View profile

Writing is an elastic art. Stretch it

read + write
big news this week.
A few things. One: we’re launching Twitter Spaces with writers, very soon — keep reading for more info. Also, we’re joined in this week’s issue by Darian Symoné Harvin and Yoh, with reading recommendations, inspiration, and writing advice. Finally, we’ll hear from Drew Dold, who writes the newsletter Hoop Coach
read + recommendations
Each week, a writer will join us to answer some questions about what they like to read.
Our first guest is Darian Symoné Harvin. She’s a writer, reporter, news curator, and cultural commentator — and was recently named the Beauty Editor-at-Large at Image, the L.A. Times’ style and culture magazine. She runs the newsletter BEAUTY IRL.
📸: Natasha Campos/@natacam_
📸: Natasha Campos/@natacam_
What’s the thing you read when you want to remember how to write? 
“If He Hollers Let Him Go: Searching for Dave Chappelle ten years after he left his own show” by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah.
You’re at the newsstand and have decided you’re leaving with four magazines. What are you picking up? (from any era, be as oddly specific as possible).
Riposte, i-D, Fast Company, The Face.
What’s the thing you read when you need to feel something?
What newsletters have you continued to happily subscribe to?
Letters From a Stranger by Nneka Julia.  
What’s your favorite This Is A Great Day On Twitter day (one of those days when you couldn’t stop reading the timeline)?
Who’s the Twitter follow that hasn’t let you down, since the beginning?
@THerwees has never, ever let me down. I mean, now she deletes her Tweet after a few days, but she would probably get in trouble if she didn’t. 
newsletter time
Every other week, we’ll include an established Revue newsletter (established = at least a year old or 60+ issues).
Hoop Coach
Drew has sent more than 250 issues of Hoop Coach from Revue, so we asked him to offer some tips for keeping a newsletter going, in 280 characters or less:
1 - Delete the subscribers that don’t open your emails. They hurt more than help.
2 - Tailor your sign-up forms. I get most of my sign-ups from a basketball plays page that says “get free plays in your inbox.”*
3 - Focus on delivery rate. Send at the same time, and keep monitoring!
* Note: If you go down this route, just make sure you provide the value you’re promising in that signup form. 
write + inspiration
Each week, a writer will join us to answer some questions and give their perspective on writing.
Our second guest is Yoh, a music journalist and author of Best Damn Hip-Hop Writing: The Book of Yoh. He’s the co-creator and executive producer of the documentary series Rap Portraits and co-hosts the southern hip-hop podcast Sum’n to Say.
📸: Yoh
📸: Yoh
What’s your one tip (that doesn’t get discussed enough) for a writer trying to improve in 2022?
Trust your struggle. And don’t be afraid to move your talents to new mediums. Writing is an elastic art. Stretch it. No one will ever be in the seat you’re in, don’t miss the chance to say how it feels to sit there. 
What’s the thing you read when you want to remember how to write? 
Usually the Bible. Book of Psalms is a good way to remember that the best writing is to the sky. But for the non-Christians, comics. I learned that from Ta-Nehisi Coates. He put me on to Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing in one of his Atlantic posts from back in the day. I was just rereading some of my favorite issues. It’s a little too psychedelic at times, but sometimes you need some radical fiction to remember writing is what you make it. 
I also went through a phase where I was reading a lot of Greg Tate before he passed. Greg, James Baldwin, and Amiri Baraka are my big three when I need to get out of any mental trenches.
What do you do with all the writing ideas that pop into your head? Where do they go?
Notebooks and the note app. I lose all the good ones during phone calls. Something about speaking ideas too thoroughly takes away the magic of getting them down.  
What’s the hardest part about being a writer? What’s the best part? 
It never gets any easier when you care. It’s always better when you care. 
Who do you think really knows how to do a newsletter?
I like what Dan Runcie is doing with Trapital. I like what Gary Suarez is doing with Cabbages. Pigeons & Planes has a cool one. David Turner’s Penny Fractions is good. So is Water & Music. Jewel Wicker just started hers back up, a must subscribe. But mostly, I read old journalism. I’m always in somebody’s archives looking for something to resurrect.
Is there a thing you’ve written and have actually enjoyed going back experiencing?
The Colture Playbook that I wrote with Ty Baisden for DJBooth. Being able to share Ty’s knowledge on the music business always feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity. They don’t make too many as candid and clever and concise. It’s just a good, informing read in a way that makes you think differently. And that’s always the goal, to change somebody’s mind or inspire a new thought in somebody tired of seeing things through old constructs. 
How would you describe your relationship with your readers? (especially if it’s evolved)
I used to have no readers. Zero. Now we have a few more. I try to keep some sense of awareness, but I try not to think about it too much anymore. I just pray it makes sense to somebody other than myself. But if I’m the only one who gets it, so be it. 
Each week, in addition to hearing from writers, we’ll also give an update about what we’re doing for readers and writers at Twitter.
For the last few weeks, we’ve been cooking up something we think you’ll like: Twitter Spaces with writers that we’ve featured in our read + write newsletter. Follow us on Twitter and check the newsletter next week to get the details, so you can set a reminder. It’s going to be great. 
wrap up
Thanks for joining us this week. Let us know what you thought of this issue — you can reach us at @revue, or by using the hashtag #readpluswrite.
See you next time,
Did you enjoy this issue? Yes No
Anna from Twitter
Anna from Twitter @revue

A newsletter for readers and writers on Twitter.

In order to unsubscribe, click here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Created with Revue by Twitter.