Hi all. I'm new and as part of my substack I'm running a Prompt Time competition. Basically, every now and then, I'll ask people to submit a 10 word prompt for a short story. Then, I'll pick one at random and that will guide my writing for that week. I tried this on notes last week, and as I'm new I had one reply! Lol! Thank you Wil Ward. So I wondered if this community would help and if people would be so kind and to submit a 10 word prompt. This week it can be as random or straightforward as you want, although in later weeks I might guide it more. So, once again, just 10 word prompt for a short story. Here is link to my previous one.


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Hi everyone! I'm diving into the world of offering live events/workshops with the hope of building community and engaging more directly with my readers. The workshops so far have been tarot/astrology based and I'm starting a nature journaling course this month! 🦋✨📓

Unfortunately, I've had little to no engagement. I have around 370 subscribers (💗🙏) and offer both free/donation based events and ticketed events (free for paying members of Heartbeats).

So far, I'll have 2-3 people sign up on Eventbrite but then not show up. This honestly makes me anxious because hosting a workshop for a live audience vs. doing a recorded workshop with NO audience has a very different flow! I'm not sure how to best prepare for a scenario I'm uncertain about until it's happening.

Tips? Suggestions?

I'm leaning toward just doing recorded events and posting them as replays. Are people just over-stimulated with online offerings? Are there ways you've found to meaningfully engage your readers virtually or offline?

Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

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QUESTION. Can someone help me find where to download the Substack About Page Template that Sarah references in the Blueprint section 3.1?

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LATEST POST: On Unspeakable Loss & Silly Antics https://miriamcruz.substack.com/p/on-unspeakable-loss-and-silly-antics

This post is a personal essay about my first crush, who took his own life in high school. It's equal parts comedy and tragedy, and my way of supporting anyone who has felt this loss in life. ❤️

Thank you for being here 🙏🏼

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Here is a great idea that can help so many others with marketing their Substack! I had business cards made (Vista Print) for my Substack, created a QR code that leads to my Substack, and I plan to hand them out like you'd hand out candy on Halloween! (Well, I personally don't hand out candy on Halloween--I set up CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS TAPE all around my walkway to block trick-or-treaters away. Next year I will add the chalk outline of a body for more effect. It keeps the neighbors curious.

So a fellow Substacker (the hysterical Smillew who posted this GREAT story about begging for money: https://smillew.substack.com/p/how-to-beg-for-money) recently posted that he gained 10 new subscribers by reading his Substack posts outside of a Starbucks (I think that was before the police carted him off for disturbing the peace).

Since most of my posts are about dogs and cats, I plan to do the same thing in the courtyard outside my veterinarian's office which is next to a pet store and grocery store! And I will have plenty of cards on hand. Will see if I get any new subscribers too! I can't post a photo of my cards here. So, if you want to see how I configured my card (with a row of guns on the back--hey, it's America, right?) you'll have to follow the link to my AR2A Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=122127377090226278&set=a.122104812152226278

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QUESTION: Is linking out to another writer's Substack article common practice? I'm linking out to cocktail recipe in my next post but I'm not sure if asking the author's permission first is etiquette I should worry about or not? I'm thinking it's no big deal and a chance for new eyes on the author's page but wanted to check in here for thoughts (since I'm likely overthinking anyway, haha). Thanks for any insight!

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QUESTION: How do you use an image for a "hero" pinned post on the homepage, but not have that image in the post itself. Like Sarah's @writersatwork?

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LATEST POST: A short poem that plays with philosophical musing on what has already been said about suffering on this earth and in light of a tragedy that occurred with the Baltimore Francis Scott Key Bridge.


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QUESTION: Hi everyone, first time posting here and I have a question about the organisation of my Substack. I am curious as to how other Substackers are organising your sites as the writing/posts evolve over time.

In my newsletter, I focus on topics related to psychology, and creativity, and have recently started adding some of my own photography too. I have added some tags (psychology and photography) to reflect this on my main site. However, some of my posts are a bit more random (!) and don't fit within either of these areas. I feel like I need to add another 'tag' for my main page, but need some help with what to call this - 'other stuff' doesn't quite seem right, but nor does 'creativity'. I can't seem to think of anything! And then I feel like I am overthinking things!

