I sent my first weekly newsletter in August of 2019. I had seven subscribers at the time. Two were myself using my other email addresses to populate the subscriber field and set the momentum. The others were my mom, my husband, and a few friends that I asked to add. I committed to writing a weekly newsletter for 4 ½ years with very few weeks off. Mainly, when I have been out of the country, I have missed a handful of weekly newsletters. With tons of organic effort, my subscribers list has grown greatly since 2019. My writing remains incredibly personal.
I have always had the belief that writers should be paid. I pay for writing that moves me. This includes a Medium Membership, Substack Subscriptions, paid newsletters, great books, writing courses, writing coaches, writing classes, writers retreats, hearing writers speak, and more. I gladly pay for all of it. Each month when I open a paid newsletter, I think maybe this will be the month I cancel or weed out and sift through some of my payments. Save some money. Then I open the newsletter and I am once again moved by beautiful writing. Cheryl Strayed, I’m looking at you and your Tiny Beautiful Things. It's always worth more than a cup of coffee to me, and I really love a warm cup of coffee. I am happy to hand over $5, once again, for the privilege of reading great writing. I start shaking my head that I considered otherwise. Not everyone feels this way. I understand. Writing is transformative for me. I love to read and I love to write. Ever since my first Dare to Dream Journal I wanted to improve the lives of others through writing. I wanted to become a better writer and person through reading. I have had the privilege of doing that. Thank you GUS (God, Universe, Spirit).
On a separate but related note, paying for recovery services can be controversial in some circles. I could write a thesis on this. I would start with the fact that you’ve been talking to your friend for years about wanting to make a change in your life, but likely didn’t make any lasting changes until you addressed it with a trained professional. The results are different. I will save that conversation for another day and stick to the point here and you'll likely see where I am going with a switching to a paid newsletter.
Hold on now. Keep reading!
It is time for me to evolve to a paid newsletter for many reasons that I can continue to talk about in the weeks ahead. It’s something I have considered for a long time and I am now ready to take action on it. If this sounds like a list of justifications, maybe it is. It’s a glimpse of my own thinking and how much care and concern I put into this option.
One particularly important topic has to do with a random person that found me on Facebook. This man took the time to write me a mean message about how terrible I am to suggest paid recovery resources. He spewed BS to me. This guy was clearly not my ideal client or a typical follower. Did this guy ruin it for everyone? Yes, maybe he did. I don’t want to react to a troll or live in fear, but I also don’t want random mean guys to read my personal newsletter. I need a paywall to keep them out. This is for my protection. I know you understand.
What this guy doesn’t know is that it costs me a lot of money to offer this “free” newsletter. Between my time, credentials, technical support, software, design, and more it costs my energy, limited resources, and straight up dollars that go into offering a “free” weekly newsletter. I’ve been the silent donor paying out of pocket for this from my personal wallet for years. I have been able to do that gladly up until now. Things change. It’s ok. We are meant to change. It is time for a change with my newsletter. I have been considering it for quite some time and have decided the time is now. Stay with me here.
I offer many resources for free and I plan to continue to do so. My social media is free. I have a Free Sober Secrets Guide. I offer Free Coaching and Content on Instagram Lives, Stories, and Posts. I’m interviewed for free on podcasts about once a quarter. I write blogs for Free. I offer a Free complimentary call. I volunteer and support recovery organizations for Free. I lead workshops and meetings for Free. I speak at community events for Free. There’s so much more, but you get the idea. I believe in offering Free resources. And do. And will continue to.
I also invest in scholarships. I donate to recovery causes. I pay money to support people in recovery. I will continue to do so. I take my money earned and put it back into creating the kind of recovery friendly world I want to live in. I invest in alcohol free options, apps, people, drinks, art, events, resources, and so much more. I am going to continue to build our beautiful sober empire with everything I have.
And also…I have dedicated my life and my work to offering valuable paid resources. This is the abbreviated Cliff Note version of that thesis. I quit the corporate world, took a pay cut, starting by making zero dollars and invested in training, software and more with the audacious idea that it would grow in time. And it has. Thank you GUS! Thank YOU for being a reader here! You are a huge part of my journey and I wouldn’t be here without you. I appreciate you so much!
I do not expect to make a living from writing a newsletter. I am going to put the energy exchange into the Universe messaging that my time and effort is valuable. My offering is not available for everyone, but it is available for everyone that wants it. I am going to keep the meanies out and invite the people that really want to be here closer in. I want to offer more value and the way to do that is through a paid offering.
Everyone that wants to receive my newsletter will.
There’s something in it for you too.
By paying, even $1 a month, you are telling GUS (God, Universe, Spirit) that this is important to you. You are willing to invest in it. You will prioritize reading it. You will stay committed to learning on your alcohol free journey. Science shows if you invest your dollars in something you are more likely to make it happen. This has been proved true over and over again. Why clutter up your inbox with something you don’t want to read?
There’s something in it for me too.
By knowing you are a paid subscriber I am going to offer you my very best. I am going to pull you in for a closer hug and share more. More free guides, more giveaways, more resources, and more offerings.
I love it when writers go through this whole thing about their headspace when they start charging for something. I smile and go “right on Sister! You deserve it!”. I find it kind of unnecessary that they shared all that but…ok. And now I’ve just done the same thing.
So there you have it.