Why I Love Substack: On The Vulnerable Journey Of Creating Beautiful Things

Anyone can start a newsletter, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy

Camille Prairie

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We’ve been hearing and seeing a countercultural push for more “feminine” values for a while now. Largely, I think, in response to my generation being overworked and coming of age in an economy where they have had to reckon with the reality that their hard-earned degree likely has less value than it would have had 20 years ago and may not land them a job that will get them all of the things- a house, car, and 2.5 kids.

In fact, even if most young people land a stable job now, they’re asking for more now. Happiness.

An article I read this morning made the beautiful point that these “feminine” values often look like slowing down. Not settling for less than what you want. Becoming soft around the edges. Enjoying beautiful things. Making beautiful things just because you can, even if nobody sees them.

As I read this article, I realized that my Substack newsletter is my beautiful thing. Writing to my subscribers every week is no cakewalk, but I LOVE it. I love imagining that somewhere, someone reads what I write and thinks, wow. This girl has a point. Writing about what matters to me gives me the energy to do what doesn’t matter so much.

It’s a vulnerable thing to show up as my whole self. To offer what I think are meaningful questions and food for thought in my articles and meditations that I hope help someone. It’s vulnerable to attempt to build a community that cares about the future of this world.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of failing because I am. I’m human. I play the comparison game more than I’d like to admit and I’ve stayed up thinking about the plan for next week’s newsletters more than once.

And then a moment comes when I realize there’s nothing to be afraid of. The victory is in putting something beautiful that I created out into the world and not caring if anyone reads it because it matters to me.

Sometimes I think that the harder I try to engage with people, the less engagement I get. Like if you forget your umbrella, it will rain, but if you have your umbrella, it won’t.

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Camille Prairie

NC-based freelance-writer and semi-functional 25 year old navigating what it means to be an adult. Find me at https://camilleprairie.co