A 2021 retrospective for The Intrinsic Perspective
I LOVEEEE reading these essays— am so so happy that your substack is growing!! I actually look forward to every second Wednesday now and treat your articles like a favorite snack/prize I get to read for a great end to the day hahahaha. So thank you for that. Honestly lowkey a bit sad that we won’t get an article this coming 29th 🥲🥲 But I wish you a happy holiday and I CANNOT WAIT for this coming 2022 content (it already sounds super cool)!!!
It's one that I am always glad to read, and love you for writing them. And yes, the illustrations is something I struggle with and yours (or Alexander's rather) are beautiful!
As an extension of your point regarding quality over quantity, I would also add that you seem to get relatively high-quality engagement in your comment section. While there's more to that, I think, than just the newsletter's own quality (with its nuance, especially, also playing a large role), I have definitely noticed that the more carefully crafted newsletters seem to possess the highest-quality comment sections. And that's an additional draw for those of us who occasionally enjoy online discussion, provided that it's not the typical dumpster fire -- a good comment thread can really support an already enjoyable reading experience.
"Growth came from people being kind enough to share links." As Isaac Bashevis Singer once said: “Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.”
If anyone would like some practice 😉, consider reading about movies like Klaus (2019), a humorous animated fantasy and an enchanting film that has you believing in the power of kindness to change the world for the better.
It's one of 20 Great Movies Each Written & Directed By The Same Person:
Hey Eric! Congratulations for 2K Subscribers! Been reading you since quite a long now, feels good to see you grow! :D
It's wild how virtually all of us get pressured into the capitalist ideal in one way or another, always seeking growth. Bigger, better, faster, more! I feel like your approach offers me peace and reminds me to love what I am doing as writer, and not feel pressured. Thanks for sharing, Erik.
I've been reading your newsletter for a while now and I've loved everything you've written, especially your posts on aristocratic tutoring.
When I started my Substack, I was unclear about my aesthetic. Now that I've been posting regularly, I'm thinking about zeroing in on an aesthetic, but it's been difficult to do so.
The Intrinsic Perspective and Experimental History are two of my favourite Substacks, doing the kind of writing I want to be doing. The part of me that studied psychology wants me to be as rigorous in my research for each newsletter as you and Adam are. But the writer in me wants to just experiment with her thoughts without worrying about citations. I was feeling very conflicted and uncertain, but several things in my head are clearer now because of this post. Thank you for this and for your writing general. I really love what you write and look forward to more!
Thanks for this oldie, but a goodie! I hope 2022 has been kind to you.
Just launched a little over a month ago. I struggle with self-promotion, but I did reach out to family and friends, who in turn shared with their family and friends. It gave me a nice initial bump. I’d love to keep growing, but would love for it to happen organically—word of mouth. We’ll see. I do post on social media, but my experience has been that it is mostly useless. Enjoyed this article.
Just came across this—hugely helpful, and reassuring! I had people subscribing at a fairly steady rate, then a small spike, and now…crickets?? I’m only in my second month on here with ‘Page By Page’ so still figuring it out!
That’s my favorite quote from A Christmas Carol. You got this subscriber from a Google for “How to grow a Substack.” Thanks for the advice.
This was a good confidence booster. Thank you, Erik.
Re: "I had a middling platform, which was, in retrospect, basically the minimum one necessary[.]"
Erik, you are greatly underestimating the power of these platforms. I deliberately did not leverage my existing network – to be willing to take more risks – so I started with 0 followers on Twitter and 0 subscribers. I haven't had viral success, but after 7 posts I have 126 subscribers, of whom 12 are people who's work and thinking I used to admire at a distance. That audience, in turn, has made it much easier for me to become more competent as a writer/researcher, and to find people to discuss my work with. With your quality and persistence, I suspect you'd only be 6-12 months behind on the growth curve had you started from zero.
Hi Erik, I am really enjoying your writing, and thank you for this article. Lots of really lovely ideas and thoughts. It's such a great idea that you are working with an artist like Alexander. I was wondering, do you pay him for the artwork, or how does this work, since there is no pay wall on your newsletter? Genuinely interested as I would love to be able to do something similar, but am struggling with how to go about it from a financial perspective. Thanks, Cúán.
I really enjoyed reading this - thank you so much for the insights! Very much appreciated
Fantastic insights here - thank you for sharing, and I appreciate the inclusion of a 19th century writer in the mix! Happy holidays!