My (now former) Wheelhouse started as a space for stories. Stories from work, stories from home and commentary, photos, galleries and posts that spanned the in-between. Stories featured some of the cool and quirky projects I work on every day as a PR girl, writer and a mother of two young boys (does raising kids count as a project?). I write to about 1,000 Unique Monthly Visitors publishing about one post every other week (let’s be real: I post once per month, because who has the time?). If you know a thing or two about blogging, you know those numbers and that frequency are nothing to write home about. As a writer, this website has been a wonderful creative outlet for me to share some of my favorite stories, in my own voice and in my own way. It’s not a cooking blog, or a parenting blog, or a style blog, or even a PR blog. I might write about some of these things some of the time, but all of my posts don’t really fall into one, specific category. Read: blogger death. When you don’t have a specific niche as a blogger, you get lumped into this strange, however intriguing and mysterious, “lifestlye” category. People live in so many different ways and places with different cultures, stories, and ideas. The “lifestyle” term brings different aspects of life under one roof. This genre of blogging is a special one which, the way I practice it, is more about quality of content than quantity of readers.
Which is why I’m launching a new concept at the beginning of the New Year to offer more quality and organization to the readers who are here, spending time with these stories, clicking around and reading through. We’re taking a page from the Lenny Letter playbook (a feminist arts newsletter created by “Girls” star Lena Dunham) to share original content, interviews, essays and journalism exclusively-first in a newsletter format once-a-month (but, feminist-lite). This should give us a little more form to our function. One thousand readers might be puny by Instagram’s standards, but in newsletter terms, that’s quality readership. Newsletter projects like Dunham’s, Ann Friedman’s and others are beginning to stretch this “lifestyle blogging” genre, and my idea of traditional blogging, in new directions. If a newsletter can be a start-up content platform, an open diary, or a form of art and impressive writing, as the Washington Post stated, the idea of email starts to impress me and I can’t resist not playing with it.
It’s not meant to be something that builds hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. Rather, it’s a quality piece of material that empowers a small, powerful readership to think, do and influence bigger. Still, when it comes to newsletters, we want to get what we sign up for. When content reads perfunctory, it’s pretty obvious. When stories start to sound like sales pitches, no one is being fooled (especially not yours truly). When content is clearly sponsored, I really hope you can see through that, too. By signing up, you’re electing to receive quality content you’ll care about reading delivered to your inbox in a curated, digest-friendly form, rather than waiting for Facebook’s bloody algorithm to populate a link to something valuable in your newsfeed in between all the viral cat videos and Kardashian photos.
The first issue of Forney File will launch in January. We don’t bullshit and everything starts with F. I hope you’ll give one and join us.