Discover more from The Elysian
Everything I'm writing this quarter
Plus one last pitch & 30% off for life.
Thank you so much to everyone who supported my newsletter when I re-launched my newsletter as The Elysian last week!
82 people joined as paid subscribers during my launch period, as well as 225 free subscribers who joined from all your sharing!! I now have 10,656 free subscribers, 312 paid subscribers, and $20,902 in annual recurring revenue, plus $12,000 in newsletter sponsorships, for a total of $32,902 in my first year as an independent writer.
This is such an incredible start, and I am so eternally grateful! I still have a way to go before this can financially support me as my job. But I am giving myself one year to see what is possible before I start looking for other jobs. And I have a few ideas beyond subscription revenue—like sponsorships, events, and consulting opportunities—that I hope will get me even closer. (I will send quarterly reports to paid subscribers to let you know how it goes.)
In the meantime, there’s still one week left to get grandfathered in at $50/year before my rates go up. If you are interested in using your newspaper and magazine budget to support utopian thought, I would be extremely grateful. Only paid subscribers can comment on essays, contribute to my series with comments and essays, and join our literary salon discussions.
I hope you’ll join us!
My next quarter of writing
I’ve been busily researching my next quarter of content, and I wanted to share what’s coming so you have time to do your own reading and research, write your own essays on the topics, and contribute to our discussions as we go. Here’s a peek at what’s coming up.
Capitalism Series (June/July)
A history of capitalism and socialism and communism
What is the point of profit?
How should we regulate capitalism?
A discussion about Looking Backward and 19th-century socialism
A discussion with Deanna Kreisel about News from Nowhere by William Morris
Recommended reading: News from Nowhere by William Morris
A discussion with Drew Pendergrass and Troy Vettese about their book Half-Earth Socialism
Recommended reading: Half-Earth Socialism
Government Series (July/August)
Learning from democratic socialism
What is already working in utopian countries around the world?
Is there some hybrid of market economy with social distribution?
How do we create more utopian governments?
How can we solve the problem of politicians?
What is the next evolution of democracy?
Are small governments better?
What are the use cases for war (and can we ever get rid of violence)?
A study of Russia/Ukraine and the ideal solution
Several discussions about democratic socialism
Recommended reading: The Nordic Theory of Everything by Anu Partanen
Recommended reading: We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism―American Style by Kate Arnoff
Several utopian short stories about what ideal communities/governments could look like
Recommended reading: Island by Aldous Huxley
Coming up the rest of the year (September-December)
A study of anarchism/libertarianism (September/October)
Recommended reading: The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin
A study of cooperatives, employee ownership, and the commons (November)
Recommended reading: The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson
A study of new economies and reaching equality (December)
Recommended reading: Another Now by Yanis Varoufakis
A progress report on my utopian novel
You may have noticed that I’m planning a collection of utopian short stories in the coming months. I’m still writing my full-length utopian novel, Oblivion, but I need to evolve my creative process.
When I was writing my first novel, I really felt like it was my magnum opus. I was completely immersed in my research and it so sufficiently seeped into my consciousness that when I finally put my words on the page, they made up the hauntingly beautiful gothic novel I longed for.
When I started writing my second novel, I felt like it might be even more my magnum opus than the first. But I’m not feeling that way about it now and that’s because I’ve been serializing it. I’ve never written a novel live before and putting chapters out on a schedule has meant putting them out before they’re ready. I don’t even know what my utopian vision is yet—I’m actively researching that now—so how can I write it?
I’m secretly writing it for now, tucked away by myself. And I’ll release it to you when it’s ready—when beauty has sufficiently seeped into my consciousness and utopia has so permeated my being that I know exactly the world I want to put down on the page. When I have created a fully realized utopia—my own personal vision for a beautiful future complete with all the worldbuilding, plot designing, character development, and philosophical foundation it deserves. My magnum opus.
I want Oblivion to be for me what Looking Backward was to Edward Bellamy, and News from Nowhere was for William Morris and Utopia was for Thomas More (only with an epic fantasy plot and an immersive romance). So I very much apologize for the delay on these chapters, but I am excited to write short fiction and workshop some of the utopian ideals I’m studying and thinking about to see how they might fit into my novel later on. I appreciate your patience as I give my book the breathing room it needs to be beautiful!!!
I wasn’t expecting to make all of this my job, and I recently came to the conclusion that I didn’t think it could be, but now that we’re here I may as well try. I could not have guessed that so many others would be interested in researching utopia alongside me, and I’m going to spend the next year trying to make this place a beacon of light on the internet, to think through something better than what we’ve got, and I hope you’ll join me in the literary salon so we can do it together.
However you are here, I’m grateful.
P.S. Next week I’ll be wrapping up my work and leisure series with a debrief, then we’ll be heading into our capitalism series June 5th!