On days when I can’t focus on my work or I’m struggling to get stuck in a task…or when I just want to feel like I’ve been productive without putting the effort in…I comb through my list of newsletter / mailing list subscriptions.
I’m subscribed to all kinds of things.
📩 Newsletters run by arts organisations, venues, charities and artists.
📩 Blogs (or substacks!) which read like friendly, personable notes from a stranger
📩 Themed mailing lists about topics or news I feel I should know more about. (I try to not use the word ‘should’)
📩 Newsletters about things I would like to know
📩 Things I’m not convinced I need to know but I’ll keep them unread in my inbox because you never know
📩 I read newsletters that reference other newsletters or articles and so I find myself signing on to new mailing lists whose emails I won’t read and bookmarking articles I’ll forget to read.
It’s exhausting. Or at least, it was, until I decided to declutter my inbox (and my mind) from subscriptions that won’t ever get read.
This is a cathartic process.
It’s an opportunity to be brutally honest with myself about what I will and won’t give my precious reading time to. It makes opening my inbox MUCH less stressful.
(That being said, obviously I’d like you to stay subscribed (or subscribe if you haven’t already!) and share this newsletter with folk.
I’d love to reach more people.
But, more importantly, I’d love for you to be honest with yourself:
Do the mailing lists you are signed up to serve you?
Do you make the time to read them or do you automatically click delete?)
And if you do have articles or newsletters stacked up and saved to read at the ‘right time,’ let me break down for you how to create the ‘right time’ for yourself:
Once a week, I allocate 20 minutes to go through my bookmarks / subscriptions. No more or I’ll get sucked in to reading or bookmarking more than I can handle and sooner or later that lovely brain and email space I gave myself will be full up again.
Stack ‘em up. I pick two or three articles or newsletters to digest during my 20 minutes. (I usually read my fave newsletters on the days that they come out)
Get comfy. I usually have a fave snack or drink to hand.
Pick a spot. It might be outside with the nicer weather or cosied up on the sofa with a blanket. I tend to read industry news type newsletters on the go or at work and the more personable newsletters make up my mindful reading time.
This week I’m sharing some of my fave newsletters:
Freelance Writing Jobs by Sian Meades-Williams. Yes it’s a weekly circulation of all kinds of creative writing jobs but it’s also a newsletter with a lot of character and humour. Plus it’s super easy to read and I’ve managed to snag some jobs from it.
The Single Supplement Each week Nicola discusses a theme around being single such as handling finances, dealing with the reaction of others or being single at Christmas. She also curates articles, podcasts and other bits of good content that she thinks readers will find interesting.
Mixed Messages A weekly newsletter all about the mixed-race experience. Each week, Isabella Silvers interviews someone who is mixed race. I’m mixed and it’s interesting to read so many different voices expressing their feelings about a part of their identity.
Tiff Philippou I also really enjoy this funny and often poignant newsletter. Tiff writes about work and life