If anyone is able to take a look and let me know what you think, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you, Sarah


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RESOURCE: I’d love—as a relatively new person here myself, but with one solid year under my belt—to share some best practices/lessons from the field so far. On occasion, tangential to my regular weird weekly essays, I throw in an insider topic for us writers to enjoy behind the scenes. I hope some of my 10 insights on out-of-the box monetizing, making the platform your own, just doing the work, and other good stuff, might prove helpful to those who most want to hear it. https://sleepyhollowink.substack.com/p/hack-your-substack-10-tips

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Hey everyone!

I wanted to apologize for posting my introduction in the headlines chat!! Terribly sorry! I am still quite new here on Substack, finding my way around the platform and individual publications.

This is my second day as a member and I have blocked out a couple hours today to scroll around on here and get a lay of the land, bookmark certain pages (like this one!) and read through some of your posts.

I'm very excited to be here learning with you all, and to grow our Substacks together. Everyone here already is inspiring me!! Looking forward to working together 🙏🏼✨

Best wishes,


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LATEST POST: A poem that's the 6th in a series about rain. This one covers childhood nostalgia evoked by an old cartoon's ending credits that features rain heavily and juxtaposes the memory of adolescence versus the more recent stress of the present.

Plastic Rainbow: https://progressivepoetfederation.substack.com/p/plastic-rainbow

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LATEST POST: Focusing on the importance of recognising feelings and thought patterns in different situations and how doing so can be beneficial. Also touching on rejection sensitivity dysphoria and what that can mean for someone too.


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LATEST POST: Just a short post this week, a 4 minute thrill-ride 🎬 documenting our whippet Bowie’s castration journey, set to a Hollywood-thriller soundtrack.

Why the hell would I want to watch that?

Good question. Well, like any good Hollywood movie, it promises laughter, tears, and the kind of hackneyed suspense that'll have you on the edge of your seat.

🎶 Turn up the volume and grab your 🍿.


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LATEST POST I think the title and sub probably do the work. Trying my hand at satire. Think dime store McSweeney’s but niche. https://open.substack.com/pub/rosbarbernews/p/helpful-suggestions-from-your-friend

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INTRODUCTION! + Collaborations maybe?? Hello :) My name is Jeremy and I just launched my Newsletter in February. I'm still figuring out this platform and how my content fits within it. My newsletter is centered around my personal creative journey, with insights from my creative practice and tips/tricks for emerging artists. If y'all wouldn't mind taking a peak at what I've got I'd love some feedback. This is my first time publishing personal writing, and I'm way outside of my comfort zone.

I am also starting a community art project with my subscribers, where we renovate an old dollhouse together. I'm excited to get to know y'all and make some new connections here : )

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Hi Sarah (and family)! I am SO relieved to learn I have a place to ask questions as I have many, but I'm to tired now to remember any of them! I grew up in California, USA but married a Canadian and now live on Vancouver Island, BC. I discovered just the other day, after listening to your podcast on "Sections vs. Groups" that I've set up my Substack incorrectly, including the deceptively-named-tags section! So I'm in the process of undoing what I did wrong and working to set up a new section/ newsletter.

I know you recommended to NOT do that (have 2 different newsletters) but I write about two entirely different topics: pet rescue / lost pet recovery work and Jesus Christ. I am sensitive that some, even many, of my subscribers are "just NOT that into" Jesus, especially since the term "Christian" has somehow become connected with politics (which I totally avoid!). I really want to write freely about faith-based topics so I am leaving my police and pet detective stories FREE but once I start my Jesus stories, I will turn my paywall on and charge my fellow Jesus Freaks. I don't quite know how that will work, but I know I will learn that here!

Thank you for the amazing training that you offer! I signed up for the Cohort and can't wait! BTW, my Substack is called "Armed Robbers 2 Airedales as I first trained my police bloodhounds (and Weimaraner cadaver dog) to find people (including 2 armed bank Robbers!) but then trained them all to track lost pets (starting back in 1998). I operate the first ever pet detective academy (online) where I've trained hundreds of other pet detectives, some with dogs trained to track lost pets. I've been too overwhelmed with pioneering lost pet recovery services for the past 20 years to devote time to writing, but my plan is to retire so that I can write and speak full time. Sorry for the novella! Here's my page:


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Looking for some collaboration on this note to prep for my next post! What’s the best thing you have read on here this month?


