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The Good Press - Issue #60: Pause

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The Good Press

June 9 · Issue #60 · View online

A newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind


Reflecting on 60 straight weeks of writing The Good Press and what comes next

Hello and welcome to another edition of The Good Press, a newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind.
Thanks for reading. I hope you find this issue to be worth your time.
Comments and reader suggestions are always welcome. You can reply to the newsletter right from your email if you would like to share your feedback.
Sometimes moving forward requires us to press pause first (Image: Shutterstock)
Sometimes moving forward requires us to press pause first (Image: Shutterstock)
Pause
For the past 60 weeks, I’ve written a new issue of The Good Press and I’ve sent it to email inboxes and published it online on Revue and on Medium. It astonishes me when I reflect on that and let that sink in. I’m so grateful to every reader and subscriber who has supported the project along the way.
I started writing the newsletter amid the first wave of the pandemic in New York City, when “the city that never sleeps” was in an eerie, quiet, slumber. I remember wanting to fill some of that silence with something to be proud of. With all that negative space surrounding me, I began trying to fill it somehow.
Fill in the Negative Space | Medium
It felt good to write Fill in the Negative Space. It felt good to write Just Listen to the Music Play, a piece about my late uncle and how music binds us across generations. It felt great to write the piece that reignited my desire to write again, inspired by the woman who inspires me every day, my dear fiancée.
She’s Why: Love and Life with a High-Risk Partner During a Viral Pandemic | The Good Press, Medium
Just Listen to the Music Play: Family Bonds Across Generations Via Music | The Good Press, Medium
The feedback from those articles was humbling and encouraging. It felt so good to write again and the feedback made me more confident in my writing after I hadn’t written regularly nor publicly for the better part of a decade.
I’m immensely proud of the first 60 issues of The Good Press, and they will always represent something special to me, like a published private journal documenting my thoughts about our wild world, one Wednesday at a time.
Forgive me for such a meta topic in this week’s issue, but I want it to be clear: I have no plans to stop writing nor to end the newsletter any time soon, but for the first time in a while, I’m not 100% sure how soon the next issue after this one will be in your inbox and published, only that I hope that it’s relatively soon.
In Other Words
I will not stop writing, but something of a pause is necessary, at least for now.
As much as I love writing each week, I have to admit that the speed of the game and the pace of life these days has meant less time at the keyboard. The reality is, I simply cannot produce a new issue on a weekly basis anymore.
The commitment that it takes to create an issue worthy of publishing is not small. It takes time, effort, and many rewrites and edits throughout the week. All of that is a pressure that I, alone, put on myself, to make it as good as it can be to me, to reach the standards I have for anything that I put my name on.
This is not a decision that I’ve come to suddenly. It’s something that I’ve thought about for the last several weeks and months. It’s not a coincidence that an issue entitled, “Pause” came after last week’s issue, entitled, “Play.”
In recent weeks, I’ve caught some errors post-publication. The type of small mistakes that I usually catch before I set my final edit to publish. This irritates me, even though they were the smallest of editing errors. That feels like a clear sign to me that I’ve been burning the candle from both ends too much.
If I’m missing minor editing errors, then that means I’m not spending the time necessary to make each issue of The Good Press as clear as I’d like it to be. If I’m not able to devote that necessary time, I shouldn’t be rushing the process.
The world felt like it was on pause when I began writing again in spring 2020.
It doesn’t feel like we’re all the way back yet, but it feels closer than any time since the start. My time is more divided now than it was back then (all good things, I promise!). Frankly, without wanting to jinx things, pressing pause on a project that sort of started as a pandemic diary feels pretty appropriate now.
So, after today’s issue, there will be an air of mystery each Wednesday whether this Wednesday is a Good Press Wednesday. I suppose we’ll find out together, week in, week out, as I try to carve out space to write when I can.
