What is this thing?
Hi! I've Got a Feeling is a newsletter from me, Molly Wizenberg. I am a memoirist, essayist, and teacher of personal narrative.
Each installment of this newsletter is like a meandering walk, so to speak, with an idea, person, place, book, meal, or other thing that makes me feel hopeful. I hope it’ll make you feel hopeful, too — or at least better than you did before you read it. A friend recently referred to it as “a chronicle of enthusiasms,” and I liked that very much. Enthusiasm is, I think, evidence of hope, of a will to engage and find pleasure.
I started this newsletter in February of 2022. The idea came in the last days of 2021, a year composed almost entirely of what felt like Last Days. I’d forced myself to sit down and make a list of things to look forward to in 2022. It was difficult to lasso my thoughts and point them into the distance, past uncertainties and anxieties about COVID, mounting losses, and garbagey headlines, but it got easier as I went. Soon I found I was gaining momentum. I could almost watch my daydreams crystallize and sharpen, like turning the focusing dial on a pair of binoculars. After a while, I had a decent list, and I actually felt a little better. Then I thought, well, damn, I should do this more often. And then, On a regular basis. But not in list form, per se — each installment could be more like an essay! An essay loosely shaped around something good.
I call it I’ve Got a Feeling for how that phrase points forward, into some unseeable future — and also because ever since we watched The Beatles: Get Back, I CANNOT get that song OUT of my head, and because John Lennon singing the line “Everybody had a hard year” at minute 2:06 is an uncannily good summation of life in the 2020s.
So that you’ll get every new post, direct to inbox. You can also read the posts here, on this website.
Why should I pay for it?
I write and teach writing for a living. The Internet has taught us to expect to read things for free, so it feels weird to ask people to pay for my work. But that’s exactly it: writing is work, whether it’s for a newsletter, a print publication, or a book-length project. If you were reading my work in book form, you would expect to pay money for it, right? If you enjoy my writing here, and especially if you look forward to receiving this newsletter each week, I ask you to pay for this too.
Your $5 per month (or $55 per year; tax included in all prices) makes it possible for me to do this work. I’m a one-person operation, so your paid subscription goes a long way. It pays for the books and periodicals (and subscriptions to other people’s newsletters) that help me think. It buys me time to not teach, and to write instead. It pays for childcare, no small expense! In short, your paid subscription allows me to keep showing up and making the work that many of you — thank you — have been reading since 2004.
And you know what I especially like about this newsletter format? It makes it easy for readers to directly support the work of writers they enjoy. When I was writing a blog, I felt distinctly iffy about running ads or taking corporate sponsorships, so I never did. Now there’s this option, which is way better. I’m a paid subscriber myself to nearly a dozen newsletters. It feels terrific to help sustain someone’s work so tangibly. It gives me a little tingle. You’ll see.
And if you’d like to give a subscription as a gift, you certainly can.
In all cases, thank you.
Who are you?
I’m the author of three memoirs, including New York Times bestsellers A Homemade Life and Delancey, and, most recently, The Fixed Stars. This last was a Stonewall Honor Book and a Washington Book Award finalist. I have also written for the Guardian, Bon Appétit, The Washington Post, and others. For fifteen years, I wrote the blog Orangette, which won a James Beard Award in 2015.
In a previous version of my life, I co-founded and co-owned three Seattle restaurants: Delancey, Essex, and Dino’s Tomato Pie. In this version of my life — which suits me muuuuuuch better — I teach narrative nonfiction writing to adults, both online and in-person, across the country. I also cohost the hit comedy-and-food podcast Spilled Milk.
I live in Seattle with my spouse Ash and our two children, a dog named Gilbert, and an exuberantly incontinent guinea pig named Percy.
You can follow me on Instagram at @molly.wizenberg, and you can email me at info (at) mollywizenberg (dot) com.