4 min read

Old newsletter, new digs

Old newsletter, new digs
View of Lake Washington, looking northwest from the beach at Seward Park. Photo: Simon Pollock

Friends, it's another Sunday.

Writing is a practice. Many of you who read this newsletter know this. Putting words to paper, especially on a semi-regular basis, takes work. And life has an excellent track record of getting between a person and the artistic side projects he takes on. Even when the connection with you all is worth it.

The most recent issue of Sunday on a Whim hit inboxes on January 17, 2021. Exactly ten months ago. Which was just short of a year into a global pandemic. And now here we are, 19 months since three-time NBA Defensive Player Of The Year Rudy Gobert pulled that stupid microphone stunt and looked like an idiot when he tested positive for COVID-19 and the world shutdown.

Time, right?

So how's about a refresh?

One of the toughest battles I've ever fought—and one I return to now—is overcoming my will to avoid doing something hard. I've sat down to write plenty of times since last January, and rarely did I say to myself, "Oh, I should turn that into a newsletter!"

Most of the time I thought, "Meh, it's not like I have anything particularly unique to say. I'll wait until I have a better idea. I'll hold off for a week when I've really got something to say."

I'll take a guess that this sounds familiar to you, even if you're not a writer. You fall out of rhythm, lose control of a good habit you've put time into, and suddenly it feels as though you've lost the ground you covered. And every day, every week, every month that goes by, you mark how much harder it'll be to get started again. How much more kinetic energy and mental strength you'll have to throw at something to build a practice again and let yourself be a bit messy while you figure it out.

Like in the first half of this year, when I stopped working out almost altogether. February through June of 2021 was probably my least physically-active stretch of time since I was six years old. No ultimate frisbee. No lifting. No running. Lots of work stress. I made a lot of excuses.

I knew it was bad because a few of my favorite shirts weren't fitting so well. I was tired all the time. It felt like my work schedule was too packed (and that there was too much basetkball to watch) to start running again.

And as toxic as it is—as hard as it is to admit in writing—my weight got be back outside. We borrowed a bathroom scale from our neighbors to weigh our kittens (more on Toast and June in another letter, I'm sure) and I stepped on it even though I didn't want to see the number that would stare back at me.  

Welp, sometimes you need a shove to get back in the swing of things. Some external accountability.

So that's why the newsletter looks different. That's also why, if you follow me on Instagram, I've been posting trail run updates. (Going on three and a half months I'm feeling good, by the way. Might hit 80 miles this month.) I've changed platforms and asked a colleague to help me out with the logo. No more Substack, on to less fraught writing pastures here on ghost. I put some money and time into a new thing in the hopes that it'll spark some excitement.

Lend me a hand?

I started writing this newsletter because I wanted to keep in touch. I kept it going because the practice was cathartic, fun, and a new way to explore my writing voice.

I can't promise that every edition will cotinue on in the same lane, nor can I promise that I'll get right back to publishing on a weekly basis. (That's the equivalent of planning a marathon for my first run back in June. I think it was more like 2.5 miles.)

Instead, I'd like to ask for your help. Let me know what you think of the new look. If there's a particular topic you'd like to see covered here, send me a note. Move this email from your Promotions or Updates folder into your Primary Inbox so I can teach the new platform to send it to the right place. Send a fellow subscriber a text if you know they probably won't check their Promotions, but would be sad if they missed the restart.

What I'm watching, reading, and listening to—a popular feature in this space—will be back in the next edition. I look forward to writing that, reconnecting with you, and shaping up this new space.

Oh hey. One more thing. If you're new here and like the look of the place, sign up! It's free to subscribe.

Due Dilligence

Hang on. You're right. I legally can't mention kittens and then not share a picture. At the request of the Sunday on a Whim legal department, may I formally disclose:

Toast at right, hugging his sister June on the left. They turn one later this month. And yes, they do do this a lot. Photo: SP