Don't Call It A Comeback
I'm back from paternity leave! And I want to know what you'd like to see me write about in the coming weeks and months.
Bringing you compelling and richly-reported stories at the intersection of music, media and money—for free—several times each month.
The last time you heard from me—aside from in the preamble to this excellent guest essay a couple weeks ago—was just after I became a dad for the first time. I gushed about how Riley had arrived, immediately changing my life in the ways fatherhood is supposed to, and also in ways I’d never imagined.
Riley is now two and a half months old; not only do I love her more than I ever thought possible, but I somehow love her more every day. She smiles constantly, especially when I play her music. And though she’s got her favorites—Biggie’s “Mo Money Mo Problems” and Peggy Lee’s “Big Spender”—she is a genre-agnostic omnivore (though apparently she likes songs about currency, which tracks).
I could go on all day about Riley, but let’s get down to business: I’m back in action after two months and change, and there’s much to discuss. Today I’d like to tell you where I’m planning to go with the Zogblog moving forward, and also get your input as I chart my path for the rest of the year and beyond.
As you may recall, I wrapped up We Are All Musicians Now before going on leave. It was a blast serializing a rough draft of a book; I’m continuing to tinker with it, and am still planning to tidy it up into a proper narrative nonfiction novella (more on that later, stay tuned for updates).
So now that I’m no longer locked into the schedule of publishing WAAMN installments once a week and also writing something newsy once a week, I’m going to experiment with a new model. What’s been missing in my output over the past year, in my mind, are the longer features and profiles I used to do at Forbes.
While typing up a 3,000 word cover story equivalent every week isn’t realistic, I’d like to give you some more deeply reported work, albeit less frequently than my twice-weekly rhythm. That gives me more time to discover and publish the most compelling stories about the business of music and entertainment.
If you’re anything like me, your inbox could use a break. Though frequent publishing was critical to establishing an audience in the early days of the newsletter boom, the market now seems oversaturated. So rather than flood you with good stuff multiple times per week, I’ll aim to provide great stuff multiple times a month. I’ll publish once it’s ready—not because it’s Tuesday.
I should also add that there’s another exciting new presence in my life besides Riley: I’ve been selected to Columbia University’s Knight-Bagehot fellowship for the coming year, and the program begins in mid-August. The foundation provides a generous stipend and therefore asks that fellows refrain from accepting paid assignments.
For my newsletter, that mostly just means turning off paid subscriptions, at least for now. For you, that means more fantastic free Zogblog posts (and an added responsibility to spread the word)!
I can’t wait to get back to bringing you the most fascinating stories at the intersection of music, media and money. Until then, enjoy the rest of your summer. And leave me some story ideas in the comments field, or feel free to reach out directly. I’d love to hear what you think of this new direction.
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