Let's be clear, I have nothing against editors. Some of my best friends are editors! I would invite an editor to my wedding. (Though not to the reception as they might stand around making sniffy remarks about the way I have presented the appetizers.)
I like to work for magazines. You might know me from Twitter but you might know me from articles and reviews that I have written for Quillette, The Spectator USA, American Conservative, First Things, Arc Digital and many more.
The filter process has ensured that many doomed ideas have been died quiet deaths, and that more promising ideas have not destroyed themselves. I am grateful for it.
As a writer - apologies for using that phrase - I am proud of the range of my work. I have written about Poland, comedy, Christianity, professional wrestling, conservatism, Jackass, poetry and many other subjects.
Still, there are writings that cannot find a home. They are not topical enough. They do not quite fit a brand. Perhaps there is a reason for that? Perhaps. But not always.
There is also something to be said for spontaneity. Sometimes an idea is best played with or hammered out rather than being structured and refined with professional care.
So, THE ZONE is where I can be entirely myself. Once a week, on Tuesday, I will send a letter with a range of different entries in a vaguely diaristic form. This will not be brow-scrunching political commentary. It will be bursts of outrage, enthusiasm, intrigue and obsession - something more like a blog than a magazine. It will be messy, in other words, but I hope it will be fun.
Once a week, on Saturday, I will post a column. While the letter is free, the column is for paid subscribers. It will be about a subject that interests me, and that I want to write about in a freer, more personal way than I can elsewhere. If that interests you, great! I will do my best to make it worth your money. If it does not interest you - no problem. This is a product, not a charity, and I am not going to yank on your heartstrings like a bearded Scotsman in a tug of war.
People write about how the business model of magazines paying writers based on sales and patrons will be replaced by individual writers being funded by subscribers. I say, why not both? Do we have to choose between high-end restaurants and local cafés? No! But this is certainly the latter, and there is a cat walking around your feet, and we have the best coffee in town.