The Substacks I Love
I built a following on Medium a year before it became clear that Substack, not Medium, was the future of independent online writing. Since then I’ve been paralyzed, overwhelmed by the thought of starting over, unsure of what I want to say here or even if I should say anything here. Do I keep writing about Mormonism because it’s what I know? Do I write about politics even though I mostly loathe it? Do I write about wisdom, or is that too trite? Do I write about all of it, whatever strikes me?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that I want to find a groove here because I’m enjoying Substack.
How about you? Do you like it? If so, who do you read?
Here are a few of the many publications I love, in no particular order:
The Elysian | Elle Griffin — Elle explores the future of economics and culture with optimism, clarity, and warmth. If you’re a fan of solarpunk (and you should be!), I highly recommend it. Every post is well researched, smart, conversational, and easy to dive into.
The Column | Adam Johnson — Adam writes about the way mainstream publications ignore the underserved and overlooked. He’s helped me see the ways that simple choices in headlines (such as the abundant use of the passive voice when a cop kills someone) benefit the powerful. It’s an angle I don’t see many other places.
Design Mom — Gabrielle writes in a clear and confident voice inspires me. Would that my writing could be so blunt and warm! She writes on a variety of topics (politics, gender, home), always thoughtfully.
Freddie deBoer — I don’t understand all the reasons why yet, but I feel drawn to read essentially everything Freddie writes here. Mostly, I appreciate the frank way he pushes at groupthink wherever he sees it, even when it’s on his own “side.”
The Haunted Librarian — Haunted Librarian has been featured multiple times by Substack’s official publication and deservedly so. It’s comics and essays, humor and grief. It features some of the most lyrical, moving sentences on Substack. (Also: Becca’s my spouse!)
Nuclear Meltdown — An exploration of the family in the 21st century. I share Jim’s view that contemporary Americans, especially young Americans, have downplayed the importance of the family to our detriment. It’s an under-appreciated take.
Less Foolish — Peter Limberg’s reflections on wisdom have been personally meaningful to me as I’ve searched for a pragmatic yet expansive philosophy of life. I’m tempted to follow his lead in writing for myself, whatever’s on my mind.
I could easily list seven more, followed by seven more again. Maybe I will.
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