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Introducing December Reflections!
A gentle and creative way to reflect back on 2022
Updated to add: Chat for Android users launches today, December 1st! How’s that for timing? :-)
I’ve missed you Substack family, how have you been? It might be a bit premature calling this space a family, but that’s what I’m craving and hoping to grow here.
When I first started blogging 16 years ago (!) I gathered what felt like a group of friends and acquaintances around my digital table and I loved it. Then I moved my focus to Instagram and I’ve enjoyed the community there, but it feels time to cultivate a space that’s less about ads and algorithms and more about sharing and supporting. Substack isn’t quite the same as the slot machine social media we’ve become accustomed to using, but something tells me this has legs. Where we end up, I don’t know — it would obviously help if I started posting regularly, and I will, that’s coming — so in a bid to be brave and try something NEW, let’s test out the Substack Chat feature on the phone APP together!
The Substack team describes it as:
a community space reimagined specifically for writers and creators— it’s like having your own private social network where you make the rules. Writers set the topic and the tone for every discussion, and can turn the feature on or off at any time.
… so it’s a bit like our own WhatsApp channel where I make the initial posts and you can reply to me and each other!
This time of year I have the least amount of energy but the most inclination to reflect back on the year and ponder the not-too-distant future. I’ve been running informal photo challenges on Instagram for years and in 2014 I created December Reflections to help us look back over the year while joining together as a community. The idea is simply to take a photograph (and share it if you wish) every day in December — this feels like the perfect way to give the Substack chat a test run!
I plan to share a prompt post and a photo every day in my Substack chat (accessed from within the app) and I invite you to share your photos and reflections there too if you’d like to join me.
To give us a place to start I’ve created a list of daily prompts with a mix of things to photograph and things to ponder. The ponder prompts are an extra invitation to pause for a moment and consider some of the meaningful bits of 2022.
Here are this year’s prompts:
This is the first time I’ve used the app myself, so bear with me if I mess things up :-) I’ve just found out the chat feature is available for iOS users
but not for Android users yet, which is a shame — I didn’t realise this when I planned the challenge chat for Android is now available! They sneakily launched it December 1st! But if it goes well we will of course do the challenge again next year … and who knows what else will come of this! I’m already wondering what other sorts of creative challenges could work on Substack.
There are helpful notes on how to use the chat feature over here. I will be posting PUBLIC posts during the December Reflections challenge so bear that in mind when sharing your photos — all subscribers to my Substack will be able to see and read our posts and sharings on the app. For a slightly more private experience of December Reflections there is a private Facebook group if that feels more comfortable — I won’t be there myself but there are currently 119 people in the group so it will be cosy.
Okay, I’m going to post the prompts list in the chat right now (on the APP - download it to your phone) - let me know if you can see it! ❤️