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
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.
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?
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".
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?
When I launched The Fire Jar, I was feeling creatively blocked and stuck.
- Reconnect with my creative self
- Learn how to create / share publicly
- Collaborate with people I like and admire
Over the past 90 weeks, the world has changed.
My motivations (and life) have changed, too.
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.
The last nine weeks :