Hello again 👋
Welcome back to The Newsletter Formerly Known as Exolymph! May its cyberpunk self rest in peace. The other way you’d know me is as tech reporter Sonya Mann. At some point you signed up for this mailing list on one of my websites.
Here are the best articles I’ve written since I last emailed you:
- A profile of San Francisco-based Republican lawyer Harmeet Dhillon, who is representing fired Google employee James Damore. [link]
- A takedown of self-proclaimed “cryptocurrency genius” and actual grifter James Altucher. [link]
- “These College Startups Don’t Charge Tuition Until Grads Make $50,000 a Year” [link]
- What it was like to eat 90% meat for two weeks. People loved this one! Presumably because it’s fun to read about crazy diet experiments. [link]
These days I’m always asking myself, “What do you want?” It’s a hard question (although not at the level of a quarter-life crisis). Also, it’s a question that I’ve asked myself many times before.
The answer varies somewhat. Usually what I want the most is to be an independent creator, along the lines of Ben Thompson. Alternately, one of those people who churn out zombie novels for Amazon Kindle users.
I’ve read the “1,000 True Fans” essay a couple of times and it’s fueled hours and hours of daydreaming. Daydreaming is easy — the hard part is committing to a particular vision and putting in the work. I sorta did that with Exolymph… until my creative juices dried up.
To be clear, I don’t feel sorry for myself. My life is charmed in most respects. I live in an economically vibrant area with good weather, near my family. I have a committed relationship and two friendly cats. Finances are comfortable. My health is stable. I am grateful for all of these things.
Nevertheless, I’m dissatisfied. I wonder if this is pure hedonic treadmill, and I’m just predisposed to wish for greater levels of achievement no matter what. Before I got my job as a full-time reporter, that seemed like a milestone that would erase my discontent. And yet here I am!
I waffle about the practical options too. Do I want to stay in journalism, despite the perverse incentives that have remade the industry? (As much as I love the internet, it’s been terrible for news businesses.) Should I jump ship to do content marketing? I’d make more money.
On the other hand, money isn’t everything. Cliché but true.
Are you where you want to be?