I have an extra special Q&A treat for you all tomorrow — it’s a beyond perfect, dream-come-true way to wrap up this newsletter for 2020 and I can’t wait to see what you think of it. But before that comes out, I just want to take a minute to say thank you for sticking with Deez Links this year.
As the Deez Links old timers know, I started this newsletter almost five years ago as an outlet strictly for shitposting about links and media gossip and news app takes to my friends. And honestly? It still feels like that, only now there are…..more than 8,000 of you all on the other end?? (Which is crazy!) Writing this newsletter and thinking constantly about what you guys might find funny and useful or totally whack has honestly kept me from personally losing my mind this year of all years, especially amidst the endless months of mostly sitting alone in my apartment.
So first, some capital-T Thanks are in order:
The Substack team, obviously, for giving writers like me a great platform (maybe you heard about them this year??), but especially Fiona and Hamish for throwing the amazing Deez Links birthday party at the very end of February, AKA The Last Party. (IF ONLY WE KNEW. I would have gotten a way more extravagant cake.)
^^Related: I miss eating cake with other people!!
I am thankful to the folks at Study Hall and especially Kyle for helping me turn Deez Links into a sustainable project, via the delightfully old school form of classified ads (<- our January slots are selling out so if you want one, let us know asap!). I know the cool thing is to charge a subscription and all that, but it’s always felt weird for me to do it when I’m mostly linking out to other people’s work, so the classifieds help me keep Deez Links available to all while also like, helping me pay for therapy deductibles and toilet repairs (what can I say, it’s a glamorous life).
Huge, additional shoutouts to all of the extremely generous Q&A subjects who let me get extremely nosy about their creative processes and work (and THANK YOU to the tireless comms pros & mutual friends who helped make these interviews happen!). I am thankful to Mark Stenberg, Steven Perlberg, and Max Willens, who were kind enough to include Deez Links in their 2020 coverage on the Substackaissance. Also dude wow thank you Morning Brew for literally doubling my readership with a single mention in their newsletter in March. Newsletter word-of-mouth is truly second to none.
I am also thankful and over-the-moon flattered for all your kind tweets and mentions and shoutouts about Deez Links. It is absolutely surreal to see it from people whom I have admired since like, my baby j-school days. And! I’m very thankful to everyone who bought and ‘grammed Deez Links merch. Remember when the pins got held up because Chinese manufacturing was on lockdown in January and I was like oh dang this virus outbreak is very inconvenient? Yikes.
But of course, I am most of all thankful for everyone who’s out here reading these daily (sometimes unhinged) missives and forwarding them and dropping them in group chats and best of all, hitting that reply button to tell me what you think about all this, too.
Anyway. I’m veering into overly earnest territory, but I really just want to say that when I first started this newsletter, I was 22 and not confident about anything I was doing. I was looking at writers and editors and media people whom I admired and felt like there was this entire chasm separating me, an intern wanna-be, from doing anything remotely interesting at all. Some of this came from your run-of-the-mill inferiority complex as a woman, as an Asian-American, as someone who grew up in a not news literate immigrant household. This newsletter has given me the space to figure out a voice and formulate my own opinions and also, meet really cool people. (This is always the biggest reason I think people should start newsletters — not to get rich quick, but to give yourself a place to experiment and build a community!)
So what’s next?
As fulfilling and soul-gratifying as another year of Deez Links has been, it is…….no joke to be writing a daily newsletter. (By now you have noticed how much work the ish part of dailyish media newsletter has been doing.) So starting next year, I’ll be publishing Deez Links as a weeklyish newsletter, with the aim to send you guys 1-2 newsletters a week, and to run 1-2 Q&As a month. (4 newsletters + 1 Q&A per week was just WAY too much lol).
I’m hoping this will make my life less hectic and also get you generally higher quality links because hello we all know when I’ve been faking it lol. But also, taking a small step back from Deez Links publishing will give me the chance to devote more time to something I’ve been thinking about/working on since May 2019……………………………..which is: a novel!
SHIT. It feels absolutely weird to say it out loud. I’ve been so reluctant about finally getting serious about fiction writing that I’ve only told a few friends and some nice agents about it in the past year. I’m terrified of jinxing myself (or worse, having this come off as lOoK aT mY pAnDeMiC nOvEL). But I think I’m at the point where I want people to know that this is something I’m really excited to be working on, and maybe this admission is a way to hold myself accountable, in the same way that Deez Links made me take myself more seriously as a writer/critic/haver of takes. I GUESS WE’LL SEE. The manuscript is finished and alive and well and she wants to make like a 00’s rom com star and start putting herself out there, so I guess that’s going to be a whole new adventure for 2021.
Anyway. So that’s what’s going on over here. It’s been a very strange year of incredible isolation and also delightful interiority. (Anyone else ping-pong between both extremes pretty much hourly?). I try to keep in mind that being in this enforced solitude is A) a privilege above all else, one that has B) given me the kind of time and focus I would never get anywhere else. Still, other times (most times) I’m just lying on my rug trying not to think about what happens if I’m just in this apartment forever.
That’s where this newsletter, and writing for you guys, has always stepped in and made things better. You’ve made me feel like I’m not just floating in the void by myself. I hope Deez Links has been able to do a little bit of that for you, too.
Anyway. I love you all. I’m excited to make more great stuff to share with you. I’m gonna take a break for a few weeks, then we’ll be back in business later in January. For now, I just want to say thanks again for sticking it out with me.
Deez Links is a dailyish newsletter written by delia cai.