47 Comments
Jun 8Liked by Tommy Dixon

"My Substack reminds me there is so much love in this world. It’s like an enchanted nook on the internet." That's exactly it.

This whole piece was brilliant, Tommy!

Loved reading your in depth thoughts, both about going paid and the marketing, but also about making it sustainable and not something you'll end up dreading. I'll definitely revisit this if I ever go paid, so thank you!

(Also, I thought I was the only one who felt a bit relieved when I saw that an essay was paywalled, feeling like it was one less thing I had to do hahaha)

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Thanks Carina (: I feel lucky to receive so much kindness and support. The tough thing about writing, probably like most other creative endeavors, is that it can get lonely and discouraging without people reminding you that you're not crazy.

I'm not sure if this was a better approach than just finding a similar writer on Substack who has been successful and copying their model, but I suppose time will tell.

One of my main goals was to keep it about writing and doing work I enjoy. I've despised too much "busy work" in previous jobs and wanted to avoid it with my own work.

I appreciate all your kind words and support along the way. Means the world.

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Ditto!

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Jun 8Liked by Tommy Dixon

Well done, Tommy. For the foreseeable I’ll be buying you a coffee at regular intervals. ..circumstances will improve though and I’ll review the situation then.. in the meantime, tend to your voice as a writer, and all the good things will come to you as a byproduct of doing the work.

I could drop into any of your essays and articles, especially in the last 6 to 9 months, and I would know it was your work after a few sentences. All the very best in your endeavours and I have no doubt that you will do very well for yourself. That’s not to say stop experimenting with different styles, and here I’m thinking of the one you did on finishing college, I think there was a plane journey involved. A kind of free flowing, stream of consciousness, writing without taking the pen from the paper vibe to it. It was brilliant, but I’ll have to go through your posts to find the right title it was published under.

Love your work, man. It’s a privilege to read it and to watch it grow. All the best from lil ol Cork, to you and yours. Have a nice weekend. God bless you and yours.

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Thank you Kevin. Your words are very much appreciated. As you said, I'm trying to remain focused on doing the work and leave the good things to come (or not come) on their own timeline.

I especially loved your comment on voice here: "I could drop into any of your essays and articles, especially in the last 6 to 9 months, and I would know it was your work after a few sentences." That's a huge compliment, especially as I think I've made strides forward in voice these last few months. I don't have a distinct unique style yet, but I'm trending in that direction.

And I will continue to experiment. I've done a few stream of consciousness type posts, a few on aesthetics and photography, even a poem! Most were failures, but with enough experimentation I'll discover the intersection of what I love to write about and what people resonate with most.

Thank you again, for all the kind words of encouragement. Means the world (:

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Jun 11Liked by Tommy Dixon

I beg to differ, my friend. That voice is both strong and, uniquely you!

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Congratulations Tommy!!! You so so deserve this!!! It is a privilege to get to support someone with writing as brilliant as yours, and I hope that one day thinking and writing can support you full time.

My favourite line from this was “If I somehow make enough money to build a beautiful New England style home on a grassy sunlit piece of land, remote enough to be private but close enough to walk to a quaint main street for coffee and scones” … that sounds like heaven … and also reminds me of Zach Bryan’s song “Burn, Burn, Burn” which I find myself singing random parts of every day hahaha.

PS. Jump scare when you mentioned “high opportunity cost” … funny to admit but I still don’t fully know what it means. And with that honesty, I wanted to thank you for your honesty as well. The fact that you can admit that you don’t know everything is what makes you such a good writer. Authenticity is beautiful.

Excited for what’s to come,

Rachel

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Thanks so much Rachel! It's been an ideal of mine to make a full-time income from thinking and writing, two things I probably love most, but it may take quite a while. Yet I have patience and love and I know my writing will continue to grow.

I found that Zach Bryan song earlier this year and absolutely loved the lyrics but hadn't thought of it while writing this essay. Perhaps it seeped into my subconscious.

Hahaha, in all honesty, I don't even fully know what it means either.

I appreciate all your kindness, energy and support. And becoming a patron. Means so much (:

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Jun 8Liked by Tommy Dixon

I feel like we share a lot of thoughts on this topic, including doing a lot of work researching and writing to figure out what the next step is re: paid subscriptions.

Thanks for taking us behind the scenes and all the best for your launch! I just recently launched and have been documenting it too. 😊

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Thanks Mika! Appreciate you reading and your kind words (:

I tried my best to give a transparent behind-the-scenes view of all the most interesting parts. I've always loved the idea of "building in public" where you make or work on things and share the results along the way. This is the first time I've done that in an essay, and it was a cool act of proving to myself I can take action on my ideas.

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Jun 8Liked by Tommy Dixon

I love this Substack, Tommy, I love everything about it. It was such a contribution to me. Your integrity, your commitment to being of service, above all, your heart, and. your living at one with your deepest values and acting out of them are truly inspiring. As in, you have inspired me. I loved the meta-conversation and the meta-conversation about the meta-conversation. I ALSO loved the distinction "Patron." That's exactly it! It's so much more appropriate and real than "Founder." Thank you, thank you, once again, for opening new doors for thinking, being, and acting.

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Thank you Amba, for all the kind words and love and support. I'm not exactly sure why but reading "you have inspired me" gave me chills. That's quite the compliment, especially from you. I definitely got a bit meta, but I'm glad it didn't become confusing.

