Hey there, beloved newsletter subscribers!
My name is Duncan, I’m a data journalist, and at some point in the pre-pandemic world you signed up to get occasional emails from me. If that doesn’t sound familiar, and you never want to hear from me again, then the unsubscribe link is right here.
Have they gone? Good. It’s just us left now. So - I’ll level with you. You may recall that about a year ago, I pivoted this newsletter to be about beginnings. It went well at first but ultimately it turned out that I had less to say about beginnings than I hoped. As a result, you didn’t hear from me much and I was in a weird situation where I wanted to say hi but didn’t have a “beginning” I could hook it around without it feeling forced. So I’m dropping that concept, and going back to the old newsletter format of just saying hi every so often.
Since we last spoke, I’ve been working on cultivating habits, and one of those habits is a blog that I’ve been writing since the start of the year. It’s called Bar & Line, and it’s mostly about my work and my creative projects. I’ve been able to keep semi-regular posts going up there for three months now, and it feels sustainable.
There are several series I’m publishing there. One about my favourite tools. One sharing my dataviz sketchbook pages. And one called Tenday Notes where I share a digest of what I’ve been working on every ten days.
It’s that third one that I’m going to use as a hook for this newsletter for the time being. You’ll get an email from me every ten days with details of what I’ve been up to work-wise, good things I’ve read, and any interesting creative projects I’ve published. You can poke around the archive if you want to catch up on the last few “issues”. If that sounds good, then look out for my next set of Tenday notes in your inbox on 11 April (this coming Saturday). If you’d rather not then no hard feelings! Here’s that unsubscribe link again.
It means a lot to me that so many of you do want to hear from me on a regular basis, and I’ve got some ideas about a cool way to say thank you. Stay tuned for that, and in the meantime hit reply and let me know what you’ve learned about the world since we last spoke. Me? Among other things, I’ve learned that the midwestern United States used to be home to travelling education circuses called chautauquas - which Roosevelt called “the most American thing in America”.
Lots of love,
p.s. I promised in my last message that I’d let you know how my race went. It actually went really well - I spent most of my time overtaking people, which felt good. I came out of it intending to buy a nice new pair of trainers and become “a runner”.
But then fate intervened - a few weeks later I developed some knee pain while training. I rested it for a couple of weeks and tried again, and it was still there. I stopped for a month and tried again and it was still there. I went to a physio, who told me to keep resting it and gave me some exercises to do to build muscle strength, but by that point it had been several months since I’d last gone running and it was the middle of a very wet winter.
I haven’t run since then, and now I feel like I’m back at square one in terms of endurance. I’m not ruling out ever running again, but I’m not quite in a place where I want to restart yet. Maybe now the weather is improving, the time will come. We’ll see!