527 readers, 47 issues, & 1 year later 💌
Happy birthday, Not Controversial!
Hi friends! We're celebrating the one-month overdue anniversary of my newsletter! It's a neat milestone for a passion project, and so we're having ourselves an indulgent issue today. We'll be back to our regular non-controversial programming next week!
Exactly one year and one month ago, I hit 'Publish & Send' on the very first edition of what was then called Perceptive Madness.
Three-ish months ago, I renamed this newsletter 'Not Controversial' — a better, more fitting name for the topics I want to explore within this newsletter.
Last week, I hit the super cool milestone of 500 readers and the highest number of views ever! That might seem like very few people when others have subscribers and followers numbering in thousands and hundreds of thousands, but the fact that I have more than 500 people reading my stuff every week is mindblowing. I appreciate and love all of you.
It's only when I look at the entire timeline that I can see just how much progress this little newsletter's managed in a year!
While you know a lot about my views and opinions, you probably don't know very much about me. And since neither I nor my newsletter are 'big enough' yet, people aren't gonna interview me. So, I'm gonna do it. This is a Sidekick-esque interview to celebrate the continued existence of this newsletter.
Bio: I'm not gonna write about myself in the third person, so hi, I'm Nia. I'm a writer. That means I play with words to put money in my bank account so I can read more words (books). As a content marketing writer, I've written for Google, YouTube, TikTok, Penguin Random House UK, etc. But, I also write for you! Well, technically, this newsletter is for you and for me, so really, I write for us. I'm passionate about books, BTS, and breaking down tough topics because I think things should be more accessible.
Kickoff: I wake up at 4:30 am every morning, workout for an hour, journal for 15 minutes — okay, that's a lie. That's not my routine. Honestly, I find it difficult to believe it's anyone's routine. Maybe all my friends are heathens who don't stick to routines or don't do any of these inspiring and motivational things.
My daily routine is to wake up at whatever time I need to that day. Deadline? Gotta go out? Have a client call? I'll wake up accordingly. There is no workout — a fact I'm desperately trying to change, but it's harder to exercise than they all say. It's even harder to exercise two days in a row. Discipline is not easy to come by.
Maybe I don't have people lining up to interview me because I don't have a daily routine. But, perhaps, that's what's missing in my life — everyone else's interviews certainly seem to give me that vibe.
Even though I find daily routines to be a scam (more or less), I enjoy reading them. I think I'm a bit nosy (like we all are, don't lie) about others' lives and how they get around doing things. It's always so fascinating to me — we all wake up every day with different things to get done — united in the drudgery of a to-do list, and we go to bed to wake up and do something similar again. 'A day in the life of…' or 'My daily routine' articles, videos, and whatnot are just ways for me to realize that I'm not alone going about my day — everyone else is doing something similar too.
Why do I write?: When I fished around for questions, one of my best friends asked me, "Why do you write? Because everyone has thoughts, so why do you think people want to read yours?"
Things only a best friend could ask, you know?
I honestly don't know the right answer to this question. Or that if I even have one.
I write because it's one of the easiest ways for me to express my feelings. But putting that writing out there? It's because I like the attention and the validation. Like daily routines, it's nice to know I'm not alone in how I feel. Because no matter what, no one ever wants to be alone in thinking or feeling something — it's horrible when others can't relate to you.
Obviously, this doesn't mean you learn to think and feel like the crowd. There are many crowds. Some are small, some are big. Find the crowd that thinks like you do and learn from them. It's also a good idea to find those outside your crowd from time to time so you're not limiting your perspective and understanding. Surrounding yourself with a crowd of yes-people means you'll never get to see if your idea is right or wrong.
Three pieces of advice I'd like to give you:
You're replaceable at work, not at home (unless you own the company or something like that; semantics). And they will replace you if the time comes, so you should put yourself first, like the company you work for will put itself first.
There's never a good or a right time. When I decided I wanted to write a newsletter, I went from idea to execution in 2-3 weeks, an insanely short frame of time for an anxious, overthinking person like me. I couldn't figure out what to name this newsletter or what niches to write within. It took 8-9 months of actually writing to figure it out. If I had waited, I might not have figured it out at all.
Gmail doesn't recognize dots. So if your email is firstname.lastname@example.org, all emails to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org will come to the same inbox. You can use this if you need to sign up to the same place again for some reason but still want all your emails in one inbox. For everything else, there are temporary 10-minute emails.
Three quick questions for you!
You can stay anon too —
Weekly list of stuff to check out! 💌
A fun website/game that takes you through the human evolution of trust. It explores why friends become enemies in peaceful times and why enemies become friends during a war. A game theory that helps explain “our epidemic of distrust.” And how to fix it, of course.
As happy as I am to celebrate this newsletter’s milestone, there’s a tinge of sadness as I write today since my favourite group BTS just announced they’re going on hiatus. Here’s an interview I did with an Indian newspaper about their latest album two days ago. Also, here’s my article on rest — it should tell you why I support their hiatus even though I’m heartbroken. '
Much as we hate them, zoom meetings are sticking around. So here are seven neat tips to make your zooms less painful and irritating.
Ocean soup wallpaper for you, perhaps?
And finally, thank you for reading my newsletter among thousands — you’re a star. 🌟
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No 🎁 in this newsletter issue, but there’s a big one coming (shipping delays) so keep your eyes peeled — it’ll be an extra special inbox delivery.
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I’ll see you next week — maybe not at the same time, but definitely the same place.