For anyone who isn’t on the email list, after sending over 120 weekly newsletters, I’m moving over to Substack for a new paid format that will allow for even better content than ever. Keep reading to learn why.
A few weeks ago, I sent this letter in the Friday newsletter so many of you have already read the bulk of these words, but I shared more thoughts in this post than I did while announcing the news there. After six months of prayer and consideration, I have decided to switch my Friday newsletter to be a paid subscription. I’m sure that many of you reading this just gasped or shook your head. Maybe you thought, “another one bites the dust.” or, “just what I need, another thing to pay for.” And friends, I understand that 100%. These days are wild. Gas prices! Inflation! Financial insecurity! Back to School expenses!
I know, trust me.
I feel it too, friend. I started my first blog in 2009 because a college marketing professor forced me to. I kept writing there because the community was beautiful and the Lord has given me a heart to share. I started Gold & Graphite in 2017 because I was serious about this space and wanted it to be beautiful, reliable and consistent. I have faithfully showed up to create completely free content for over a decade and now, at 32 years old, it’s just time.
To pull back the curtain, this newsletter takes time. I write it because I love it (hence sending over 100 of these Friday newsletters since 2020!) but it is written across early mornings and late evenings and nap times. I don’t have childcare, so the bulk of my Wednesday workday is devoted to finalizing this and scheduling it to go out into your inboxes to be, what I hope, a simple joy. I have learned through listening to the wisdom of people I trust and also the voice in my gut that I have a hard time monetizing my work. Anyone else? Just me? Many creatives face this battle, but if I’m going to be able to continue showing up without ads-which is very important to me– and regularly-also important to me- then it’s time to take a step into that discomfort.
Everyone says to niche down, down, down. I follow newsletters focused on healing, shopping, faith, writing. I have seen newsletters on growing a garden in the city, raising children with ADD, a daily update on the stock market, an up-to-date look at Chinese politics. Most email web courses and growth strategy specialists would shake their head at me and gasp at my lack of strategy. My newsletter is not specific. It’s not niched down. It can’t be seen as a tax write off or an essential for family life, making millions, or success in any field. No, ma’am. The main goal of my email is to bring Friday morning delight. Something to look forward to like snail-mail. Something to encourage, remind, uplift, inspire.
Sure, many of your favorite influencers are able to churn out enough free content to choke you. (I apologize for that visual…moving on…) This is because paid partnerships, advertising and sponsorships with brands has allowed for them to have a team. Whether it be a team of three people (one for graphic design, one for marketing and so on) or a team of ten people—those partnerships bring in the income so that the content machine can continue to turn.
Whelp, picture me turning a large rickety wheel with all my strength. A teeny lever in my hand going round and round like the world’s largest Jack In The Box. Friends, I am one woman churning my content machine.
It was nice to work with brands, it really was. It feels wonderful to be compensated for your work, effort and expertise. But I began to feel I gave a little bit of my trustworthiness away every time I chose to work in advertising rather than sharing from my own heart for the sole purpose of that delight. While there are many avenues to take that desire, the newsletter has remained a no brainer for me. I love reading. I love the intimacy of a newsletter. I fell in love with blogging in its 09’ heyday where most blogposts would be the equivalent of todays newsletter–honestly, even todays e-book. Especially as someone living without Instagram, this is the space where I show up like I would there.
I’m feeling vulnerable because change makes me sweat, but I am proud of my work. I’m grateful for the gifts that the Lord has given me. I deeply value my time and have learned that just because I enjoy my work doesn’t mean I need to provide it weekly year after year for free. Your encouragement every week and your willingness to open it up, read it and respond to the ways it makes you smile or cry or laugh or cook/watch/read something new has been such a gift to me. That said, don’t worry. For those of you who absolutely have zero wiggle room in your monthly budget or just don’t desire to add another paid subscription to the list, the first email of the month will still show up in your inbox at no charge. I’m so thankful for those of you who have shared that this is a bright spot for your week- I wouldn’t dare take it from you. But for those of you who have found value here every week and find you are in a place to support the work of creatives you love, I’m so looking forward to this shift because it will allow me to create the same newsletter you love in addition to richer content. Think in-depth styling guides, “office hours” where we can chat on Voxer and some of the resources that have been on my heart for years. I’m straight up giddy about this, you guys. You can follow along with the once a month letter or move forward with the weekly newsletter for about the price of one fancy coffee a month.
You can sign up for the new weekly newsletter right here and I truly hope you’ll consider joining the list. Truly, it means the world. To every single person who sent me an email shouting your support from the rooftops, know that I have read and reread those words. Thank you for valuing the work I put out into the world. Thank you for your encouragement and kindness. You guys are the best of the best.
*The first Substack email will go out Friday, September 2nd.