Ba-dee-ya, dancing in September
A personal appeal from "Jimmy Wales"
About this 100 subscribers thing. I thought it’d be a good target for the month. And we’re not gonna hit it—we’re at 62 with 24 hours to go. Which is still very respectable. And I know it seems like an arbitrary stupid goal. Like so many do. But there’s something more to it.
This month I’ve been reflecting on why I started The New Fatherhood. Like I was reminded by a good friend a few years ago: once upon a time, my cup runneth over with fun side-projects. Creative endeavours with no profitable upside. How an ex-colleague beautifully defined as "intelligence misbehaviour".
I started TNF as a way to bring that feeling back. It's ironic: you're hired to work somewhere because of all the creative things you can do. Because that company thinks that you’ll do those creative things for them. And you do! For a while. Because it's fun. And you get more autonomy. Or a bigger budget than you had before.
And you work, and you work, AND YOU WORK. You get creative things done, and you put all your energy into this new job. And one day, you look back and realise "Huh. I used to do a lot of great stuff. And then I got a job that was still fun, but all the stuff I did for myself, I started doing for them.” You realise that spark you once had has been given it to someone else. For close to a decade, or maybe even more.
So here we are. When I set that goal at the start of this month it was to help feed this beast. To enable more interesting, out there stuff through this newsletter: limited edition merchandise, colouring books for kids, in-person movie screenings for dads, live spoken word events in vein of the sadly deceased Pop-Up Magazine. But those things need money.
It’s like Tony. You all know him, he’s the guy who works his magic at the top of every newsletter, making this thing look so freakin’ good, week-in-week-out. His portfolio is looking incredible (side note: if you know anyone is in the editorial game, TELL THEM HOW AWESOME TONY IS AND TO HIRE HIM NOW). He's a huge part of what is happening here. I like to think we're working together to paint this whole thing in your head. I bring the words. He brings the pictures.
Last night the YouTube algorithm presented me with mini-documentary on DFA Records: Too Old To Be New, Too New To Be Classic. I don’t know why I needed to see it, 8 years later. But 10 minutes in, the answer presented itself:
“DFA was three things: a production duo; a group of friends throwing parties; and a collective of people who did stuff.”
— James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem
I’ve realised TNF and DFA share more than just a 3 letter acronym: It’s a newsletter; a group of friends making it; and a collective of people making cool stuff happen. Some of us are writing, some illustrating, some doing incredible design work, others—so many of you—offering advice, guidance and mentorship, from one dad to another. And a very important few who get your card out and hit that button.
You support this. Help me pick that scab that doesn’t always make financial sense, but that I promise will always bleed something creatively interesting.
September over. Sales pitch over. That's the last one. 1 more day to get 33% off (well, it's 35% because 33% rounded down to a really ugly annual fee, something like $30.80, and I couldn't bear to look at it). Thank you for reading. And for your support.
“Whatever your shit is, man, do it.
Whatever bring you that immense joy, do that, that’s your luxury.”
— Tyler, the Creator “Massa”