Three years of Evil Witches subscribers
If this newsletter was a child it'd be having lots of accidents right around now
There’s no context for this gif. I bookmarked it but never had a use for it and now I can delete it.
Almost three years ago, I first offered a paid subscription model for the Evil Witches newsletter. It began as a pilot program of a private online community I managed of mothers, some I knew IRL, some just virtually, with whom I felt I could be my whole self when I wanted to talk about family life. Certain strains of conversation/humor/questions/concerns/priorities began to stand out and the newsletter began as a way to see if these types of discussions might have a broader audience. After doing some experimental issues on Wix, my friend Richard encouraged me to try Substack and it worked well for me. As a Substack creator, I have never received any particular stipend or advance from them although they gave me $500 for health care costs this year after I applied.
Here’s my issue announcing this model, in 2019.
Why did I have the temerity to ask people to pay for this stuff? I have been a humorist since high school and a professional freelance writer and essayist since my early 20’s—I’ve published in the Wall Street Journal, Atlantic, Entrepreneur plus places like Costco Connection and Subaru Drive and many alumni magazines. I used to blog daily M-F and conduct weekly interviews for free/fun for over 10 years. I’ve participated in or lurked in many an internet forum. I had my first kid in 2012 and second in 2015 and wrote about parenthood for Parents, Fast Company, New York Times, Real Simple and SheKnows. I became a full time freelance writer, after various dayjobs coupled with freelancing, shortly after my second son was born. I like hearing about what people are into and introducing them to other people’s expertise and wisdom if I think it’ll be helpful.
It’s been fun to watch this community of witches grow over time. Your support, in terms of subscriptions, comments, hearts, RTs etc have let me know this is a project to keep exploring. You’ve been expert sources for me and for others, given me topics to explore, new ways of looking at things, lots of laughs and helpful advice and donations to grassroots election campaigns. I don’t tend to do “what I’m reading/watching/cooking/buying/trying” issues which make the threads on such topics so fun. And the witch out there who convinced me to stop folding my pajamas and tee shirts literally changed my life.
Depending on when you subscribed, some of you with yearly paid subscriptions will get a notification of renewal soon. If you’re no longer in the place to pay, let me know and we’ll make other arrangements privately. Thank you to those who can afford to pay, for helping me treat this work as a client and not a side project (If you like data, I logged about 147.5 hours working on the newsletter last year, which made up about a little less than 20% of my annual income.)
Below are some of my favorite issues from the last three years, which I hope you either enjoy catching up on and/or convince you to turn on that paid membership if you haven’t.
I don’t have any new plans for Evil Witches in case you were wondering/hoping/worrying. I am cautious about opting into spending a lot more time online right now if I can help it. I like being a freelance writer and keeping the energy to work on other projects which often tend to inform Witches pieces eventually. I want to preserve the pocket of time I am able to keep for kids’ sick days and class parties. Which I don’t enjoy, to be clear, but I’m glad I can do it. Maybe later, there is more to come.
I am grateful for your support and advice and suggestions and patience and empathy. I always say, I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m making it up as I go along which I’ll continue to do!
PS. Gifs are apparently on the way out, and are probably already out. I have been more worried about this than I like to admit but I otherwise refuse to do anything about it.
Stories I had fun doing, or I found personally helpful, or was proud of for some reason:
Rude shit our kids have said to us
Helpful/fun threads on the topics of: A name you never used; Alone food; Something you won ; One product that works; Jeans; Cookies; Talking about periods at home (or not); Practical gifts; Processed food faves; Things I think I should be good at but am not ; Happy shows
And: Amazing guest posts on: NFTs, only children, having ADHD, being Asian American, Mother’s Day, feminist dads, Instagram shopping, talking to kids about death, COVID-era science fairs, Mummy and Daddy Pig’s marriage, good books, quaranteens, The insanely terrifying Easter Bunny, How are we getting ready for parenting and social distancing during a pandemic?, Chuck E. Cheese, being a witch in Italy at the onset of the COVID pandemic, the people in the Sundance catalogue, hiding from your family, how today may have sucked but tomorrow is coming, the 12 days of Christmas parties with a toddler, emotional labor class, not listening to your family, prepping for the flupocalypse, running from our problems, and Witchmas.
Thanks for reading Evil Witches, an unsponsored newsletter for people who happen to be mothers. Feel free forward this issue to someone who might find something here they like. If you haven’t yet, I hope you consider becoming a paid subscriber which gets you bonus content, threads, and sneak previews of upcoming topics.