an announcement and a worm
When I created this newsletter, it didn’t occur to me that anybody would ever want to pay for it. I left the “allow readers to pledge subscriptions” option enabled in the Substack interface because, again, I never thought anyone would actually select it. And then some very kind people did, and I got pretty freaked out. I have a distinct memory of seeing the notifications and saying aloud Oh no no no no no no noooooo. Obviously, these nice people had made some kind of mistake. I immediately disabled the pledge option and emailed each person to explain the mix-up.
small magic started because I wanted a place to share my writing with the handful of people who wanted to read it. Then I discovered that I truly love making this newsletter for its own sake. I love watching my swirling thoughts settle on the page, and hearing how they land for you. I love combing through silly calendars to find you the best microholidays, love spiking my sad reflections with dad jokes.
The thought of paid subscriptions filled me with discomfort and alarm—first, because it seemed ludicrous that anyone would give up their hard-earned money for ::gestures at worm with arms:: this, and second, because I associated patronage with obligation. In my mind, accepting money meant that I would owe these subscribers a high-quality product on a regular schedule, no matter how sick or tired or blocked or brain-fogged I was. And that sort of pressure kills joy (not to mention creativity).
But here’s the thing: the people who pledged to pay for their subscriptions saw things differently. Their offering wasn’t a mistake, or charity, or a contract to turn cartwheels on command. It was acknowledgement that they’ve benefited from work I’ve already done, and they wanted to give something back. This is exactly how I feel about the newsletters I pay for. I would never get mad if one of those writers missed a month, or a year. The offering I make to them is my way of thanking them for the meaning their work has given me.
So…I guess I get it.*
All of this is to say: as squirmy as it makes me, I am now offering paid subscriptions, but only for those who want them. I am not asking you for money (oh no no no no), and I never will.**
2023 small magic subscription menu
✨ free subscriptions are $0.00.
✨ monthly supporter subscriptions are $5.50.
✨ annual supporter subscriptions are $55.00.
✨ founder subscriptions, for those who really want to make a point, are $88.00.
✨ tipping in the form of worm drawings is strongly encouraged.
Magic is free. small magic is, too.
I am so, so glad you’re here.
*Thank you to Larry, Colette, Wendy, Mom, and Tye for lovingly shaking me by the shoulders.
**Substack might occasionally try to nudge you into becoming a paid subscriber. I can’t turn that function off. If that’s not your jam, you can completely ignore it.
small magic will always be free. 🪱