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Thank you for your suggestions

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LATEST POST: Old position, New beginnings: lessons from surviving 15 months of unemployment


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HELP WITH A TITLE: I've written a blog on the myths about dairy. And it starts with this sentence: "As an avid dairy consumer, I feel like I’m alone in the world.". The gist of the piece is that food and what's health or not , is messed up and too often, information saying something negavitve about a food (in this case dairy) is based on oprion not fact. But nobody seems to be standing up to counter the misinformation. I discuss the 6 things that are comonly said about dairy and provide the new information that counters this. But I feel alone in doing this.

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LATEST POST! 2nd installment of "Welcome to the Good Boy Club", featuring a 5 min doc. set to a Hollywood thriller score + lots of fun cultural references. Would love to know your thoughts!

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LATEST POST. Is Your Comfort Zone Too Small? The elastic nature of comfort and courage.


How does a woman who trekked one of the most isolated places on the planet become paralyzed by the prospect of taking a 15-minute cab ride? A humbling story of extreme "comfort zone shrinkage."

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I see some posts with a video at the top before the title/subtitle. How is this done?

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QUESTION: Is it possible to DM more than one person at a time? I am part of a music Substack community and a few of us were planning on chatting in a small group and thought we could do it in Chat/DM. Thoughts on how to do it within the Substackosphere?

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Hello fellow writers, we are a poetry and art magazine and would love to collaborate connect with new writers, reach more readers and find new submitting poets, writers and artists to publish in our magazine! We have grown from my own personal writing substack and now we have metamorphosed over time into the magazine fully. Love to receive and give any support I can 🙏

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Hey everyone!

I have been writing my Substack for a little over a year and I’m just looking out there to hear people’s advice on how to grow their Substacks. Weather it’s just through social media, collaboration or anything else!

I am a recipe developer and food writer and I am always looking for people to collaborate with! If you love cooking let’s do something!


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LATEST POST & LOOKING TO COLLABORATE with mothers out there!

Today's post is Mothering from The Void: https://miriamcruz.substack.com/p/mothering-from-the-void

I'm thinking about renaming my Substack "Motherhood Collective" to invite more reflections like this in, and given my identity as Mother has become the foundation of all I think about now. I'm curious to connect with other mothers (whether working in or out of the home) to learn more about what spaces you feel seen and supported in. I'd love to offer a space of mutual support, growth, and development if there is an opportunity to collaborate with others thinking along this same thread :)

Thanks in advance for any who find me here ❤️

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QUESTION: When you share a link online to your newsletter landing page/sign-up page, are most people using your Substack Cover/Welcome page (your handle.substack.com)? Or do a lot of people customize or use a link to a landing page on your website with Substack's embed feature so they can offer a free opt-in?

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I am posting this in order to find out if I’m just kidding myself about being a writer. It is a draft, sand not finished yet, but I would love to have some feedback on whether this is even mildly interesting.

What is Home? The better Question if Why is Home.

At the later end of my life, I live in a virtual Eden. Lush green fields and forests. Lakes, rivers, oceans are everywhere around me. But this is home in my mind’s eye.

(Insert photo of Lake Valley, New Mexico here)

There is little to nothing left any more, but my great-grandfather and grandmother, my great-uncle and great-aunt, and now finally, my own mother, all reside in the graveyard there. The family began in Cornwall, England. In the 1870s, the tin mines in Cornwall had a collapse brought on by bank speculation and the introduction of Chinese tin. Tin miners, along with ancient pre-Christian beliefs, lived in Cornwall long after they had vanished from “modern” minds. The mines had sustained Cornwall since the Bronze Age, but speculation and foreign competition took their toll. As a result, many Cornishmen left for other places. The last thing they saw as they sailed west was “The Lizard”. It is a rock formation that sits off the westernmost point of Cornwall. It would have been the last thing that they saw.

