Some personal news....
New year, new job, new headshot
After seven years of freelancing, I started a new job as a senior politics writer at FiveThirtyEight last month. I’ve always been a huge fan of FiveThirtyEight’s work, and I’m extremely excited and lucky to have joined them.
I will help cover one of the most important beats in our country right now and into the future: politics. I think many readers assume political reporting is only political horserace coverage, or a scrum of reporters hovering in a cloud around important politicians as they leave the Senate or House chambers in D.C. Those beats are important. But what should be clear after the past several years is that small-p politics is just as important as anything that happens at the Capitol, and that the fundamental way we decide to organize ourselves as a society is critical to our present and our futures. That’s all politics, too.
I’ve been reflecting on my last years spent freelancing, working on the book, and taking what I think I can now call a really big breath. It’s been good to live in quiet, to surround myself with nature and animals, to reassess what I have been doing, what I want to do, and why. This newsletter and you, as its audience, has been a big part of that.
As to what this newsletter will be, I aim for it to become a space where I share my latest work and make announcements relating to my book and its publication. The book is now entering into the production process. My editor tells me I am shifting from being the book’s writer to its author, and this is all new to me. I hope you will stay tuned as I’ll have info on its progress that may be of interest.
I am also going to turn off the paid subscription function. I had a lot back and forth with myself before I ever turned it on, but my main thought was a simple one: readers should pay for content. Writing is work, and any thoughts or reflections I shared about life in a rural area relied on my years of experience as a journalist and the skills that had required and honed. At various lean times, the money I earned through Substack has been a lifeline, and I thank you all so much for being willing to subscribe. But I’ve also had second thoughts lately about the Substack model and the inefficiency of paying writers individually instead of supporting outlets that employ many writers. I hope you will continue to subscribe to outlets you rely on and support. If you were a subscriber and have any questions about how that will change things for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
For now, I’ll leave you with Banjo hanging out with me in my office, helping me work and also, critically, keeping my feet warm by lying on them.