How my Newsletter became a source of Therapy for me

Henry McIntosh

Everyone had been telling me to start my newsletter, I nodded and agreed and even argued for it on several occasions, but it literally took me a good number of years before I launched my newsletter. But when I did launch I came out with a bang, not one but running two newsletters simultaneously.

Today, I have The Secret Community of Creatives and The Chronically Driven Letters both of which have progressively continued to grow. Don’t get me wrong, at first it was indeed rather overwhelming to manage two newsletters on a consistent basis but in just a few weeks’ time I noticed something peculiar — if I didn’t sit down to write my newsletters I actually felt bad! Not just bad, but sad.

The Process

Both of them are so different! One is to help artists make a living and the other is encouraging those living with invisible conditions. I usually sit down to write them towards the end of the week on Fridays or Saturdays (they go out early Sunday), the artists’ one has a structure which helps me prepare content and resources through the week whereas the other one is almost a brain dump, in a very intentional way.

I reflect on the way the week has been, the good, the bad and the not-so-pleasant and what that has taught me. I then translate this into somewhat of a mini-article that forms the main body of the newsletter.

The Therapy

It’s when I sit down to write them that I almost work through the obstacles I’ve encountered over the past week and the lessons I’ve learnt from them. Sometimes, there is no lesson I have just had an awful week and that goes in unfiltered into the newsletter as well.

The entire process of elaborating and making it sensible to another person helps me understand the issues at hand in a much more granular level. As a writer at heart, everything needs to be in points and properly constructed sentences that help bring clarity to my thoughts.

The Real Therapy

I must admit however, the real work starts once I hit that ‘send’ button. The replies, the provocations, the ideas that come back to me from the community genuinely spark some of my biggest ideas and what I would possibly consider the real therapy.

The funny thing is, somehow I get credited ‘for doing something good’ in the process while I honestly feel my newsletters bring more back to me than I give.

Don’t believe me? Check out an archive of both The Secret Community of Creatives and The Chronically Driven Letters, and let me know what you think!

Hi! I speak & write about digital innovation within the cultural sector. An RSA Fellow, Near Now Member & a Huffington Post Blogger. Say hello to me on Twitter @bhaesa.

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