Thank you to my paying subscribers

This message went out to paying subscribers of Handpicked on 10/3/23.

Hi wonderful supporters,

First and foremost, I thank all 27 of you receiving this message for supporting Handpicked with your dollars.

Tomorrow I’ll be announcing that Handpicked will no longer follow the paid subscription model. Going forward, all of the weekly newsletters and occasional extras will be free to everyone.

After a few months and a handful of paid issues, I’ve paused to look at what’s working and what’s not. To be frank, I’ve felt so weird and awkward promoting paid subscriptions. Talking people into buying my creative work has always been the thing I hate most about being a working artist.

It has occured to me that there’s another way, and that way is community support. Some of you have told me that you don’t really care that much about the Deep Dives and Gift Guides, that you only upgraded your subscription to support my work. To support me. And that makes me burst into tears.

If that’s not the case for you, and you’d prefer a refund, please reply to this email and I’ll take care of that right away.

In future newsletters, you’ll still see a clickable button to “support my work.” I’m going to try an experiment for the next few months and see if any readers besides you want to support Handpicked “just because.” Once the experiment is over, I’ll check back in with you.

It might sound like an odd time to bring up my values, but that’s the real reason I’m ending the paid subscription plan. The two traits I respect most in myself are openness and willingness to help. I’ve felt muddled as I’ve tried to discriminate between what newsletter posts “deserve” to be paid for and what should be free to everyone. I work hard to create every single issue of this newsletter and, while it’s never perfect, it’s always my best. Free and paid. Thank you for wanting to pay for it.

Last week I was really freaking out about my career, full spiral, ugly crying, pit of despair, etc. I found myself on my knees asking for clarity from my Higher Power. The answer that came to me was: “Just stop.” And while I am still figuring out exactly what that means, one conclusion was easy: I need to stop treating this newsletter like a growth mechanism and stop treating my audience as leverage. Handpicked is a beloved creative project, not a tool. You are a person, not a stat. I feel enormous relief as I give myself permission to stop trying to optimize/ hack/ monetize/ add value/ grow exponentially/ whatever else the newsletter expert bros say to do, and go back to putting this newsletter together 100% from the heart.

Thank you x1000.