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090: Recap (IX)

Reflections, at 90 weeks.

Jeremy Finch
Jeremy Finch
6 min read
090: Recap (IX)

630 days ago, I set a goal:

To make 100 things.
And share them publicly.
Via the internet.


The rules were simple:

  • Create something (anything!)
  • Hit "publish" once a week
  • Repeat, for ~two years



I'm ten weeks away from hitting this goal.


This review covers some lessons learned.
And explores three themes :

  • Cadence and consistency
  • Audience and scale
  • Motivations



Cadence and Consistency

Why 100 things?

On some level, it was arbitrary.
I liked the idea of triple digits.

I also wanted a time-bound structure.
A weekly forcing function.

Something to counterbalance my perfectionism and procrastination.



By prioritizing quantity and consistency, the hope was that I could step back and identify the patterns and themes later. Diverge, converge etc.


Recently, an essay got me thinking :


It made me wonder:
Am I making "content"?

I hope not...
🤦‍♂️

What rhythm makes the most sense?

The more I think about it, the more a weekly publishing schedule seems arbitrary.

I expect the newsletter cadence to evolve.

How exactly? I'm not sure.



Audience and scale

Each week, ~100 people visit TheFireJar.com.

This number has remained fairly flat over time.

When it comes to publishing on the internet, this scale somehow feels small, embarrassing, and insignificant. The business part of my brain whispers: Shouldn't growth charts always go up and to the right?

Dec 2019 - Aug 2021

By comparison: If I produced a live weekly show and ~100 friends showed up physically at a theater, I would be ecstatic 🙌.

In-person, this feels like huge support.
On the internet, it feels like "failure".

Weird, right?

What explains the difference...?


Perhaps overnight success stories and the buzz around the creator economy have warped my expectations and perspective. The "monetize your hobby" trend has produced unrealistic comparisons, strange incentives, and extra pressure.

The more I think about audience and scale, the worse I feel. When I focus more on meaningful connections and conversations, I feel gratitude and curiosity instead.


Still, a part of me wants to know:

Do you like my drawings?

Puppy Drawing
What did you think?


Motivations

When I launched The Fire Jar, I was feeling creatively blocked and stuck.

Early motivations:


Sage advice, tough to implement.



Over the past 90 weeks, the world has changed.

My motivations (and life) have changed, too.



Current motivations

Connection, learning, and dialogue.


The most rewarding part of sending a newsletter is getting your email responses. I learn a ton from the people who write back and share reactions.

In fact, my main KPI =
# of quality 1:1 conversations / week.

Did publishing lead to a meaningful interaction? Did I learn something new? Connect with a friend? Open a door to shared experience?

If so, it was totally worth it.

Afterwards, the world feels smaller, kinder, more open etc.




As a friend explains:

In an opt-in world, where you devote your energy is a signal to others about what matters to you."


Going forward, I plan to explore three themes:


These topics matter to me. A lot.

And I think they're all connected.


Are you interested in these things too?

Let's go exploring together.


jer@thefirejar.com




Ride along:





ICYMI

The last nine weeks :


081: Reader Mailbag (VIII)
Your responses re: timeless knowledge.
082: Reader Mailbag (IX)
Your responses re: bodies and movement.
083: Reader Mailbag (X)
Your responses re: creative practice.
084: Sitting Without Furniture
Ten alternatives to sitting in chairs.
085: Woodcut Prints
Hand-made art, shared across generations.
086: Setting Better Goals
A practical framework for goal-setting.
087: Evergreen Skills (Takeaways)
On timeless skills and knowledge.
88: Exercise + Movement (Takeaways)
On the value of exercise and movement.
089: Creative Practice (Takeaways)
On the value of creative outlets.







Retrospectives - The Fire Jar
~Quarterly reviews and reflections.




Filed under 📂

Season 2RetrospectivesCreativity


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