What's the difference between risk and innovation?
The sound of a thousand eyeballs rolling.
I’ve been meaning to invite more of you to share your events and projects with me — I want to share your doings with other newsletter readers.
One of the nice things about this newsletter is that it can amplify what others are up to. I feel like there should be some term for a person who derives pleasure from being a bullhorn for newsletter readers — Maybe… a… sadohornichist?
I’m so sorry. Please find the unsubscribe link below.
There, now that we’ve cleared out the non-believers , let’s talk about your events.
Up to now, I’ve mostly promoted the events of readers with whom I have some relationship. That seems kind of unfair. I mean, maybe you shouldn’t have to have been my pen pal for months to get your event or project featured in this newsletter.
So I made a form for you to share what you’re up to.
If you're not sure if your event or project is worthy of sharing, here's a checklist:
1. Does it feel risky?
That is, was it hard to explain to the powers that be?
Did you have to grease any palms to get it over the finish line? Did you have to drop a Xanax in someone's Snapple to get them to sign on the dotted line? Was Mephistopheles a key player?
2. Is it innovative?
I hear your eyeballs rolling. You're thinking, What does "innovation" even mean? I may as well have asked if your event is "engaging".
At first, I thought "innovative" might be the same as "risky", but on closer inspection, I think they are different.
Both are relative, but "risky" is more narrow. Something can be risky for one organization, but it may not be all that innovative when viewed in relation to the sector as a whole or in relation to what's happening in other domains. So, maybe "innovative" is a higher bar. Good work — Now keep going!
Anyway, if you said "yes" to any of the above, that's a sign you should share what you’re up to.
I’ll go first
On Tuesday, February 16th at 6:30pm ET (view in your time zone), we’re hosting a Writer Roundtable with Isabel Singer. Isabel wrote a fabulous guest letter earlier this month — “Museums are Perfectionist Control Freaks”. Come meet her, and other readers, to discuss her question: “How might we get museums to loosen up?”
As always, reply to this email to let me know your thoughts or leave a comment below.
P.S. Another new thing: If you're interested in writing a guest letter for SuperHelpful Letters, you can share an idea over here.
P.P.S. As of this writing, there are 18 hours, 36 minutes, and 53 seconds until the end of Donald Trump’s presidency. Do you remember how you felt four-ish years ago when he won the election and took office? I do. I remember going outside on a cold day and putting on my sunglasses and not wanting anyone to see my face. I’ve never wanted to hide like that, and it took me a while to understand where the feeling was coming from. I imagine some of you can relate.
And now it’s over.
I mean, it’s not totally over — at least one-third of the country is still rabid — but let’s hold onto this moment for all it’s worth.