Issue 078
March, 4, 2023


Another year, another Membership Drive

Gentle, patient, attractive, vibrant, gifted, peerless Roden Subscribers —

Year five! We’re in it. Meaning I’ve now run my membership program — SPECIAL PROJECTS — for four years.

As is “tradition,” I’ve just published my extensive look-back at Year Four (2022):

SPECIAL PROJECTS was launched here in Roden back in January 2019.

Man, that was scary:

I don’t start this membership program lightly, and I do it with all the fear and trepidation you’d expect of someone who isn’t a psychopath, who respects their audience, is generally self aware, who treats these sorts of asks like handling plutonium in a paper sack.

I was timid and terrified. But, it’s working. The program is working. (Working = generating a tremendous amounts of essays, photography, livestreams, documentaries, and books that otherwise would not be made without the program’s wind at my back.)

Year Five

Goals are good, so I have a very dumb, arbitrary goal of 50 new members over the next … few days? (I think we all benefit from short deadlines?) So if you’ve been enjoying Roden or my other work (including the New York Times stuff, the pay from which doesn’t even cover expenses), please consider joining SPECIAL PROJECTS (the member-goal meter goes up in real-ish time (theoretically)).

Membership now comes with an absolutely “bananas” amount of “perks” — all of which have organically accrued over the years:

  • Members-only website area
  • PDFs of my books Art Space Tokyo and Koya Bound
  • Wallpapers (ed: I should make more of these … !)
  • “Pop-up walk” video archive (2 videos)
  • SPECIAL PROJECTS Newsletter archive (136 issues)
  • SMS Project (2019) archive (first “pop-up walk” newsletter)
  • Pachinko Road (2020) pop-up newsletter archive
  • Where are all the Nightingales? (2021) pop-up newsletter archive
  • Tiny Barber, Post Office (2021) pop-up newsletter archive
  • MIBAW (2022) pop-up newsletter archive
  • TOKIO TŌKYŌ TOKYO (#1 — 2022) pop-up newsletter archive
  • TOKIO TŌKYŌ TOKYO (#2 — 2023) pop-up newsletter archive
  • KIIIIIIIIIIIIIII (2022) pop-up newsletter archive
  • Nightingalingale (2021-) book-writing process diary, members-only newsletter archive (100+ issues)
  • Office Hours podcast archive (8 episodes)
  • A Most Boring Livestream / members-only videos archives (60 videos, 100 hours)
  • Yearly Members: Kissa by Kissa 4th edition discount
  • Yearly Members: Limited-edition print discounts

The above is all in the members-only section of my website: The Goodie Bucket. It contains hundreds of thousands of words in archives that I put up for members because these pop-up newsletters are, in many ways, drafts, and keeping them out of the “vast public” eye helps me write them with less hesitancy. But I think they’re useful in an “educational” sense, and so the little bit of friction of membership creates a nice balance between available and hidden.

Also, upon joining, Yearly Members are immediately emailed big discount coupons for Kissa by Kissa and photograph prints.

five moments from year four

I’ve recently written about archetypes. I try to be such a thing for others via this membership program. As such, student memberships have always been free. I think about who I was at twenty, and how much I would have benefited from having access to someone like who I am now. You becoming a member helps support this goal of creating “access to me” for others.

Also in that vein, for folks looking to emulate my success, I’ve written similar look-backs for every year (22,000 words in looking back):

I’ll keep this short (is this short? I guess it’s short for me). Mainly, I just want to say thank you to all members, past and present. SP enables recent essays like “Drumming” and “Archetypes Revisited” and very much enables work like I’ve done with Morioka in the past couple months. It enables me to keep working on the (several) books I have in various stages of production. It enables all this freely-available public-facing work like Roden and Ridgeline and my pop-up walks. It enables my livestreaming of “boring work” and production of little docs like “Pizza Toast & Coffee” and “The Craft of Kissa by Kissa.”

In short, it has enabled the considerable amount of work I’ve done these past four years. As I say, the HTML of this document is not vast enough to contain my gratitude.

Thank you for reading and writing in. And thank you for joining the crew.


five moments from year four