I appreciate you taking the time to read and leave such a beautiful reflection. Brought a big smile to my face and new light to my day (:

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This is awesome, Tommy! Well thought out is an understatement. I’m signed on as a patron! Thanks for the consistent, great, candid content. Looking forward to more 😊

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Thanks Emily! This was a long time in the making. So happy to have you as a patron and honored to have you in the community. Appreciate you being here (:

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Congrats Tommy! This was refreshing and I’m on a similar path to find joy in thinking, reading writing!

Love your authenticity. Love that writers like you are on substack!

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Thanks Ishita! So happy to hear you're finding joy in thinking, reading writing. There certainly is a lot of joy to find there (:

Appreciate you reading and the kind words. Substack has a lot of special writers and readers here. It's really quite a special platform.

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Tommy there is so much goodness and essentialism in here. I could write 1,000 words in admiration of your courage and intention here - but I won’t. That you’ve discovered at your age that writing, that text, is the medium for expressing your genius to the world, that this thread is who you are, is tremendous. Keep it the main thing and don’t let go of that thread. And that no matter what, you will share it for free - is liberating for you. Your readers and the lives you impact are grateful for your generosity. 😊

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Thank you James. I appreciate you included "essentialism". That's a word not often used in the common vocabulary, but it's one that loomed large in my mind as I was writing.

I read a quote somewhere that: "the more you know, the less you do". Amateurs scramble around but the masters do very little. I have the word "Simplicity" painted on a sign in my room and I tried to keep the whole process and result simple.

The hard part about writing can be feeling like it's inconsequential, silly or stupid or doesn't matter. But the encouragement from you and other readers really reminds me why writing and sharing is so beautiful and helps me reground and recenter. I'm very blessed.

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Congrats dude

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Thanks Alex (: means a lot

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Jun 8Liked by Tommy Dixon

"Behind the curtain of this launch" was especially inspiring Tommy and it brought to my attention a few unconscious areas where I'm on autopilot with my own substack and want to make more intentional choices, especially the stuff around paywalling and marketing tactics. And also the example of full commitment to your MAIN THING. Your approach to this is no less than a model example of how to live a good and useful life. God speed to you.

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Thanks Rick (: I thought a lot about paywalling and marketing and tried to be intentional, but that may not result in better results. But, putting in the intention feels good regardless.

I appreciate you showing up every week and being such a big part of my journey. Means the world. Thank you for being here.

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Been feeling excited for this launch these past few days - congrats, Tommy!

Whenever I read your essays, I tell myself I want to write just like you. Not in the same exact way - our writing styles are very different, of course. But I guess I want to write essays that feel like they've been shown a lot of love and care. Because that's how your pieces feel like to me.

I realize now that there is really only one way I could achieve that. And it's to work just as hard as you, and to nurture my writing like how a parent would to their own child. I think it's a great reminder, and a good inspiration for my writing.

Truly excited to see what's ahead for you. Thank you for continuing to write.

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Thanks Linart! That means a lot man. I try to put a lot of love and care into my work, or into any of the things I really devote and pour my time into, and I'm glad that comes through for you. Generally, I think you should try hard to do everything in life well, down to simple mundane tasks, even jobs you don't like very much.

I love to see your commitment to your own writing, discovering your voice and making an effort. Appreciate all your support and for being part of the journey. Means a lot!

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This is the first post that I read here, and it earned a free sub! Appreciate your honesty and transparency so much, Tommy! I also share similar sentiments with paid subscription, despite the outlook of me getting paid being close to impossible. Looking forward to reading more from you :)

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Ah thank you! So happy to hear you enjoyed the read & appreciate you subscribing to get more of my work (:

Going paid in any creative endeavour is always a tricky terrain. I tried my best with this launch but will still have lots to learn.

Thank you for being here

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I am so excited to read your newsletter Tommy! You have such a special voice. How was working with Noah Kagan? Great work!

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Thanks Renee! Appreciate you reading & the kind words (:

Working with Noah was a great experience. Just getting to see how he operates, make decisions, plans a big project, executes. And all the behind the scenes of what goes into writing, then marketing a book & working with a big publisher like Penguin.

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Jun 19Liked by Tommy Dixon

I'm entirely new here, but reading this post was powerful. I admire your commitment and unbudging love for writing. I'm still young, and I felt a connection through your writing - like one potential future self I strive to follow was helping me. Funnily enough, I also run and write and want to focus on the process, though it's painfully hard not to get distracted sometimes. I'm excited to read more of your writing, and I wish you luck at this step in your journey!

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Thanks Azark (: appreciate you reading & taking time to leave such a nice reflection here.

A big part of writing this piece was doubling down on my commitment to writing, both with myself and with others (if that makes sense). It's easy to get distracted by money, fast growth, shiny objects, etc. But I know, long-term, I'd regret it. One of the main missions of my life is to write work that lasts, that has an impact beyond me, that really moves people.

But, as you said, distraction always knocks on the door and it's so hard not to answer. Just recently I turned down a marketing role with a big name book author. Focus is painful.

Appreciate you being here - glad to have you as a companion on the path!

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Beautiful, thoughtful essay. Congratulations on this milestone!!

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Thank you Justin (:

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Jun 14Liked by Tommy Dixon

Cool! Bet on yourself. You're a thoughtful guy. Rooting for you!

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Thanks Nik! Betting on yourself is so important. Appreciate the support (:

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