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Dear Reader: Join me on Notes! (And maybe Chat too?)
For real, I think this is going to be a game changer.
Spring has sprung in Paris, and new growth is everywhere. Young men are selling bouquets of lilacs on street corners and bird song is rising up out of the hedges in the parks. I’m up early to write today, but I also wanted to tell you about a few developments over on Substack that you might find interesting.
First things first. On Saturday morning, French time, I sent out my first invite on here for readers to use the Substack Chat feature for an impromptu writers group get-together. This is the chat here. I think it was pretty fun! It can really help to have that accountability and camaraderie when you’re working. People asked me to please do it again, and I want to, but I also don’t want to flood the inboxes of people who aren’t interested. For this reason, I may keep most of the writers group chats for paid subscribers only, but I can also send some out to everyone too. For now let’s play it by ear. If you want to upgrade to paid and take part in these writer chats, you can do so below:
If you can’t afford a paid subscription at this time, but want one, please send me a message at email@example.com—I offer $12 per year student and lower income discount links, or comps for those who need them. No need to explain your situation, we’re doing this on the honor system.
If you start receiving chat notifications and do not want them, be sure to adjust your notifications settings! Here is the page telling you how: How do I adjust my Chat notifications?
And now for the really big news, I think (drum roll please…)
Substack has just launched a new function that I truly think will change the way many of us use social media. It’s called Substack Notes. It’s sort of like Twitter, if Twitter were a breath of fresh air instead of the fumes of a cursed medieval tannery, and many of your favorite writers, musicians, and other creators are already on it.
They let me try out the Beta with a few hundred other writers last week, and I must tell you, I immediately started using it more than Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook combined.
I know, many of you are probably not looking for a new social media site, but for those who are, do check it out.
It’s definitely Twitter-esque in presentation, but the vibe is a little different. Less combative and cynical, still irreverent, but more engaged and excited. Personally, I’m already hooked, and have had to add it to my productivity blocker app, which I guess is its own sign of success.
(I did not really mean for the below to be my “first note,” but here you are—a note from me!)
If you’re interested in trying it out, Substack provides the following guidance:
“Notes is a new space on Substack for us to share links, short posts, quotes, photos, and more.”
It suggests that writers can use it for things that don’t fit in the newsletter, like work-in-progress or quick questions.
Honestly, it’s just very nice over there right now, and I’d love for you to join me. I’ll be using it to share shorter snippets, links to essays, stories, or articles I enjoyed, photos from my Paris walks, and other, Twitter-esque marginalia.
There’s more info below if you want. As always, thank you for being the best readers a writer could hope for. I’m so lucky to have you.
How to join
You can also share notes of your own. I hope this becomes a space where every reader of A Writer's Notebook can share thoughts, ideas, and interesting quotes from the things we're reading on Substack and beyond.
If you encounter any issues, you can always refer to the Notes FAQ for assistance. Looking forward to seeing you there!