The following is an explanation of my new endeavors to stay connected after leaving social media, including my newsletters (which you can sign up for here) and my membership-based interactive community (which can be found here).
Welcome, and so glad you found me!
If you're here, you probably already know my name is Torri Blue, and I am a poet. I live with my wife and our son in the great green state of Michigan, and I run a small business called notesontheway, of which this community is an extension.
If you’ve followed me here from Instagram, you know my love/hate relationship with social media is longstanding. I plan to talk on this in depth in the future, but to be concise about it, I’ve decided that social media isn’t for me. As someone whose creative life is built on moments of quiet attention, the constant buzzing of an active social media presence (read: a social media addiction) runs contrary to creating good work. And as someone whose creative goal is to help foster moments of quiet attention for others, adding to the daily distracting noise runs contrary to my values. So, well, I’ve decided to move my work elsewhere, and here we are!
I’m excited about engaging with y’all in this new way, as moving away from social media platforms means we get to be more deliberate in our connecting. When the purpose of a poem is to get the reader to pause, to breathe, to remember the moment they’re in, hosting that poem on a noisy, never-ending feed may do something small to break up that split second of scrolling, but it doesn’t do much to integrate that poem with our memory, with our bodies.
Prioritizing a Pause together.
Slow. Spacious. Quiet.
I am writing this introduction in a clean and dimly lit room as it snows outside. This feeling is exactly how I believe a poem should live in a body. Moreover, it’s how I wish our bodies might be free to live in the world.
But our world is seldom that simple, and the demands on our attention are real, often important, meaningful, necessary. So how do we hold in tension the somehow precious busyness and messiness and chaos of a life, and the significance of that almost spiritual yearning for stillness? I tend to find it in a Pause.
Pausing takes many forms—mine tends to show up in morning walks, a good novel, snowfall, Shabbat, and (of course) poetry. But it’s not guaranteed it will show up in any of those places if I don’t come to it with seriousness and longing and intention, and (unfortunately for me) it’s not always an easy thing to remember to do.
As I send newsletters out to y’all and as we gather on Substack each month, my ambition is for us to collectively take a Pause together—to remember to slow down enough to feel the weighted blanket of it rest upon us; to break up the energy of a bustle with the gentleness of a lull so we can better love both.
A better way to stay connected.
I hope this approach will be the best of worlds for each of us. For me, the writer, to be less overwhelmed by the ever-changing demands of social media (y’all really thought I was about to make reels?) and less caught up in all the distractions therein. And for you, the reader, to be able to make room for a Pause in your own way, in your own time, rather than trying to jettison it into your socials (: Each newsletter I share will come directly to your inbox where you can take it or leave it—save it for a time you can read and rest with intention, or take the second you see it to remember to Pause. Either way, you can read without worry you’ll still be on Instagram an hour later with no idea where the time went (or, oops, is that just me?).
So here’s how it works:
You can subscribe to my newsletters here at no cost—to start, my goal is to be sending out two a month. In these newsletters, I’ll be sharing new poetry and prose with the goal of helping you (and me!) take that important Pause from time to time, sending some writing prompts, thoughts and ideas for maintaining healthier relationships with our personal technologies, and keeping you in the loop with my upcoming writing projects and releases.
Then, at least once a month, I’ll be opening up a special thread for my notes& subscribers here on Substack. This will be an open thread made for conversation, where we can all share the poems/writings we’ve been working on, the recent gifts Pausing has given, answers to the previous prompts… Whatever will make way for meaningful creative connection.
I’m new to this, but I’m excited to give it a go. Looking forward to taking this next step with y’all. I’m so happy you’re here.