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The Gen Z Urge to Start a Substack
New words, new ink, new sletter ✍️
I’ve always considered myself a writer.
As the ultimate introvert, writing out my thoughts and dreams was a source of comfort, a way to see the words materialize in ink before I physically voice them — if I ever do. (Just yesterday, I had to write down every dish my family wanted before I had the courage to finally call the restaurant to order takeout.)
It has been 8 years since I published my first piece of fanfiction on the Internet for any stranger to find; 4 years since I started to punch the “Tweet” button over and over again on a site where everything lives forever; 1.5 years since I began to write one-off articles on Medium; and nearly 1 year since I started plastering posts about my upcoming book all over my social media.
And yet, I always feared starting a blog/newsletter.
It’s difficult to pinpoint where that fear stems from exactly. Perhaps it’s my fear of committing to a regular writing schedule (goodness knows there are readers who still poke me on Tumblr asking when I will return to my many-years-old, long abandoned stories… I know, I am a terrible person…). Or maybe I’m scared of putting out my personal stories and thoughts out into the world — crafting fictional stories and weaving a nonfiction book centered on other people are one thing, writing short essays about my own self is another.
What I do know for certain is that I have this fear. In a year where I’ve challenged myself to achieve the unexpected (to “seek discomfort”, as one of my favorite YouTube channels likes to say), I now am going to defeat it.
A month ago, I posted this tweet: “the gen z urge to sit down and start a substack”. It was partially a tongue-in-cheek twist on the viral “the feminine urge to __” trend, but moreso a subtle way for me to project my wish out in the world and slowly test the waters.
In less than a day, the tweet accumulated over 2500 views. To be honest, I don’t know whether that says more about Gen Z individuals being more prone to share their personal experiences through various forms of content, or if people were actually interested in reading my words if I started one. But I decided to go ahead and take the plunge anyway.
I’m excited to finally have a space to share my thoughts on anything and everything. I know top creators always advise you to find a niche and stick to it — which I do love dearly in many newsletters (highly recommend Elle Griffin’s amazing Novelleist newsletter!) — but I’ve always been proud of my eclectic interests across technology, storytelling, ethics, and more, so that’s where I guess this will be heading.
Stay tuned to read more about my 2021 year end reflections, writing journey, book recs, thoughts on school and startups and TV shows, and anything else that pops into my head.
As Darth Vader, my favorite on-screen villain, once said, “Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy”; while we might not rule the galaxy just yet, I’m incredible grateful to you for joining my journey 🚀
If you enjoyed this, let me know! Find me on Twitter @catherinehyeo for more musings and memes.