In the 1870s, the tin mines in Cornwall had a collapse. Some of the mine workers, including my family, ended up in Lake Valley, New Mexico, where they continued their centuries old crafts. They brought with them a somewhat “place out of time” perspective that Cornwall is noted for. My Grandmother told of a story her father told her when she was four years old: “Thunderstorms are just the noise of a man with a goat cart riding over a bridge in the sky”. To my fifteen-year-old ears this was an astonishment — Valhalla left over from some ancient Viking raid — showing up in Lake Valley, New Mexico, where any water was hard to find. And so “place out of time” went on. In the picture above, you can see a rock formation that was on the top of the hill in Lake Valley, It should be no surprise that it is referred to as “The Lizard”.

So how could such a place be home when I have never lived there, but only visited. It is because of the family that I knew as a young child, continuing in a place out of time. When I was three or four years old, my Great-Uncle Emmett broke his leg just before round-up. And just to keep things interesting, my great-aunt Emily broke her arm. This meant that my mother spent a week at the ranch helping cook for the round-up. This was not what folks are used to seeing on television or in the movies. This was a family affair. I got put in a bunk bed in “the bunkhouse”. In reality, it was a great long room with many bunk beds for hands who worked during round-up. I would wake up in the morning to the sound of my cousin’s spurs jingling as they walked by on the wooden board floors. Breakfast was cooked on a wood-burning stove. The men no longer took a wagon out as they had done when my grandmother was a girl.

So this is how I found myself living my own "place out of time" life. Would I be the same person without having known different generations and a different lifestyle than was practiced in the "Fabulous Fifties"? Yes. And for that I am thankful. Where would any of us be if we did not have our older generation’s influence? What do we lose when we choose a "live in the moment" mentality. Where is the map to "how did we get here from there"? How should we do it differently? I am constantly aware of Renaissance painters and their Nativity or Classical painting where everyone is dressed in Italianate Renaissance fashion? Is the rebellion to that persistent fiction to be found in Breugell’s unusual Flemish paintings? How is it that the arts and history and Society continue their stately “Pavane” dance through all the horror that we visit upon ourselves and others? How does the light shine through?

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OLD POST MADE NEW! I'm about to post Part 2 of this post. I took a lot of advice from this group and others and made a lot of changes. But I guess I'm still trying to assess my audience, from whippet/dog lovers to humor writing/culture commentary (people who may not necessarily care about dogs). If you're so inclined to take a look, I'd love some final feedback before finalizing the tone, humor, and audience for Part 2. https://substack.com/home/post/p-142516553?r=3ibd97&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

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Sarah responded to my question about changing the title of my blog. Now is called doctalk explorations in psychotherapy. I'm now retired and write about other issues that might be related to psychology but not psychotherapy. There is also religuion, spirituality and I'm interested in human emotions but how they pertain to politics and more far ranging topics. Also the direct messages do not work. I need a new blog title. Sarah mentioned the 24 hour submission and I don't know if this is it?

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Hey everyone. I’m excited to drop in here to share that I have a midlife anthology in the works (@dinaalvarez) along with another Substacker (@patinawithdinaaronson)

Submissions are open and we are looking for personal essays from women sharing their experiences at midlife. Topics include friendships (gaining and losing), divorce and dating after 45, feeling invisible, grief, menopause, empty nest, caring for elderly parents, changing careers at midlife and other topics. We have already signed on some amazing writers and creatives. If interested please email thedinasproject@gmail.com for more info. Feel free to spread the word with all the wonderful midlife writers you know. We would love to hear from you!

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Is there a resource that lets us preview what our subscribers see? For example: I have updated my Welcome email for paid subscribers and want to see what it looks like without creating a strawman account.

Any ideas?

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Whenever I use a poetry block the text distorts on a phone screen. I wish I could share the screenshots I took of this for context. But I wrote a nice little short poem that was readable as part of an introduction to my new subscribers. However anyone who opens up the email on their phone, the spacing is all off and it is hard to read.

IS THERE TRULY NO WAY TO CENTER TEXT? How can I ensure that the formatting I make in the poetry block is consistent across computer and phone screens? Thank you!!

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QUESTION: ABOUT NOTES — I get almost no response to my notes and feel like it's not even worth posting (though the general consensus here seems to be that notes are the way). How does Substack notes work in terms of who sees it? Can one put some kind of tag, does it take from the text, or is it based on you pub tags? My pub tag is "culture" which is too broad, but I'd like people with similar interests to see it. Or is it not a transparent thing?