I’m hopeful that the schedule settles in as simply an every-other-week schedule for future issues. I know that pressing pause from the weekly Wednesday schedule is something that will make the newsletter stronger on an issue-to-issue basis while allowing me to not put such pressure on myself.
The bottom line is that I absolutely love writing the newsletter, and I want to keep writing new issues for as long as I can. That’s always been the plan, and nothing has changed in that regard. I love this community, and many of you are likely also quite busy, so longer breaks between issues may be a good fit.
So next Wednesday will be the first dark week since we started this thing, but I hope you’ll be patient and stick with me as I try to figure out how to adjust to what I hope will be a twice-a-month publishing schedule going forward.
That’s enough for self-indulgence. On to some sports talk to close us out.
Parting Thoughts
The first round of the NBA Playoffs is complete, and if you’re a fan of parity, you are going to love this postseason. We are now guaranteed to have a new champion after the Lakers were eliminated by the upstart Phoenix Suns. Of the remaining eight teams, none of them have won a title in the last 38 years.
The Philadelphia 76ers are the most recent champion (and 1983 is not exactly recent). The Milwaukee Bucks haven’t been champion since 1971, and the Atlanta Hawks haven’t won since 1958, in their previous home of St. Louis.
My Brooklyn Nets are searching for their first-ever NBA championship. Their most recent championship came in 1976, in the final season of the American Basketball Association before the ABA merged with the NBA shortly after.
But at least the four teams remaining in the Eastern Conference know what championship glory feels like. The four teams left in the Western Conference (Phoenix, the Utah Jazz, the Denver Nuggets, and the Los Angeles Clippers) are all looking for their first championship, and that’s pretty exciting stuff.
So we are guaranteed a fresh new champion. I’d love for it to be Brooklyn. They are playing great basketball, though the injury bug is biting again. Either way, if you were tired of the same old, same old in the NBA, this is your year.
New NBA champion will be crowned with familiar faces eliminated - The Washington Post
One of the most fascinating stories in sports media in 2021 has been the story of Dan Le Batard, his departure from a seven-figure deal at ESPN, and his launching of Meadowlark Media, a new independent media venture.
I’ve been a big fan of Dan and his eponymous radio show, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz for years, and it was incredible to watch Dan, the show, and all of the people who make it special go off on their own as DIYers. They bet on themselves, and it’s paying off handsomely so far to the tune of a $50 million sponsorship deal with DraftKings, a fantasy sports and betting site.
To celebrate sailing into the waters of independence and striking gold, Le Batard and Friends relaunched the flagship show brand with a 24-hour live marathon on YouTube last weekend, raising over $120,000 for ALS research in the process in a cheekily-named broadcast they dubbed “Freedumb.”
The best of Le Batard and Friends' 24-hour "Freedumb" live radio marathon
Le Batard and Friends' 'Freedumb' Live Marathon Drew Nearly 3 Million Views | The Big Lead
With a talented cast of contributors on-air and behind the scenes, I imagine that Meadowlark Media will continue to have great success in the future. They called their shot and then they hit the ball waaaay out of the ballpark. Good luck to Le Batard and Friends on their continued success. The future looks awfully bright for the self-proclaimed “marching band to nowhere.”
Sometimes in life, the best way to figure out how to best move forward is to take a moment to collect yourself, press pause, and figure out the next steps.
That’s what I’ll do with the newsletter, and I think things will be better for it. Better to take some extra time for quality control than to rush things to reach a weekly deadline that I arbitrarily put on myself, a deadline that was starting to cause more anxiety than pride over the busiest days and weeks.
So once again, for 60 straight weeks, thank you for reading.
If you’d like to relive any of the first 60 issues, you can always check out the online archive either on Revue or on Medium. Feedback is always welcome.
Enjoy your Wednesday. Speak soon.
Till next time,
-Jon
Previously in The Good Press
Issue #59: Play
Issue #58: The Speed of The Game
Issue #57: Breakthrough
Catch up quick: The Good Press full online archive
Every issue of The Good Press, on-demand right in your browser Every issue of The Good Press, on-demand right in your browser
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