What I’m Doing Next 🧱
You might be wondering, now that Lesser Tedium is done, what am I doing with your email address? The short answer is more Tedium. Here’s the long answer.
This is the final issue of Lesser Tedium. I’m going to do other things from here. Let me explain.
Earlier this year, I gave up on a newsletter called MidRange. It was a newsletter with an intended time limit, but I stopped doing it for two reasons: Time and news cycle frustration.
It was intended on being a lightweight project, but I felt like it was inevitably getting too in-the-motions. And where I wanted easy rhythm previously, I was instead finding myself bogged down by the project to some degree.
Then, about two months after killing MidRange, things unexpectedly shifted. My work situation changed, and it gave me more room to experiment in new ways—even though my desire to not build The Elon Show, as I felt MidRange at times became, also played a factor. This led to Lesser Tedium, the thing you’re reading now, a project I built specifically to test an idea I long had about the Tedium archives—that, if the old issues were presented slightly differently, they might find new life.
It was a worthy endeavor, and I gave it three months, but it didn’t set the world ablaze. And that’s fine. I’d ultimately like to focus my energy towards the newsletter that started it all, Tedium—but in a way that is not so regimented or that makes me want to do a side project to break the format.
To be clear, doing this was still useful for me. I got to relive years of research that I had put a lot of heart into. It also led me to engage with Substack and LinkedIn’s newsletter tools a little more, which I ultimately found instructive, even if I don’t love them. I kept a closer eye on the community with Substack, and one of the key things I learned is that something I had taken for granted—that you had to stick to a hard-and-fast schedule—is not actually true for the kind of content I want to create. Noah Berlatsky publishes like twice a day, and somehow gets away with it! And some people publish once a month.
I’ve ultimately decided that my problem with MidRange and Lesser Tedium and other side projects of their nature is that they forced me in a too-specific format, and I need to allow myself a little more of a comfort zone to jump in and out passion work to see what happens.
Tedium is a great creative outlet, but I’ve forced myself to write 3,000-word treatises twice a week for long enough. I’m going to shift gears on that and write a couple of shorter pieces per week, along with one more traditional longer one that I will aim to publish on Friday afternoons. (I’ve been doing Saturdays, but I think I need my weekends.) And I’m going to worry slightly less about timing: If one publishes Tuesday evening and one publishes Thursday morning, that’s fine. As long as I get two short rants and one long rant written in a week, that’s fine.
This model, which I will start August 1, will pull in my readers from Substack into the main Tedium list. LinkedIn, which I don’t believe allows list export, will receive a selection of the shorter issues, but for the longer issues, I will push them towards the main list.
For the revamped Tedium, I will integrate ideas from Lesser Tedium and MidRange into these shorter issues. I want to respond to newsy things sometimes, or look back at prior work sometimes. I might have follow-ups, or ideas that don’t need a 3,000-word essay. But I don’t need to force myself to do so in a hard and fast format.
I’ve talked a lot about rhythm with these newsletter experiments. But sometimes, the rhythm needs room to flex.
In some ways, it’s lesser Tedium. In some ways, it’s more Tedium. But it’s all Tedium when you break it down.
Thanks for reading.