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LATEST POST: Walking Each Other Home


This is a deeply personal reflection from a depressive episode in 2018 that left me in silence for a month. It’s short and has a happy ending with an invitation to share more silence (a happier kind) and eye contact :) I would love to connect with any pieces and people that relate to this experience and/or takeaway!

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People Pleaser: The one about that time I put it on my resume. Yep. Sure did.


How I became a people pleaser, my pride in being a people pleaser, realizing that it's a symptom of my codependency, and living with my people pleasing tendencies.

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HELP WITH A POST. Is there too much friction in your life?

I'm working on a post about how to reduce friction to make life easy and how to increase it to break bad habits. Obviously I need help with this headline but that's for another day.

Today, I'm curious about YOUR BEST STRATEGIES for reducing or adding friction to make life better. I'm looking for practical, ingenious, funny, outrageous ways you reduce and add friction to your life.

Examples to get you started:

Reduce Friction to Make Life Easy

- Sleeping in your workout clothes to reduce the friction to exercise.

- Putting your toddler to bed in the outfit she's wearing to day care in the morning.

- Putting your coffee machine on your bedside table and programming it to brew 5 minutes before the alarm goes off.

Create Friction to keep bad things from happening.

- Moving your junk food drawer to your neighbor’s house.

- Telling your phone that you can't sleep together anymore.

- Insisting that no one can schedule a meeting with you until they first provide a10 page synopsis about why you should bother showing up.

How do you leverage friction in your life?

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Hi all, I just today posted on how (not) to pick the perfect Substack name. I hope you find it helpful... or at least amusing!:


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Happy Friday! Lastest Post:

~S.I.L.E.N.T = L.I.S.T.E.N (How Silence Speaks Volumes)

~What follows “I AM” follows you! (How we speak to ourself matters)



Happy Reading!

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LATEST POST: Stop Scrolling - Start Living!

11 practical tips to create a healthy and mindful relationship with your tech (Bonus: Tips for Parents)


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LATEST POST: Three myths and a lie.

Sometimes the hardest lies to spot are the ones you tell yourself.

In this post, I reflect on my descent into burnout and three pervasive myths and a lie that kept me in a destructive cycle of over-commit, crash and burn.

You can find it here https://cathyjacob.substack.com/p/three-myths-and-a-lie

I'd love to hear what you think.

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HELP WITH A POST: Hi all. I like to include related reading at the end of each Sunday Stretch. This week's newsletter is a an essay on the spring equinox, the importance of light and dark, and includes a meditation for balance. If you have any recent posts that might fit, send them my way.

Also, as a point of INTRODUCTION: The Sunday Stretch is a newsletter dedicated to the belief that we are perfect as we are. And so is our desire to grow. Each week I share evidence-based movements, techniques, and conversations that nourish, replenish, and stretch us for the week ahead.

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QUESTION - I'm late here but if anyone's still kicking around. I've had virtually no traction on Notes. Granted I don't spend too much time there (dayjob, life etc.) but even when I've picked up my engagement, it doesn't circle back. Anything I post gets 1, 2, or zero likes at the most. Any tips? I'm also a little happy to just skip it and sulk off alone, but in the way of any social medias, this platform is the best and I'd at least like to focus here in the land of the smart and wonderful--if no where else. Thanks for reading and any input!

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If any of you have the time/inclination, would love some feedback on my about page... it feels too long to me, but not sure what to cut, if anything. Would be happy to hear your thoughts, anything from the length to what you think of the concept or audience potential (might it find interest outside of animal owners?)! Look fwd. to your cogent insights!!!


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LOOKING TO COLLABORATE: Hi everyone! My name is Manjot and I am a therapist based in British Columbia Canada. My substack is called Ask Manjot and it's a monthly advice column. I'm looking to collab with other therapists on different topics related to mental health, identity, relationships and how to cope with a scary world. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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LATEST POST - Hi, I'm Shadia and set up my substack recently and I'm planning on doing my weekly grocery shopping list, what I've been up to, what I've cooked/recipes and how I keep organised day to day.

I've just been laid off from my job unexpectedly, so this is a great place to get my words down and clear my mind while I get into a rhythm.


I can't wait to connect with the community here!

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