Happy Labor Day!
It’s time for me to go paid with this newsletter, my friends. There didn’t seem to be any better time than Labor Day to take the leap to get paid for what I love to do most in all the world. It’s also the New Moon today, so the perfect time for launching new endeavors.
I believe with all my heart that the world would be a better place if everyone got paid a reasonable wage to do what they love most in this world. It takes a while to figure out what you love most, and then even longer to develop the discipline and skill to do that thing well. At least, that’s been true for me.
I’ve been writing as often as I can since 2009. I started out with an astrology blog. I thought that would build towards me writing an astrology book, but when my marriage came crashing down in 2012 survival took precedence. I started running an independent bookstore to (minimally) support myself and my two kids and my writing existed solely on Facebook.
In 2017 I finally left the bookstore. It was an absolute leap of faith because I had no next job lined up until, literally, the night before my last day. I got a call from an old friend who’d been following my writing on Facebook and wanted to offer me a chance to write online about federal politics full-time. What?!?! It was just weeks after the Trump inauguration and everyone was fired up. Hell yes, I’d love to get paid to do what I was going to be doing anyway, which was obsessively reading the news and writing about it.
I wrote for that outlet for 15 months, but the work became untenable. My editor was an unrepentant alcoholic, my hours were decreasing steadily, and I had a family to support. So, I retreated. Again, survival took precedence.
I took some freelance writing gigs here and there on top of my full-time job as the business manager for a friend’s plumbing and heating company. I was paying my bills consistently, but I was miserable. Then the pandemic hit, and I was eligible for unemployment for the first time in my adult life. It seems macabre to say that a global pandemic that has killed millions around the globe was the best thing that ever happened to me, but it’s true.
After three months of wandering around in a daze and supporting my kids’ plunge into virtual school, I felt like I was reclaiming my brain. I started a weekly advice column on Medium. I developed the discipline to organize my time and sit my butt down in the chair in order to publish on a consistent schedule. Every week, while living in the midst of what was then a family of six felt like a triumph. And I was happy. So, so happy to be writing.
Then, on January 4, 2021, in honor of my 49th birthday, I launched this newsletter. I committed to publishing every Monday and Friday, which meant I was publishing three days a week since my Medium column still went up every Wednesday. It was so many words, y’all. But I did it without fail, even when my now-former partner revealed that he had been pursuing other women online for nearly the entirety of our relationship and that he had found his “soulmate”. He and his kids, who were (and are) my kids, moved out within weeks.
Heartbreak feels like a paltry word for the grief I’ve been swimming through the last five months. I could have retreated again. I wanted to, repeatedly, but something fierce in me refused to lay down this time. I just kept writing, and I used my grief as fuel.
I’ve been offering all my personal writing for free despite all the obstacles since July of 2020, and now it’s time for me to go paid. I’ve built the discipline. I’ve built the skill. I want nothing more than to sit here in my writing chair and write for you all for the foreseeable future.
So, here’s how it’s all going to work…
What paid subscriptions will cost
Monthly subscriptions will be $7. That’s no more than a quarter a day.
Annual subscriptions will be $70. That’s two months free!
Founding member subscriptions will be $100. That extra bump will allow me to start offering scholarships for anyone who wants an annual subscription and really can’t afford it, so if you know someone who you think would benefit from the newsletter but isn’t in a position to pay send them to me. We’ll take care of them, together.
And in honor of the launch, I’m running a sale. If you sign up for an annual subscription between now and Sunday, September 12th, you’ll get 20% off. That’s only $56, which comes out to $4.67 a month!
What paid subscribers will get
Posts every Monday and Friday— personal essays, interviews, and Sh*t To Help You Show Up, my link-heavy ruminations geared towards providing you with plentiful resources to further your integrity practice.
The chance to be interviewed— only paying subscribers are eligible to be interviewed. If you want to share your work and your integrity practice, join me! This is an amazing group of folks and I want to help you share yourself.
Active participation in community— paying subscribers can comment on posts and participate in occasional Q & O’s, which are member threads where you all can pose questions and I (and everyone else) can share their opinions about the answer. We haven’t done any of these yet, but it’s coming and I want you to be part of that conversation.
What free subscribers get
Starting on Monday, September 20th, free subscribers will get two posts a month, either a personal essay or some Sh*t To Help You Show Up. One will come around the middle of the month and one will come towards the end.
That’s the deal, my loves. I’m taking a huge leap of faith, in myself and in this community of earnest, salty, thoughtful people. However you continue to participate, free or paid, I am thankful.
I hope, however, you will take a chance on me and this community art project by going paid. Let’s build art by the people and for the people together.
The option to go paid is open now, but nothing will go behind the paywall until Monday, September 20th, so you’ve got some time to consider. But don’t miss the sale! XO, Asha
If you want to spend more time with me, you can always find me on: