Authenticity is everything

Why it's important to be true to yourself, community, and officiating

Hey there! This is Cullin from Weekly Wit. I’ve decided to rebrand. You’ll find this is very similar, with the exception that I have decided to expand the preamble and reduce the random links. Consider reading this in order to unwind from a long day of work, with a morning coffee, or maybe your extra long bathroom time.

I’m also always available to chat by replying. Thank you for sticking around. If you do like what I write, it would make my week if you would consider sharing this with a friend or two.

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Why be authentic?

These days I have been thinking a ton about authenticity. Do you feel genuine and entirely true to yourself? I would argue a large majority of people do not.

And for good reason! The world doesn’t always reward people who are authentic. People that go against the grain are often typecast as weird. We are also creatures of habit. People that crave comfort and familiarity. And so we give the familiar our attention, too.

And so why be authentic, then?

For starters, to sleep better at night. You will like yourself more. Secondary to that, the alternative is exhausting. It’s exhausting to try and keep up with other people all day. It’s exhausting to pretend, or do something that you’re not.

It’s also a fast-pass to being around people you don’t want to be around.

I started this newsletter because it was what I saw so many before me do. I copied the template of many before me, but added my own tweaks to it. I found myself busy each week filling the template, and not investing the time into the create components that I truly enjoyed.

The proven path is tempting, but it’s never as enjoyable.

Following templates just isn’t fun. I never bought a Lego set to build what’s on the box. I bought the lego set for the new possibilities it brought.

So don’t follow templates in life. Be authentic and true to yourself. According to Steve Jobs, once you realize you don’t need to abide by life templates, your worldview changes entirely:

“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.” Steve Jobs

And so my newsletter. Only 30% of the links ever got clicked. I was spending too much time on those links and the commentary that went with them. I’ll still be sharing them, but when I share something now, I’ll be sharing my genuine thought around it instead of summary.

I’m also going to be infusing more personal elements. If you become more curious, learn something, or feel included in on my journey - then this was a success!

I really hope that this is still an enjoyable way to spend your Monday morning!

Weekend Activities

Over the weekend, I officiated my 2nd wedding ever. Both of them nearly by coincidence. To be condescending, my close friend Stef had always joked with me that I would be his flower girl. Well, he asked me to officiate it instead!

More recently, my step-sister and now-brother-in-law asked me to do it as well. What a blast. You never know where you’ll end up when you’re open to most of anything:

After my family left, I stayed to do some hiking in the great Smokey Mountains. I even made some friends!

Writer’s Bloc Launch

Lastly, we launched Writer’s Bloc to the public recently. Writer's Bloc is a group of people who are interested in writing. For some, it’s for passion-project work aside from a busy life. For some, it’s a community without the rigidity or cost of a course. For everyone, it’s a way to share essays, give feedback, ask questions, etc.

It’s funny, when we first started building it I had the idea to create a newsletter and build it in public. Here is the cheeky banner I created awhile back:

We initially had about ~30 people in for the beta while we were building it. It has been fun welcoming all the new faces after the big launch. We’re well over 30 now. I also think there is the potential that this could scale into something pretty big.

Of course, growing a community is not without its challenges. I have been reading People Powered and connecting with other community growth experts. All of us (myself, Logan, Ryan) have been putting an insane amount of time into it.

I’m hoarding an insurmountable amount of ideas around community building, so always happy to answer questions or kick around ideas.

And it earns an income now. Which is insane.

Let me know if this new format truly sucked. I think it has legs. Illustratively, there are millions and millions of minutes of vlogs watched each year.

Even they can be kind of boring.

Have a great week!