The Origin Story of Satya Creates
My Journey to Becoming an Online Writer | #1
Welcome to the first issue of Satya Creates
First of all, thank you so much for being the first subscribers of my monthly newsletter, Satya Creates! This newsletter idea has been brewing for several months through short online writing experiments, and I am so excited to finally get it off the ground. Writing and publishing this first newsletter was like when I was pregnant with my son and he decided to enter the world 2 weeks late. I learned to stop my perfectionist tendencies to make this happen, and so this first issue is about my journey in creating this newsletter along with some helpful resources to fuel your personal and career growth.
Satya means “truth” in Sanskrit which inspired me to start this inspirational monthly newsletter to live my inner “truth” by helping others find theirs. My background in both mental health counseling and coaching has allowed me to help 1000s of people over the past 20 years achieve an array of personal or career goals. The insights I’ve gained over these years through my work with people combined with my personal life and career journey led me to create this newsletter to express myself while providing some value to the world.
My Journey to Being an Online Writer
When I was younger, I used to love writing in a journal. I was not technically a great writer but I did enjoy it. A few months ago, I found several of my old journals dating back to childhood and teenage years. It was hysterical (and slightly mortifying) to read what I would write about which would range from documenting the food I ate that day or the boy of the week that I had a crush on. Writing in a journal was my way of processing things and having someone to share my thoughts with even if the only audience was myself.
I also have vivid memories of being chosen to attend a writing conference in elementary school and being so proud of the fictional story that was selected for the conference. I didn’t have a regular writing practice but every once in awhile when I was going through something challenging, I would write about it in my journal.
After not writing for years, I picked up the pen again and started journaling about 5 years ago when I was dealing with the end of my marriage. It was a form of therapy, and I am glad that I can now go back and understand that time in my life and how I was able to get to the other side in one piece. Now that I have caught the writing bug, I most likely will write about that time of my life in one of these monthly issues. I am sure there might be someone out there who is struggling or has dealt with a similar situation in their life and might feel comfort knowing they are not alone.
I will be forever grateful to my former colleagues, Adam Berguem & Jackson Dame who were the first to help me get started with learning the ropes of writing online on LinkedIn and Twitter. Writing on these social media platforms was a great way to experiment with putting my voice and thoughts out there.
I’ve always been comfortable with LinkedIn and had a lot of followers due to my work as a career coach but had never focused on creating my own original content or posts until I observed what my colleagues were doing and followed their lead. Due to all of my LinkedIn activity over the past year, I currently have over 2400 followers which is probably my largest audience over all of my social media platforms.
On the flip side, my knowledge of Twitter was the opposite of LinkedIn so I asked both of these colleagues to mentor me in learning how to use it. We even dedicated a Slack channel at work called Social Animals to help each other build our presence and audience on social media. Last year, I had 60 followers on Twitter but after spending time learning how to tweet, thread posts, and engage with others’ posts, I am now over 400 followers.
Once I felt confident about writing on social media regularly, I decided to try blog writing by volunteering to take over the company blog that had been sitting idle for months. In just a few weeks, I had published several posts that were circulated in the company newsletter to at least 5000 members. The more I wrote, the more confident I became. I applied to be a guest writer for The Mom Project, and they gave me my first paid assignment to write about my journey back to full time work. It was a great feeling to see it in print on their website and they even asked me to write a second article that was published just this past week.
Here are both articles:
As you can see, I slowly built this new muscle of writing through small and low risk experiments that allowed me to explore this interest while learning a new skill. Since I was feeling more confident about my writing abilities, I decided to apply for the third cohort of the On Deck Writers Fellowship led by Max Nussenbaum who writes an entertaining newsletter, My Super Secret Diary. I was excited to be accepted into a cohort of about 120 talented individuals living across the globe looking to grow their writing practice.
This 8 week online writing program helped me to continue to build my writing practice and start this newsletter that you are reading right now. The program’s content, community, and overall spirit of service was impressive and helped me develop my writing muscle. I even rapped for the first time in front of 100+ people online during the kickoff weekend for the program. Little did I know back then that I would eventually be working in a full-time job at On Deck (for a different fellowship - OD50). I’ll leave that story for another newsletter issue.
The writing fellowship program provided me with a weekly writing group lead by writer, Natalie Toren, who has a beautiful writing style that you can check out on her website. My writing group consisted of writers living all over the world in different time zones as far as Australia and India. I would be waking up extra early to get to our 7am ET meeting while they would be just finishing up their day.
