I used to wish I’d have something to pithy to say on occasions like this, as the newsletter hits the month mark and the ideas keep flowing, but the truth is that it’s cold today, I’m in a bit of a shame spiral over some other work commitments, and my body is very much reminding me that I am disabled.
And yet, I continue.
In the past, this would have been a pushing through gear, a jamming into fifth that I would have paid for over weeks and months. Now, this is the slow and methodical transition of a thrivable life. Each winter, and I live in the Canadian prairies for those who don’t know, I have said that each one has become harder to enjoy. Unsurprisingly, it’s not easy to enjoy -40C, just like for some folks it’s not exactly cause for celebration when that temperature gauge ticks ever closer to 40 the other way. Mother nature here is a fan of pissing us off as much as astounding us with her beauty.
What does this mean? It means I’m transitioning my work schedule early. I’m trying to work no more than 20 hours a week at my desk while maintaining my goal of invoicing $1000 a week. So far, although we’re only a couple of weeks into the experiment, I’m keeping my promise. But here’s the thing, a lot of creators talk about these numbers like they’ve always existed. You can check out my past writing, my student media scribblings are all still online, and if you went back into the CMS of those sites you’d see some ungodly hours when you looked at the timestamp. I still have to actively resist being a workaholic.
One way to reduce that habit is to reflect. And so, here are three things I want to do more of in this newsletter and three things I want to do less of.
Promote This Newsletter More
I have not been promoting this newsletter as much as I could be because I wanted to let it breathe. The previous iterations of this project have not lasted as long, partially because they were more labour intensive and partially because I hadn’t found my voice yet. Well, blabbering about productivity, let along disability, is a regular feature of my life even if I don’t turn on the computer and write some words. Now, of course, you can help promote this newsletter (and I’d appreciate it if you did by sharing the link at the top of this page that’s part of that little button feature) but the truth is that this newsletter won’t reach the people it needs to if I don’t brave the stormy seas of LinkedIn and be proud of this thing that I’ve built.
Create Space for More Voices
I’ve realized that I have the capital, albeit out of my own pocket, to have a few people write for this newsletter. If you think that’s you, or someone you know, please get in touch. I haven’t set what my rate would be, and I’m a pretty easy to get along with collaborator (or so I’m told). That email is John@jloeppky.com. I’d be looking for folks who have a take on their own understanding of disabled and/or crip productivity who identify with disability and are comfortable doing so publicly.
Be More Forthright About Money
A couple of you have chosen to support this project financially, I appreciate those who have, and the truth is that more than just promoting the contents of the newsletter, I need to promote the ways people can pay for it as well. I’ve seen far too many newsletter creators, people who I respect and whose work I value, burn out because they didn’t set out a business plan for their projects. So, I’m going to set that out now. My goal is to be spending two days a week (so about $400 worth of time a week) on this project and the accompanying book by this time next year. To dedicate that time I need to replace the income I would lose by taking on less clients. If you feel comfortable paying for this newsletter, and only if you have the means, here’s a place where you can do that on a recurring basis.
And now, for the things I will try to be doing less of moving forward.
I Will Not Hold Myself to a Word Count
Now, you might look at past editions and wonder what I’m talking about. The truth is, I haven’t been especially worried about word count, but I do see myself looking over to the tab on the left side of my screen more and more. I’m not looking to write epics, or long poems, or productivity advice where you forgot where it started before it ended. By the same measure, I’m not going to judge myself moving forward if I’m in pain and my email has to be a little shorter. So it goes, so it goes.
I Will Not Go Day by Day
For the first week or so of this renewed project I was batch processing, meaning I would write more than one in a day. For the past week and a half or so, I have been writing that day’s edition the same day. This has led to later and later publishing times, which doesn’t give you, the readers, a chance to read them at a sensible hour. I think that part of cripping productivity inherently means embracing flexibility, but I’d like to keep the pieces coming out between 9 and 5. To do that, especially on my newly named winter schedule, I’m going to have to get back to writing multiple on certain days. The ideas keep coming and now the Google Calendar just needs to part in the right way(s).
I Will Not Lose Sight of the End Goal
The end goal of this newsletter is to be a tool for myself as much as anyone else. I’m not religious, but there is something spiritual about having a routine like this newsletter has given me. It might be a weird thing to say, but I have not had a consistent writing practice that is just mine during my time as a journalist. To have that has been a joy.
I've decided to shift CRPL to a 5 times a week newsletter about productivity as I am fascinated by the topic, am in the early stage of writing a book about it, and want to have a place to think, and write, and create work about this vital area of thinking. Click below to join the daily newsletter and/or to help financially support this project.