I get a lot of weird ideas. Most live and die in my many notebooks, but every once in a while, one begs it’s way out of the pages and into the real world.
Hence, The Daily Taryn was born.
In December of 2017, I started a 30-day project called The Daily Taryn where I invited anyone (literally anyone — I just put out a call out on all of my social media) to join a daily newsletter about my life.
Now, I’m sure you have lots of questions. I’ll ask and answer them for you:
Why? LOL. Rude, but I get it. There was no real reason — I’m not selling anything, nor do I have a deep love of newsletters. I actually think I hate newsletters… But I love writing, I love journaling, and I love challenges. I told myself I wanted to write about big things every day of December, and then had a weird idea to invite people into my mind while I did it. I love talking about things that people think about but don’t talk about, from religion to sexuality to anxiety, then back around to the metaphors in a burnt grilled cheese.
Ok. Why a newsletter though? It’s really, really hard to get your stuff read/seen/watched these days. With algorithms playing God, it’s wrongfully tough to get your work into the hands of the people that ask for it. I chose a newsletter because I was in complete control of it — people opted in, and by the grace of God, waited to read it every day.
Who read it? Literal angels, I think. I’ll be honest — I thought it would be ~50 people max, most of which are family, friends, a few coworkers, and my brothers signing up on multiple email addresses to make me feel good. I was shocked — or, shook as the cool kids say — with the people that signed up. A few hundred saints — MOST OF WHICH were people I don’t know, but that follow me on social media — joined my newsletter, read it, and responded every day.
Would you like to brag about something for a second? YEAH DUH. EVEN DURING THE BUSIEST MONTH OF THE YEAR, THE AVERAGE OPEN RATE WAS FOR THIS DAILY NEWSLETTER WAS 78%.
A few days after December (and the daily-ness of this project) ended, I was on a flight reflecting on all the things I learned that month — about you, about myself, but mostly about making things.
Some are obvious. Some won’t mean anything to you. Some will make you think about storytelling and creative output different. All are things I’ll take with me wherever I go.
If this reads like a love letter to all who joined me on this journey, well that’s because it is.
1. ASK. ASK. THEN ASK AGAIN.
Asking a question is a risky experience. What if I sound stupid? Should I know this? Am I ridiculous to think I earned the right to ask this question?
Asking the question gets harder when you’re asking for something. For participation. For money. For time. For attention. It’s downright uncomfortable, and no matter how many times you’ve done it before, it’s always risky.
Do you know how fucking weird it is to ask people to sign up for a newsletter that, from the outside, seems purposeless and directionless? To ask people to swipe here, click that, enter your email, confirm your email, make sure you opt-in, check your email to confirm again, then OPEN, READ, AND RESPOND TO a newsletter about my life? I mean, you have to know that experience pushed me so far out of my comfort zone, I literally have no idea where that zone is in the first place.
That said, asking is the only way you get what you want. Ever. If I didn’t ask people to join The Daily Taryn, it would’ve never seen the light of day. It would’ve sat there, in the folders of my locked journaling software, and I would’ve missed out on one of my most personally and creatively fulfilling months of my life. Also, to my surprise, a few hundred people would’ve missed out on something special too. (I’ll get to the surprising effect TDT had on my readers, or you can read some of their thoughts here.)
So. Have a wild idea? Something you’d love to try? A person you’d love to meet?
Ask. Answers wait on the other side of questions.