Those of you who have followed us from the beginning know that we have been friends for a long time. And for most of that time, we’ve been involved in joint projects of varying polish and success.
The above photo, for example, is from a bake sale that we held to raise money for homeless pets, something we did several times at Leda’s behest (some things don’t change). Judging by the marquee of the movie theater in the background, which is playing “A Rage in Harlem,” this was 1991 and we were nine years old.
Later, when we were 11 and studying Manifest Destiny in school, we built (with assistance) a working telegraph that was displayed in our classroom. We also started a literary magazine for the junior high, collaborated on dozens of art projects, and took life drawing classes on Saturday mornings in high school. We had the best time painting the shower in Steph’s childhood bathroom blue, and added a goldfish for flair.
The point is that we’ve been working together for a long time, and while we’ve gotten pleasure from everything we’ve tried, Small Answers is definitely the thing we are the most proud of.
The idea to collaborate on a blog came from Steph, who loved all of the interesting discussions and ideas we were tossing around in our career group, and wanted to do something more with them. We were surprised that so many of our friends were eager to join the group; we had clearly (and accidentally) matched an unmet need, and we wanted to find a way to share our insights and experiences. When we started Small Answers, at first we thought it would be pretty much only about work and career, but it naturally expanded to include other aspects of happiness and life choices.
This is a side project for us, and above all else we wanted to keep it fun and manageable. We agreed on a once-a-week posting schedule to make sure we could maintain it along with our full-time jobs. We felt that one substantive post per week was consistent with our philosophy and approach. Not a constant stream of re-posts and idle thoughts, but a hopefully meaningful exploration of life, work, and what it means to be human. This is the deep stuff of life, not the topics that many major blogs are writing about. There is so much to read online, and most of it is earning money through ads. With this pay-per-click model, publishers need to grab your attention with shocking headlines.
“What thrives online is not the writing that reflects anything close to the reality in which you and I live. Nor does it allow for the kind of change that will create the world we wish to live in. It does, however, make it possible for me to do what I do,” Ryan Holiday, self-proclaimed media manipulator, wrote in “Trust Me, I’m Lying.” By that, Holiday means spreading (sometimes false) information in the name of brand promotion, and creating the types of headlines that people are eager to click on, but provide little value.
We are deliberately doing something different.
We’re really proud of what we’ve created here, and we’re so grateful to all of you, whose comments, shares, likes, and posts have encouraged us to keep going and confirmed that we all feel a deep desire to connect with others over shared experiences about big life questions. That this is worth clicking on too. Thank you.
We try to refrain from doing much self-promotion, but if you want to do something to celebrate – as a first birthday present – please consider sharing Small Answers with someone you think would appreciate it. Also, please subscribe by email if you haven’t already; there will be a lot of good stuff coming in the next year and we don’t want you to miss it!
We’ll be back to stories of work, psychology, family, love, and money next week.
See you then!
Steph & Leda