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A New Direction

Switching careers from tech to creative writing

Upon opening this email, your first thought will probably be that you have no idea who I am or why you're receiving it. 

My name is Zack Thoutt. I'm a software engineer originally from Boulder, Colorado. Back in 2017, I created a side project that went viral where I trained a neural network to write the next chapter of "Game of Thrones" (though I know the books are actually title "A Song of Ice and Fire"). At the time, I was toying with the idea of running a tech-related newsletter and ended up getting a decent number of signups through the viral nature of the articles written about my GOT project.

If you're receiving this email, you're likely one of those people.

I sent a grand total of three newsletter issues, the last one being several years ago. I'm sorry my first attempt at a newsletter was a dud.

Like many people, I started questioning what I want to do with my life during the pandemic. The conclusion I came to was that I want to gradually shift careers from tech to creative writing. The pay is obviously significantly less to non-existent in writing compared to tech, so this a change that I expect to take place over the next decade or more. 

For now, I have plenty of free time to write as a hobby. Last year I created a new personal website and started publishing some of my writing online for free. I've also been running an experimental Substack newsletter for the past 9 months and have been inspired by its success. 

Given my life changes, I've decided to migrate my Substack audience to this "legacy" Mailchimp newsletter. Substack is a good platform to get started, but I'm not interested in having paid subscribers and it lacks many features that I need to make my vision come to life. 

My goal is to publish an assortment of fiction as well as travel stories about my nomadic life in Europe. I plan to publish a lot of my writing on my website for free. If I ever manage to get a hardcover novel published through a traditional publisher, I'd like to put the first third of the book on my site for free. My view is that if I can't get a reader hooked in the first third of the book, I don't deserve to get paid. 

Going forward, this newsletter will go out ~1-2x per month and will announce new writing that I've published, with direct links to start reading on my website for free. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, I encourage you to visit my website and browse my recent writing.

This brings me to the purpose of this email. Since you all signed up for a tech newsletter four years ago, I don't want to randomly start sending you emails about creative writing. 

If you would like to subscribe to my new newsletter, please reply to this email with the text "I'd like to stay subscribed."

If you take no action, I will assume you do not want to receive my newsletter and will unsubscribe you. I hate spam and the last thing I want is for my work to be viewed as spam. I only want subscribers who are truly interested in reading my writing.  

That's all I have to say for now. If you plan to continue following me on my new journey, I look forward to connecting with you and promise this time around I will deliver more consistent content. The next issue will go out sometime in the next few weeks. If this is where we part, I thank you for subscribing to my original newsletter and am sorry I didn't follow through with my plans to run a tech-related newsletter.

Either way, I wish all of you a happy 2022!

Enjoy the journey,
Copyright © 2021 Zack Thoutt, All rights reserved.

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