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How to Start a Newsletter

One of my beloved readers, Lulu, asked me if I had any advice about starting a newsletter, so I decided to write about it.

I started Splash in the July of 2017 after finishing a 100 day project. I wanted to find a new project that would make me consistently write and was inspired by my friend’s desire to start a newsletter. For projects like a newsletter, the best way to start is to just start. I avoided doing research about the best platforms or processes to make a newsletter. Knowing me, I would spend weeks researching endlessly before ultimately losing steam on the project and giving up.

I went ahead and signed up for Mailchimp (support local business!) because it was the only platform I knew about. I chose the first name that came to mind (Splash), made a terrible logo in illustrator by warping some text, and decided on a color scheme by stealing Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year. My structure was simple: I wanted to write and I wanted to share music. This led to my familiar structure of an essay followed by a few links that interested me. From week to week, I slowly started to find a voice for myself, telling stories about my life, coloring them with humor and jokes.

Of course, staying consistent isn’t easy. I forced myself to be consistent for a fairly long time before I realized that giving myself leeway could result in better writing. Even if creativity is a muscle, editing is not. If I found myself so busy that I started writing my newsletter at 10AM on a Thursday - just an hour before my newsletter was supposed to go out - it was unlikely that I would have the time and energy to edit my raw material into something worth sharing. I decided to start cutting myself some slack.

There are a million reasons why I love writing my newsletter. There’s the validation from my family that I’m a good writer and the ease of staying in contact with people who live far away. However, at the end of the day, I write these newsletters for myself as a way to keep myself from staying stagnant. Each newsletter is both a record of my life and an opportunity to improve as a writer. After high school, I realized that the only person I could trust to improve my writing skills was myself. I no longer had teachers who would criticize my weak rhetoric and identify my comma splices. 

That’s what keeps me going. Each person has their own reason for starting and running a newsletter. I aim to continuously grow as a writer. So if you want to start a newsletter, I have to ask you a single thing — why?
Drops of the Week
where I *drop* recommendations of cool things this week
Article
"Film Dialogue from 2,000 screenplays, Broken Down by Gender and Age" by Hannah Anderson and Matt Daniels - great data visualization showing off the disparity in dialogue between men and women on screen.
Book
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson - once you get past the excessive profanity and bothersome tone, this book provides a lot of valuable ideas about the importance of developing good values to guide your life. Manson went through a strange life, but we can learn from his mistakes in an interesting way.
Album
Creamy - fun playlist combining a variety of genres that result in some easy listening.
Thanks so much for reading! If you have any comments/concerns or fan/hate mail for me, you know how to reach me (links below). 

Love,
Nikhil
<3

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Nikhil · 325327 Georgia Tech Station · Atlanta, GA 30332 · USA

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