Welcome, everyone! We’ve had a little boost from facebook yesterday and so I wanted to do a back-to-basics newsletter.
This is The Trenchant Edges, a newsletter exploring weird ideas and the people who have them in an attempt to find a path out of our ongoing historical crisis.
It can be heavy at times, but we tend to have fun. Or at least I do and it seems like a lot of people are keeping up.
As you might expect from the title, I sent the first email in on this platform a year ago today. I’d like to say it’s been a resounding success with a year’s worth of high-quality discussions but it’s really more like 4-6 months of them (depending on how your pace them out).
Our first run lasted from June 25th till early August when I reinjured my back from sitting too much and then we updated sporadically until May when I decided to just do it every day.
Since then I’ve been playing with the subject matter and format and seeing what sticks for people and what drives them away.
Some of that has been very successful and some has been pretty bad. I’d put our discussions of Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance capitalism in the former because I really love that book and like 5 people have told me they’ve bought a copy because of me. Woo. On the other side? Hooboy some people didn’t like Wednesday’s “I’ve got too much work to write a whole thing, how are y’all doing?” post, which got like 5 unsubscribes. Yikes, since I normally get 1 or 2 a week.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with what we’ve done here. Juggling spoons w/ depression, chronic illness, and this goddamn back injury makes any kind of sustained work difficult to maintain but I’m very happy to not let this project slip away entirely.
Normally these emails come out at 10am est M-F, with a roundup on Saturday and a coming attractions post on Sunday. Today, I realized at 10am that my next post about Terence Mckenna was going to take way more time to finish so I wanted to write this instead.
Reading some of my earlier emails I’m honestly not feeling a lot of their content. Some were good but many were pretty uncomprehensive.
I’m still whittling away at the research for the monster Mcluhan and McKenna essays and writing some of the details, but most of my research muscle these days is going to clients.
One thing I need to decide how I want to deal with are subscribers, who I very much appreciate. I spent 5-10 hours/week on this out of maybe 20-30 hours worked overall, so it’s a big chunk of my workweek. Offsetting some of the time lost is extremely satisfying.
But I don’t feel like I can really justify pushing for subscriptions with my current track record. And I like emailing everyone with everything I write. Gating that off never really felt right.
So I don’t know what’s going to happen with that since I can’t really write much more than I already am.
I figure, let’s give it another month and we’ll see from there.
All in all, thank y’all for sticking with me and listening. It’s a lot more fun writing to an audience rather than into the void. :-D
Anyway, so welcome back everyone. And here’s to a more consistent year.