Oh, What a Year It Has Been
Friends, I can scarcely believe it, but this final week of 2022 will mark the first full calendar year for Charlotte’s Web Thoughts.
I formally launched this little blog/newsletter summer before last, and I have been astonished and grateful for the readership that has steadily grown over time.
I had been working in progressive non-profit communications in 2021 when Substack reached out and asked if I’d be interested in going all-in on a writing career. They offered substantial resources to get started and have been amazing partners in helping me grow this platform.
And while this year has been stressful as hell for so many reasons—so, so many reasons—it’s been a great year for CWT.
Since January, the writing I’ve done has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Daily Beast, Esquire, Financial Times, Mediaite, Yahoo News, Newsweek, Ms. Magazine, and The Hill, among other outlets.
I had a number of appearances on news programs. In January, I wrote an essay about my late friend Henry Greenbaum, a Holocaust Survivor, that led to a wonderful and timely discussion on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, which you can watch here. In April, amidst the onslaught of anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country, I spoke with CNN’s Brian Stelter about the hateful propaganda that has spurred bigoted lawmakers to target queer folks. Several times, I appeared on NBC Peacock’s Zerlina to chat with host Zerlina Maxwell about LGBTQ rights before they inexplicably and unwisely failed to keep her brilliance on the streaming service.
So many panels and speeches! A few highlights: in March, I was invited to SXSW to talk about my writing on a Substack panel and also did a lovely one-on-one interview with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, which you can watch here. For Pride Month, the White House invited me to a roundtable discussion for Lesbian Visibility Day. This summer, I emcee’d one of the stages at the 2022 Lesbians Who Tech Summit in San Francisco’s historic Castro District. This fall, I moderated an all-day event for COP27 at American University in conjunction with climate organization We Don’t Have Time, which featured several ambassadors and other luminaries and was viewed by millions online.
This is all well and good, but Substack has continuously attempted to encourage me to market CWT more effectively. They suggested implementing a paywall, and I refused because I want this blog accessible to all and not everyone can afford a paid subscription. They asked me to send out a Black Friday email, which I declined to do because, quite frankly, I know y’all have been hammered all year by fundraising and marketing emails, and I didn’t wanna add to that.
But here we are at the end of the year, and it does occur to me that I can probably suck it up and do better marketing. This blog/newsletter pays my bills, and I certainly want it to grow.
So, friends, here’s my loving request: please consider a paid subscription. Paid subscribers have comment access, receive news on my professional work before anyone else, and always get priority with feedback emails (and many paid subscribers have not hesitated to email me directly and offer their thoughts, which I welcome).
Last week, I was approached by a kind stranger in downtown D.C. who told me they had purchased a gift subscription to CWT for a conservative relative. It’s somewhat amusing, but I really love this idea. If my blog can help bridge that gap in understanding with your family and friends who aren’t quite sold on any number of issues, buy them a gift subscription for the holidays!
Ugh, so many damn buttons! Can you tell I don’t like asking folks to invest in my work? Sigh, c’est la vie.
I want to end this with a personal thank you to everyone who has bought a paid subscription this year and supported my work. You folks have made it so much easier for me to not only write for a living but also focus on all the unpaid advocacy work that needs to be done. I truly appreciate your generosity and faith in me.
Whew, okay, that’s done.
With that, I want to wish you all a peaceful and joyous holiday season. I’ll be writing several more essays through New Year’s Eve, and I can’t wait to share them with you. In the meantime, enjoy this holiday week with family and friends and try to remember all the good in the world that makes getting up every morning worth it.
Hi, I’m Charlotte Clymer, and this is Charlotte’s Web Thoughts, my Substack. It’s completely free to access and read, but it’s also how my bills! So, please do kindly consider upgrading to a paid subscription: just $7/month or save money with the $70/annual sub. You can also go way above and beyond by becoming a Lifetime Member at $250.
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