Hello! I am starting up an email newsletter. Please sign up if you care to! Here are a few things to know about it:
- It’s free. I foresee it staying free at least for a good long while. Whether I will turn it into a paid thing down the road is a question I will consider later on. But that's a Future Mo issue. Present Mo: Free!
- I am starting this in part because you might be jumping off social media, either for your mental health or because boneheads are ruining it (again). Whether or not you are on social media of any kind, do you – I don’t judge. But if you want to keep up with what I am doing and thinking and putting out into the world, the newsletter is one way to do that.
- This segues me into a huge/major reason I’m doing this: The newsletter will be one way for me to keep you updated on the progress of my book. I am writing a book about the entertainment industry called Burn It Down (possibly a clue to its contents!). It should come out next year, my brain and writing fingers and the supply chain willing. I’m working hard on it and I am very dedicated to making it something that is worth your time. So if you would like to get updates on when you can pre-order the book, and news on when it’s actually coming out (I don't know either of those things yet), please sign up! I have decided to call the newsletter Burner Account, to connect it to the book. And also because maybe we should just delete everything we have done online?? Maybe the World Wide Web was a mistake?? Or not. That is not the subject of the book (which I wrote a bit about when my deal was announced), but I continue to ponder this.
- What’s the book about (in case you still have questions)? Well, it’s a bigger, more ambitious look at the ongoing problems and difficult dynamics of Hollywood and how they can be improved. I swear to you, I will make all that more interesting in the book. I am writing this newsletter post on the fly in the middle of 15 different things. But the book means so, so much to me. It is, in many ways, a summation of my career: What I've learned from reporting many stories on abuse, bias, toxicity and the fights for inclusion, fair compensation and change, and I'll also draw on information and insights I’ve gained from talking to thousands of people on the front lines of the industry. There are a lot of problems in the industry, still, and I will not be shy about pointing them out. But I’ve also talked to a lot of people who are trying to make it better, so hopefully the book will provide some signposts towards a better future.
- What will be in the newsletter? Glad you asked. Probably just musings about things that I am enjoying or interested in at the time. A lot of that will center around movies and film, as usual. I read a lot for pleasure, and maybe I'll explore some book thoughts now and then. I am not probably going to write about current events, because current events are often pretty nightmarish and you probably already have enough information and opinions about them. Maybe I will write about current events, it sometime or other. But that’s not my plan at this time.
- For example, here are three things I enjoy: The Great Pottery Throw Down, which is on HBO Max, and which I wrote about for Vanity Fair recently. I am very much into soothing TV that takes my mind off the world, and few shows do that as well as this show does. Impeccable vibes, truly.
- I also enjoyed Everything Everywhere All at Once! It's heartening that something so out there (and yet so in there, in terms of successfully getting at the complexity of difficult emotions and how they intersect with spiky family relationships) has been a hit. If you have seen the movie, please know that the rocks made me cry. Obviously.
- I recently read Hannah Gadsby‘s Ten Steps to Nanette, and I will be thinking about that book for a very long time. If you’ve seen her comedy specials, you may have a sense of what her voice is like, but her ability to bring you inside the journey that she’s been on, well, you might find it as thoughtful and illuminating and moving as I did. There’s some hard stuff in the book, but I’m tremendously glad that I read it. As someone who is engaged in a creative project that is really hard to do well, it was weirdly encouraging to read about the difficulties behind the creation of her great special, Nanette. And this is only one aspect of the book, but she writes eloquently about being autistic, and I am greatly indebted to her for helping me further understand people in my life who are neurodiverse. Anyway. It’s a Recommend from me!
- When will the newsletter come out? I do not know! I am in the homestretch with my book and my brain is very taxed and stretched and preoccupied a lot of the time. So the newsletter might be fairly inconsistent in terms of timing. I might post a couple of times a month, I may post more than that, or I may post less than that. As book promotion heats up next year, I might try to be more regular about newsletter updates of all kinds. This is all a new adventure and I hope you join me on it! And if you don’t have the bandwidth for newsletter musings or book updates or whatever, I totally get it. I wish you luck in everything that you are doing right now.
- One last little housekeeping note, I still have my own site at moryan.com, which lists tons and tons of my recent work/podcasts etc, and you can also find whatever I’ve done lately for Vanity Fair over here. I’m also on Twitter and I post pictures of cats and birds on Instagram, so you have lots of opportunities to ignore me or avoid me online, if that’s what you would like to do.
As always – very sincerely – many thanks for reading my scribblings. I'm excited that I'm doing this new thing via ghost. Former Goth kids, represent. Anyway, this is kind of big for me, because I have long planned to become a ghost and lightly haunt selected people in the next life. Maybe this will be good training for that.
Take care and be well, current humans and future ghosts!
I love hummingbirds so, so much. Do not be surprised if this newsletter takes, at some point, a hard turn into hummingbird and hawk moth #content.