“You write in isolation and a rejection doesn’t give you a lot of feedback.”—Kim Kankiewicz (@kimprobable)
“What I have to process is my own thoughts and experiences; does that matter to anybody else? The reason I write is to make connections with other people.” —Kim Kankiewicz
Here we are again, picking them off one by one.
Kim Kankiewicz’ essay “Rumors of Lost Stars” won Creative Nonfiction’s best essay contest for Issue 32’s theme of “Joy”. It’s an essay about communal acceptance, overreaching, and then personal acceptance and redemption. She threads this around the mythology of three stars. The parallels between the myths and her story make this essay sing.
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As many of you know, #CNF has a problem with consistency. No excuses. It’s a failure on my part.
I’d love to see it keep growing, which it has ever since its inception in 2013.
And, as the saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed,” so I plan on sharing a few of the analytics of the 2016 run of the podcast.
NONE of these numbers are staggering. To some, they may even be embarrassing. To that I say, Who cares? You have to start somewhere. I’m choosing to remain positive and to encourage the best out of people. EVERY conversation I had felt meaningful and I enjoyed every second.
I understand he, like everyone, has flaws. I read his blog every day, and I’d be disappointed if even one blog post didn’t land in my inbox each morning. I know I’m not alone.
But as he writes in the opening of What Does It Sound Like When You Change Your Mind? in a “post” titled “Is It Selfish?”:
I wrote this book for me.
Day after day, year after year, my blog shows up. And I’m delighted if people read it, thrilled if it resonates with you.
But the truth is, even if you didn’t read my blog, even if no one read my blog, I’d still write it.
It’s through that daily practice that people tuned in. It’s antithetical. He doesn’t hustle. He shows up; and we do.
It’s his generosity of spirit that feeds the soul, just like Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings. She too started her wonderful blog not to gain an income or gain followers, but in being true to her own self, she writes about what nourishes her own mind.
She’d probably write the blog even if no one was reading, but through consistent production and thoughtful curation, Popova and Godin have legions of people who deeply hunger to be part of their minds.
To that I raise both hands.
In the spirit of Godin, who would write the blog if no one was reading, I too wish to do the same.
Writing a blog post about moving forward is a great way to persuade oneself to move forward. Writing a blog post about the past, the future, the things we miss—this is how I work to keep myself on track.
Seeing a blog post a year or two after I’ve written it is a bit of a jolt, a chance to remember a moment in time, and mostly, an opportunity to push forward. Again.
So I plan to use my blog as a daily practice to improve 1% Better (s.o. to Joe Ferraro)—I’d love for you to join me (see monthly book recommendation newsletter and podcast. Phew.)
I won’t invade your inbox. If you like this blog, merely bookmark it and check it at your leisure. I’ll be here. I hope you will too.
Moving on, be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes (can’t get it in the Google Store yet for some reason). By following me on Twitter you can stream it in your feed when I tweet it out. Same for Facebook.
Also, my newsletter is changing. I’m going to a monthly format where I send out a bunch of cool stuff from the month that was or the month ahead: book recommendations, blog posts, podcasts, just a bunch of cool stuff to keep you busy for a month. There’s several ways to subscribe all over my website.
I have big ambitions for the newsletter and the podcast so please subscribe to both. It’s my collection plate.
My longterm goal is to do the type of storytelling I love through Kindle Singles, but first I need to build an army through the newsletter and the podcast so that I can support myself by publishing my own brand of compelling true stories thus bypassing gate keepers. If you like Six Weeks in Saratoga and my other longer features, then you’ll want to stay tuned.
Please share the podcast with people you think will enjoy it. By all means “like” it on Twitter, but retweeting helps extend the reach, so please consider that as well.
If this sounds like begging, frankly, I don’t care!
I mean, don’t take my word for it, let Paul Lisicky, judge of Proximity Magazine’s personal essay contest tell you about Sarah’s essay:
This is a piece by a writer who’s willing to be lost a little while. As readers, we encounter a mind at work: thinking, perceiving, questioning, bewildered. We’re invited into the speaker’s contradictions—her wish to be seen and known, her wish to be invisible—and get a window into an aspect of the American prison system that’s rarely represented, especially with such nuance and intimacy.