I am back
Things have not been great.
Ah, good. January. The month of fresh starts and lofty goals. The very beginning of January, and certainly not the end of it, just as I intended. Oh hey, I see that calendar over your shoulder. It says 2023, you silly bean. You should put that away, because this is 2022, a year in which I’m going to accomplish great things and be consistently productive.
No, come on. You can’t fool me. I did not stumble into a timewarp or blink and miss an entire year, and I definitely didn’t fritter away the months doing frivolous things like documenting the life and death of Jeremy the four-limbed daddylonglegs or reading erotic manga with titles like I ONLY LIKE THE FINGERS OF THE GUY I HATE. But if that were the case, which I’m not saying it is, I suppose I would say thank you for waiting, you beautiful mystery. I’ll assume you’ve been sitting patiently on the edge of your seat and didn’t just forget you were subscribed.
Okay, listen. I’ll humour you. I will pretend it is 2023 and that I am now 37, which is perilously close to 40 and borderline can’t be considered my mid-30s any more, even though that information is distressing.
I’ve tried to write this comeback post several times over the past few months. (This is me pretending 2022 already happened! Convincing, isn’t it?) Lots of iterations and too many thousands of words later, I gave up. This time I’m not even going to bother trawling through previous drafts to recycle the good bits. I’m not even looking at them! Ha! Take that, perfectionist mindset. I’ve got shit to do and you’re not going to stop me by insisting I explain myself. Sometimes you’ve just gotta get on with things, even if you feel like you’re not ready, you know? And I could go on feeling not-ready for the rest of my life, I swear to god.
Look, I’ll level with you, even though I really don’t want to. Last year was not great for me. It also wasn’t particularly bad. It was just kind of … nothingy. I continued to dance around the edges of figuring out what the hell I want to do, professionally or otherwise. I made a lot of decisions and then I sat there staring at them, waiting for them to confirm they’re the correct ones. Sadly they didn’t answer so it seems I’m going to have to find out for myself. What a drag. Can’t I just know I’m making the perfect decision before I exert any effort, please? No? Well. Fuck you then.
Hmm. *drums fingers* I suppose I should include something here that could qualify as actual content, at least on a technical level. Let’s try this:
The future of Clattermouth
Even through all my whiff-whaffing—no, wait, apparently that means table tennis … Even through all my piff-poffing (I just made this up but somehow it sounds even more like table tennis) … Even through all my dilly-dallying, I knew Clattermouth was something I wanted to stick with. It’s one of the few good ideas I’ve ever had!
But before I returned, I’d intended to spruce the old girl up. I’m pretty sure my welcome email is still a placeholder about how I forgot to write a welcome email, and my About page is out-of-date, and let’s not even mention all the tiny little details like footers and contributor profiles that’ve been sitting on my to-do list for months. I’ll get to all that at some point. What’s more important is that I start writing actual newsletters again. Here’s what they’ll look like from now on:
My plans for free subscribers
The free emails I was sending out before kinda sucked, if you want my professional opinion. I had a vague curated listicle thing going on where I’d share links to what I’d been working on plus any other cool shit I thought you’d enjoy. But who fucking cares, you know? It’s not enough when that’s the only thing you’re getting. I may still do that kind of email once a month or something, but it will not be the only thing I send out to free subscribers any more.
So what more will you get? Well, if the paid newsletters are about my work as a writer (which they are, I dunno why I phrased that as a proposal), the free newsletters will be about my life as a writer. At the start of the pandemic I remember a lot of people proclaiming they were going to use all this newfound free time to ~do stuff~, meaningful and fun things they’d always wanted to do but never found the time. Like … baking bread? Specifically sourdough bread? Well, not me.
Instead I was like, finally, some time in which it’s socially acceptable to just not for a while. Unfortunately I continued just-notting for way too long. It became a habit, and not a good one. To give you an idea of how much I have been just-notting: the other day I spent an afternoon pruning and repotting my plants, and I was all, Wow, it’s nice to actually do something for a change. And that was literally all I did. Repot some plants while watching a YouTube video critiquing a show I have never even seen.
My life, like a lot of people’s during the pandemic, took a – well, not even a left turn. It just kinda stalled out right there in the middle of the road. And it’s time I rectified that. Get the engine revving again, as it were. So in the free newsletter I’ll be exploring topics like productivity, creativity, and other things that make life feel worthwhile (for me this most definitely will not include having kids, but may include things like travel, learning to play guitar with tiny hands, and rearranging my furniture over and over again).
My plans for paid subscribers
Paid subscribers! I have not forgotten you. In fact I have guiltily thought about you a lot! I will still send you what I promised in the first place: emails about my work as a writer, and specifically about rebuilding my career into something better than before. However, I may also send you some of the more personal life-related things I mentioned above if I write something I don’t want to share quite so publically in the free emails.
I’ll be starting up paid emails again soonish (but not yet), which means if you’re a monthly subscriber your payments will start again, too. If you’re not okay with that, you can cancel. If you’re an annual subscriber you can just sit back and relax, because you’ll have at least nine months remaining on your subscription.
For everyone who’s currently subscribed, I’ll have a free gift for you (and new annual subscribers) when I start the paid newsletter back up, probably in the next month or two. But more about that another time.
I was going to announce my other plans for my work here too, but that would make this newsletter approximately the length of the self-checkout queue on Christmas Eve, so I’ll save it for next time. For now I’m just glad to finally be back in your inbox, and uh, hopefully you’re glad about that too.
Welcome back Kaz Marston :)
I want this one to be longer than your 2021 twitter comeback, tho
YAY good to hear from you! This newsletter resonated very greatly. I get it. Shit is hard. But you wrote a thing and it's good and that's progress and all progress is good.