I’m starting this project to scare myself.
My name is Kevin Lloyd, more or less. This newsletter is about everything—also more or less. (Okay, maybe it’s more accurate to say that there’s nothing it’s explicitly not about, but that doesn’t sound as catchy.)
I’m afraid to write and talk about some of the stuff I have planned. That fear is a big piece of my motivation. Like Neil Gaiman said: “The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.”
“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.” (Neil Gaiman)
A friend of mine asked me how to write poetry. I replied, “I don’t know how other people write poetry but when I do it, when I look back on it, I consider it good if it’s something that I wouldn’t have felt comfortable saying any other way. Something I would’ve been too embarrassed to feel so dramatic or specific about or whatever”
This project (newsletter/podcast/blog/whatever) is sort of like that, but different.
There are lots of things that I’d like to say about a lot a of topics. The first set will likely include BDSM, drug benefits and risks, drug addiction, indie startups, psychopathy, autism, intelligence, communication, linguistics, theoretical physics, philosophy, and the strangeness of being a person. Some of those things, I’m not (yet?) comfortable sharing. But my hesitation is different between my poetry and this project.
When I write a poem full of ideas that I would feel too uncomfortable to share in a more prosaic format, the discomfort is because I would feel melodramatic and self-centered penning a woe-is-me diatribe about heartbreak and fear and mortality.
With this project, my discomfort is about more mundane fears: employment discrimination, persecution for my activities that are taboo (and not universally legal), and the simple embarrassment that comes from sharing deeply personal things.
To boot, I have some concern that my openness may be misinterpreted as obliviousness, pathological exhibitionism, or something else. To be clear: some of what you’ll read here—about my insecurities, mistakes, risk-taking, mental illness, sexuality, neuro-psycho-peculiarities, etc.—I probably don’t want you to read. Even the thought of that kind of exposure hurts in a visceral, reactive, pit-of-the-stomach kind of way.
In some cases, that fear is exactly why I’m doing it: to get over it, to challenge myself, to grow, to encourage empathy and trust, and maybe even to help others overcome their own fears. In other cases, the fear is incidental to some other and more important point, so my sharing is more about personal disregard than about personal bravery—in other words, it’s not always about me.
If you’re into this little project, stick around—subscribe below if you’d like to receive my updates automatically through email. And I’d love to hear your comments, if you feel like sharing them.