Real Connection vs. Fair Weather Readers

These two things are true:

1. Every Thursday I send out the Coworking Out Loud Newsletter.

2. Thanksgiving in the States is always on a Thursday.

Every Thanksgiving I wonder whether I should just send out the normal newsletter, knowing that people will either not open and read it and/or wonder what the hell I’m doing sending a newsletter on Thanksgiving.

This year I felt the need to get real and vulnerable, so I shared an email about the internal struggle between fear and gratitude.

I let readers in on some of the messier parts of my persona. I also (somewhat unexpectedly) shared one of my fears lists.

I knew when I scheduled the email that it was intense and real.

In fact, the next morning, before it went out, I was second-guessing myself.

This happens just about every time I get uncomfortably real in public.

I told my partner, Shout, that I might rewrite it. She talked me out of it and said it was good, and important.

So off it went.

I got a bunch of autoresponder emails and, as I expected, a handful (five at last count) of unsubscribes.

Turns out getting real isn’t for everyone.

But I also got return emails from people.

Here are some of the things they said:

“Love your newsletter…All your points definitely ring true. A real community is forming [here] which is so lovely. Lots of creatives sharing skills and knowledge. Also it’s banishing loneliness and helping small craft businesses grow.”

“Thanks for writing such great newsletters. I’m going to tackle my anxiety with writing it out on a page. Continue with the great work, look forward to the next newsletter.”

“OMG!!! So beautiful and intense. What a cool exercise to do and just wow!!!”

“Everything I needed to hear on this day. Thankful for YOU.”

“Reading an amazing book by Johann Hari called ‘Lost Connections.’ His theme is about how our lost connections…have contributed to what we call depression and anxiety. If we changed the way society interacts, we change our relationship to the outdoors, our futures, one another, doing what we love, etc., then depression and anxiety as we know it would change. Your beautiful post made me think about how relevant this book is to what you are doing in terms of coworking connection.”

“I won’t be able to find proper words, nor do I have the time to look for them right now, but I just wanted to thank you for writing and sharing this… plus everything you have shared so far.”

“It is because of people like you (and also people I happen to know in real life) that I really feel like I have finally found this sense of belonging I never thought I would be able to feel.”

“Thanks Cat, I needed to read this today.”

“This was a wonderful email. Thank you – you just described my day in a nutshell.”

If the price for this kind of connection is losing a few subscribers, I’ll take it all day, every day.

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