing in WordPress is more pleasant than Mailchimp.
  2. All newsletters load natively as a blog posts on my website, which is better for SEO. And gives me more control over the design and structure.
  3. It’s much easier to share links to each newsletter.

If you’re into newsletters and are interested to learn more, feel free to reach out. I love nerding out about this stuff.


What’s next for this newsletter?

I’m taking a keep chipping away approach, and look forward to seeing the gradual evolution of this newsletter.

For many people, the next step of a newsletter is to grow it aggressively and gain a larger following. Honestly? It’s tempting to focus on growing my audience, but I know that trying to do that will make me dread writing this newsletter. And the joy I get out of this is worth far more than thousands of followers.

Hence, what you can expect in the future is more of what you’ve already been getting. That is, fortnightly newsletters about what I’ve been up to, peppered with ideas on personal growth.

I’ll also continue to experiment with the writing, design and format, simply because I enjoy it.

A year and 20 issues worth of newsletters seems like a lot, but it’s just the beginning. I’m excited to see how this newsletter naturally matures over time, and I hope you’ll continue to join me on this journey.

If you’d like to start your own newsletter, let me know.

I’m obviously biased, but I think newsletters are pretty cool. If you’d like to start one and have no idea how, just reach out and I’ll try my best to help you.


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Fresh From the Interwebz

Task Master: Home tasking edition

Task Master is one of my favourite shows. If you are unfamiliar with it, try watching an episode on YouTube.

Home tasking is the COVID version of Task Master. Super enjoyable to watch, and brings some much needed levity to this COVID Quarantine. Link to video →

Software for government services is boring magic

I always enjoy pieces that help me consider new perspectives. This short Medium articles shines a light on some forgotten heroes: digital government services. Here’s to boring magic! Link to article →

Cultivating Desire: A podcast with relationship expert Esther Perel

Esther Perel discusses and dissects relationships with the practised ease of an expert. I promise you will take away at least 1 thing you can apply in your relationships from listening to this podcast. Personally, I learnt about a hundred. Link to podcast →

This is the best year in human history

A short, uplifting NYT article stating the case for why this is a great time to be alive. A nice juxtaposition to the doom and gloom. Link to article →


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