Happy Two-Year Anniversary, dear readers! Not all of you were here from the beginning, so this marks a good time to get to know one another better.
My first post was published May 6, 2021. Without going too far down Memory Lane, I began this newsletter shortly after my husband’s death and one year into Covid. I needed something to keep me sane and help me make sense of what was going on in my life and the world the only way I know how—via writing and reading.
At the time, I felt isolated—not only because of pandemic restrictions, but because I held views of the prevailing situation that weren’t popular with mainstream media or public opinion. More importantly (for me), I felt I had ideas about how to not only survive the current crisis, but truly change the underlying causes of the unrest that were rocking the world.
I saw my grief mirrored in everyone around the globe. Loss was everywhere. Loss of loved ones, income, health, connection—it seemed that no one and no place escaped this massive sheet of gloom encircling us.
Yet I saw a glimmer of hope in what I believed was a giant, universal wake up call to humanity for change. It’s my nature to seek solutions by determining and responding to cause, not treating symptoms. And that applies to outer-world situations as well as personal health.
It is to answer that call to action that I’ve devoted my life in work and spirit since. No, you won’t see me in headlines or at rallies, although I do believe speaking out publicly is important, valuable, and necessary.
The reason I don’t attend the public demonstrations is because they mostly demand that someone (or something) else to change to make things better. To me, that’s the symptom, not the cause. If we want authentic, permanent change, we need more than new laws (which can be overturned by a later administration). Those temporary stop-gaps are necessary, but real change requires delving deeper.
We need to get to the root of the issues, which is the faulty belief systems that do not support the greatest and highest good for all. For lasting change, we need to embrace beliefs founded in love, respect, and tolerance for all living beings, including our Earth. In addition to turning to a system of love and acceptance, it is up to each of us individually to examine ourselves and our shadow sides for signs of what’s preventing those true-to-human-nature beliefs from surfacing and being the driving forces that govern the world.
That’s a fairly large mission, you may say. Indeed.
Yet foundational change is necessary for permanent transformation. Otherwise, we’ll keep masking the problem, treating the symptoms, and watching as they reappear days, weeks, or years later—which is why you see gray-haired women at women’s rights demonstrations carrying signs saying, “I can’t believe I’m still protesting this sh*t.” That’s exactly the point. Nothing ever really changes. But instead of giving up, I believe the answer is to…
Well, that’s the topic for future newsletters.
What I want to accomplish today is to make it clear where I stand, what I believe, and to what I’m willing to devote the remainder of my life supporting.
If you haven’t hit the unsubscribe button and are still here, thank you! In fact, thank you for being here whether it’s been for two years or two days. The truth is you are the reason I am here. My small, but mostly devoted, subscriber base is what pulls me to the keyboard most days and publishing most weeks.
And let’s talk about publishing. Substack, the platform I use to get these letters to you, serves my purposes well. It’s basically free. They take a small percentage of the subscription fees, but it’s completely free if you don’t offer paid subscriptions. It follows that they highly encourage users to offer subscriptions. That’s not a bad thing. After all, that is ultimately what writers want—to get paid for their work, although that’s not the only motivation.
Substack offers support to writers in the form of providing the delivery system, tools, and encouragement for us to grow our reader base and subscription incomes. And although I am delighted to be able to offer subscriptions at free-, paid-, and founding-member levels, I’ve decided that my time is best spent writing, not marketing and campaigning for new readers and paid subscriptions.
If you know me from one of my past iterations in life (as a writer/editor, publicist, marketing/advertising rep, and/or publishing consultant), this may sound counter to what I’ve preached in the past. However, I’m not advocating for the “I only want to write,” protest that many new writers whine about, declaring lack of marketing skills or some other excuse.
I want to change the system for marketing as well as just about everything else. Marketing my work happens to be one system that affects me that I do have control over. And while I can unilaterally decide how I choose to market my work, I cannot control the results. It’s largely up to you and other readers to determine the success of this experiment. So here’s my plan…
I will continue to publish Tarot Tuesday and TGIF free for anyone who wants to visit my site online, or signs up for a free subscription to receive the (mostly) weekly newsletters by email.
Paid and premium (founding member) subscriptions are available, if you choose to support me and my work in this manner. Founding members receive a free, intuitive Tarot reading and a signed Gemignani art print (limited availability). However, I will not exclude my written work from any reader. That’s the complete antithesis of what I’m hoping to achieve. So anything I publish via this site is available to all to read.
Beginning with this issue, and henceforth, a “Thank the Writer” button will appear somewhere in the copy. This enables you, the reader, to make a donation if you are moved to do so as a result of the writing or to support me and my work without a monthly or yearly subscription commitment.
At the completely no-financial-cost-to-you-level: You are encouraged to share the newsletter in every issue. Buttons and arrows are provided for your convenience. Please press that button. I’m also requesting that you hit the little heart that appears at the bottom of each transmission to indicate you liked what you read. And, although it’s a bit more work, comments are highly valued and a wonderful source of feedback :)
That’s it. Well, that’s my marketing plan as far as reader-support. As part of what I do in addition to continuing to write…I offer services to support you on your journey via intuitive readings for you. Contact me for more information. And if you like what you receive in a reading, please share my information with others you think could benefit. Due to my lifelong career in communications, I also can support your publishing goals with practical and actionable advice via consultation or developmental review. In the not-too-distant future, I plan to offer talks, webinars, classes, or other form of solution-based, experiential events.
That’s it, really. Right now my number one goal is to connect with like-minded individuals interested in contributing to raising the vibrational energy on Planet Earth for the highest and best good of all. Are you in? All that’s needed is an openness and willingness to consider other ideas and possible avenues to true peace within ourselves and on Earth.
That may be more than you ever wanted to know about me, but maybe you still want to stick around. Here’s your opportunity to respond (or not, no judgment).
Decisions, a manipulated Polaroid from early on in my husband’s Polaroid Art collection, is a good representation of Joe’s humor. He took this before we met and before he really worked on these images seriously. In the beginning, he fooled around with the Polaroid SX-70 camera mostly to keep his creativity engaged while he photographed for national advertisers and ad agencies. Later, as his business transitioned to art photography, his technique and subject matter expanded dramatically.
He did once confide in me that his children, who were with him when he snapped this shot, had stepped away from him because they were embarrassed that he took a photo in front of the portajohns. Yet, Joe did get lots of yuks from this image, and we even featured it in several marketing campaigns.
And it’s an appropriate image to head up today’s Second Anniversary Issue of Shelley Writes. We are at the precipice of evolutionary transformation and it’s time for each of us to decide where we’re going to stand.
What do you choose?
Until next time… My best, Shelley