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The future of this newsletter
Conversations By The Sea is two! 🎂
This newsletter is officially two years old on 18th March! 🎉 I can’t believe that two years have passed since I launched Conversations By The Sea with this piece about whether it’s appropriate to keep marketing during times of international crisis - this is still very relevant, I think!
Over the last couple of years, the newsletter has evolved into more than just a weekly column about mental health and freelancing. I’ve also touched upon topics in the wider online space including separating the art from the artist (particularly relevant this week), the impact of living in a news obsessed world, and even some lessons in mental health from Henry Cavill.
I typically don’t plan what I am going to write about each week, and I seek no financial gain from the newsletter (except for my Ko-Fi account, which I regularly forget to mention). As a result, it has evolved in an organic way.
I was recently inspired by fellow freelancer Sally Fox’s declaration to turn off her newsletter’s tracking functionality to protect the privacy of her subscribers. I had never even thought of it from this angle before, check out Sally’s blog post below for more information on data privacy in emails.
We put numbers on everything. From counting the likes on an Instagram photo of a dog to celebrating Twitter follower milestones. Now we know there’s a chemical reason behind why we feel so good when we gain a new subscriber or follower - I’ve written about dopamine and the internet in the past.
The opposite of that dopamine response has to be the disappointment when someone unsubscribes. Personally, I take no qualms in unsubscribing from emails that no longer interest me… yet I can’t help but feel a little rubbish when I see that number drop. But why would I want someone to receive this email if it didn’t bring them joy? The truth is: I wouldn’t!
Conversations By The Sea doesn’t have a lot of subscribers considering its age and the consistency with which I write. However, every week I receive personal email responses reacting to the topic of the week - and this is what really makes it worth it.
I started the newsletter as a way of ensuring I was consistently writing for myself. As a professional copywriter, I churn out thousands of words a week for clients and without Conversations’ self-set Wednesday morning deadline, I would probably struggle to write in any other capacity.
I became a writer because I love writing. I wear my award for Highest Graded Dissertation in the Department of Hispanic Studies as a badge of honour nearly a decade after receiving it. At age 12, I was locked away in my bedroom writing embarrassing fan fiction or working on my YA novel about a girl who found herself betrothed to the devil’s son. I still have a copy of the latter somewhere, and I vow it shall never see sunlight again. (Note from Craig: she really does, and it really shouldn’t). Writing is my job, but also my passion.
So, what does the future hold for this newsletter?
Honestly? I have no idea. Conversations By The Sea will remain a weekly newsletter for as long as I can manage, and I will keep writing about whatever topics catch my eye that week: usually in the realm of mental health, work/life balance, internet culture and more. Some issues will be more relevant to you than others, but I rest easy in the knowledge that I enjoyed writing every single one of them and hope to continue this venture for many years to come.
For those of you who are still along for the ride, I’d love to know what sort of topics you’ve enjoyed me covering. Are there certain things you like about the newsletter that I can explore more? No promises that I’ll continue with any specific topic - but I’m more than happy to hear your feedback. Let me know by either replying to this email or tweeting me @ContentByTheSea as it means the world!
And thanks again for being part of this two-year achievement!
📚 The Stranding by Kate Sawyer - I know I recommend a lot of books in this newsletter, so I don’t expect you to read them all… but this is a special one. The Stranding tells Ruth’s story from two perspectives: Before and After. The event in between is never entirely clear, but it’s very clearly an apocalyptic event that wipes the majority of the human population from the earth. Before, Ruth is living the standard twenty-something lifestyle complete with an irreplaceable BFF, unsatisfying job and dreadful boyfriend. And in the After, she’s desperately trying to survive each day with a complete stranger by her side.
I already think this is a contender for my favourite book of the year, and in less than 400 pages, Sawyer tells Ruth’s story in the most beautiful and poignant way. I highly, highly recommend it if you enjoy literary fiction with a dystopian twist.
📽️ Turning Red (Disney+) - The newest Disney Pixar film is a homage to female adolescence. A hilarious and heartfelt tale of Meilin’s transition from childhood to womanhood, and all the chaos that ensues.
📺 The Letdown (Netflix) - Somehow I’ve only just discovered this Australian sitcom about new mum Audrey who is battling the ins and outs of parenthood. Seeing our not-too-distant future on the telly has made this show lighthearted show even more relatable.
That’s all from me this week! See you next Wednesday with more musings on topics that are important to me, including but not limited to: mental health, work/life balance, internet culture, and much more.
People saying nice things about Conversations By The Sea
Enjoyed this? You might like these past issues:
9th March: Don’t shoot the messenger
2nd March: How to stay informed without going mad
23rd February: This is how it’s always been
16 February: You can only do your best
26 January: The way to a person’s heart
19 January: How do you work?
12 January: Being a morning person is overrated
5 January: Treading lightly into 2022
15 December: How do you compare?
8 December: Lessons on mental health from Henry Cavill
1st December: Give the gift of rest this Christmas