You will be receiving this issue on Christmas day. I hope you enjoy a safe, joyful, and stress-free Christmas.
It has been a weird year so far. I sincerely hope that 2021 is better and fruitful. 2020 has changed the way we live dramatically. I hope we get to keep the good changes next year and beyond.
I will be taking a week off over Christmas and new year. So you will not receive any newsletter on 1 January. The next issue will be on the 7th of January.
I decided to give you a break this week (and get a break myself).
We will pick up the lessons where we left off in the new year.
Writing Industry News
Substack launched an RSS reader called Substack Reader, which offers a streamlined collection of your latest newsletters. It’s great news for those whose subscribed newsletters get buried in their inboxes. "The goal was to “create a distraction-free space” for people whose email inbox isn’t their ideal reading experience, Substack CEO Chris Best told The Verge.
Substack has also added some basic discovery features to its website. The service’s existing list of top publications is being expanded to include several specific categories (beyond the previous “top paid” and “top free” lists), so readers will be able to see the top political newsletters or top business newsletters and explore them by their interests.
Did you know Substack also launched a free podcast service? This year, mid-December, Substack - the newsletter service - from where you are receiving this newsletter- is now allowing creators to host paid and free podcasts. It is great news for new writers as the service is easy to use, and there is no cost to host a free podcast.
The new writers need to keep in touch with new technology, shaping the way the writing industry will look in the next decade. Physical books will not just be the things (although they will certainly be around), but the readers will consume content through blogs, book streaming, audios, newsletters, and podcasts.
What Am I Up to?
Last week I started telling you my achievements for 2020 and didn’t list them. That was an honest mistake, not an introduced one. I will correct it. Here is the list of writing-related achievements of 2020.
Turned my blog into a website and wrote 100+ articles.
Conducted 10 weeks Life Story Blogging course. Sandy, one of the participants, wrote her life story, which is as long as War and Peace. Check it out here.
Started a blog, A Land of Five Rivers, on my own life story. I can’t provide the link as it is a private blog, and I am still working on it.
A fellow blogger interviewed me, Neera Mahajan, The Inspiring Indian Australian Story Teller. My first interview as a writer. Yipee!
Completed several courses - Psychology of Starting Up, Article Writing Course, Da Vinci Cartooning, Novel Writing, Medium Mastery.
Created a cartoon character, Ms. Jolly, and drew and posted 200 sketches on Instagram.
Started writing on Medium in July 2020 and made my first dollar from writing in August. I have been making a few dollars each month since then. Published more than 60 articles on Medium.
Won NaNoWriMo 2020 (a worldwide novel writing challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days) for the third time. Started writing a novel but ten days into it ran out of ideas. Started a non-fiction book on the 11th day and got to 50,000 words on 30th November. Now that is not cheating. (I know better ways of cheating, which I have used in previous NaNoWriMo, for example, typing complete gibberish or just hitting the keyboard randomly. It is allowed, by the way.)
Started A Whimsical Writer newsletter with Substack from November, which started picking up new readers organically.
Summing up this year took too much space. I will share my Author Business Plan in the next issue now.
What Intrigued Me This Week?
I found the following on Instagram that pretty much sums up the year for me.
That’s it from me this week.
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.