During the 8 week program, I also was assigned an accountability partner who shared my same name, Satya Singh, who writes a newsletter called Product Fella. He writes about product management and tech with a little dash of spirituality. It was the first time in my life that I had actually gotten to know someone with my same name. Having both a writing group and an accountability partner helped push me along and keep me motivated. I have a tendency to get caught up in work and forget about my own needs and projects. Having deadlines like a capstone project and weekly meetings kept me moving along towards my goal to create this monthly newsletter.
I will be honest. It was not easy, and I struggled with keeping up especially after starting a new job in the middle of the writing program. I overslept and missed the weekly 7am accountability groups several times. Most of this newsletter was written on the weekends or very late into the night. Since you are reading this right now, I can finally celebrate that I pushed out my first issue even though it was two weeks later than I expected. The wonderful part is that as a subscriber to my newsletter, you get to follow my writing journey and keep me motivated to publishing monthly.
Featured Personal & Career Growth Resources
I researched and reviewed many different types of newsletters before I decided to write my own to get a sense of what were the different ways to go about it. There is so much out there, and here are a few that I have been reading lately.
Morning Brew: This is my daily news source. Since I work in the startup/tech space, I think it’s important to know what’s going on in the business world but I don’t have time to read a lot with everything else in my life so this newsletter is probably one of the best ones out there and very easy (and fun) to read. I feel smarter after reading it too.
Sidekick (connected to Morning Brew): I look forward to this newsletter that provides the best recommendations on “smarter” living, which includes entertainment, recipes, productivity hacks, and more.
Rad Reads: I love Khe Hy’s newsletter that he describes as “a nudge to question your assumptions and beliefs about yourself.” He teaches and writes about how to achieve explosive growth, financial freedom and total control of your time. He also has a great tutorial on Notion on his website (which was useful for my new job)
The Jungle Gym: Nick deWilde was invited to be a speaker for one of the fireside chats during my writing fellowship, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he had been writing a newsletter on a very similar topic to me about personal and career growth. His newsletter has over 2000 subscribers, and I am looking forward to reading more from him.
Maker Mind: This newsletter comes from Ness Labs, founded by Anne-Laure Le Cunff, and provides content to increase your creativity and productivity every week. I love the resources she shares, and she has built quite the community over at Ness Labs. If you are looking to learn something new and make friends, I think it’s well worth the annual membership.
I like to support local bookstores and authors so here are some links to books that can help you personally or professionally and can be purchased either directly from a local bookstore or the author themselves.
My son read Things Fall Apart (by Chinua Achebe) this past month in 8th grade which inspired me to pick up the book again from my bookshelf. It’s a book that normally is read in high school here in NYC so I was surprised but glad that his school decided to have the kids read it this year. If you haven’t read it yet and want to read something that will stay on you mind long after you finish it, it’s definitely worth picking up. On a side note, I wish I had grown up in a school district that had assigned books from diverse authors like this.
If you are feeling stressed out with work or life, I highly recommend reading Pressure Makes Diamonds, Simple Habits for Busy Professionals To Break the Burnout Cycle (by Victoria Hepburn). Victoria has researched hundreds of studies and training programs over the past decade to figure out which stress management and career acceleration strategies work for almost every type of busy professional. She shares many different strategies to manage stress including life-changing habits that can fit into a busy life.
I am a huge fan of Activate Your Agile Career (by Marti Konstant) which provides a more updated perspective about careers in today’s changing work world especially with what we all witnessed this past year during the pandemic.
I made my podcast debut as a guest on the first two podcasts listed here that focus on personal or career topics. I also included a few more inspirational podcasts that I been listening to recently. Check them all out.
You with Adam B focuses on the real version of what it takes to follow your path and be your authentic self. Adam and I talked about bouncing back after hitting rock bottom on his enlightening podcast.
The Clarity Report is designed to help people gain clarity and direction when it comes what they should be doing with their careers and in life. I was a guest last year on this podcast to discuss what it takes to transition into a new career.
The Knowledge Project focuses on insights and lessons that never expire. You’ll walk away from every episode with actionable insights that help you get better results and live a more meaningful life. I just started listening to it and am obsessed. You will recognize a lot of the guests who are well known thought leaders.
Raging Gracefully is a podcast from the Woolfer community that considers itself as “a guide as you age without apology” and is one of the few podcasts geared for women ages 40+.