Since I use this website as a personal portfolio of sorts, I thought it was time for an update. When I first started writing “publicly,” a lot of my content was focused on analyzing culture and media trends and providing commentary around free expression. It was the main focus of Areo, which is the digital magazine I founded in 2016 (and sold a few years later).
One of the main reasons for wanting to move away from that kind of writing was that I found it too combative. There is a type of person who loves to spend their day reading, arguing, and debating ideas and people. I realized after a while that it wasn’t me. I found the work too stressful, too full of bad actors, and at times it left me wondering if I was even achieving what I had set out to accomplish: which was to reduce political and cultural polarization.
I spent the last few years since selling Areo a little quiet on the public writing front, working mostly on a couple novels. I’m sure I’ll return to those sometime in the future.
But for now I know what I want to write about. Sport: namely: tennis. This might come out of left field if you know me mainly from my prior writing, but I’ve been playing since I was 11.
I competed in New Zealand and Australia as a junior and was recruited into the American collegiate system to play for a university that was ranked in the top 15 in the NAIA by the time I graduated. Throughout my tennis career, I spent a lot of time reading, learning, and trying to make myself an expert on the subject. This often was—and is—my downfall as a player. That I thought too much about the game, how to play it, what to do, what the best technique was, what the appropriate tactics were, etc., etc. Too many thoughts can paralyze an athlete and impede a performance. It’s still something I struggle with to this day.
After finishing my collegiate career, I moved towards coaching, which gave me a deeper understanding of the game. Though I taught tennis for a couple seasons in the Westchester Country Club scene, my best experiences came at the NCAA level. It was immensely rewarding coaching kids who wanted to improve and get better and to see them apply the advice I was giving them. The best part of that dynamic was building trust with student-athletes and getting them to buy in to the idea that you really did want the best for their games.
I left the United States in 2017 and moved away from the game for a few years. But found myself missing it. In 2019, I quit my communications/design role to start coaching and playing again.
Tennis is a sport I’ve dedicated a vast chunk of my life to and now I hope to apply my writing skills towards covering it. If you’ve been following the writing space, you’ll know that newsletters are in the midst of a renaissance. The bubble will pop soon, for sure, but in general, as someone who’s operated in the media landscape for years now, I’m placing my bets that it will stay one of the best ways to stay in touch with people who value your writing.
So what have I started? It’s called Tennis inbox (ingenious, I know). And what is it? A newsletter publication. Who is it for? From my website copy:
You’re an avid tennis fan, player, or perhaps you work in the industry—and you want to stay in the know with nearly everything that’s happening in the tennis world. You live tennis. But you also realize that your time is finite, and you can’t devote hours a day to scouring the internet for the latest updates, that article on how to hit a perfect slice, or trying to find highlights from your favorite Grand Slam marathon match. Even the tennis lover has other commitments—work, family, life in general. That’s what Tennis inbox is for: to save you time and to keep you in the loop.
I’ve already been hard at work at Tennis inbox for the past five months. I’ve created weekly issues for 22 weeks straight, have profiled players such as Chris O’ Connell (world #116), and written popular articles which have surpassed 25,000 reads.
So, by chance, if you’re a busy tennis lover who wants to keep up with the most essential news & developments from the tennis world, you can subscribe to Tennis inbox here. In doing so, you’ll be joining 550+* subscribers who are already (hopefully) enjoying my tennis commentary.
If you’re tech-oriented, I’ll do a post in the coming months about the tech-stack I’ve put together for Tennis inbox. It’ll be similar to Kai Brach’s post on how he sends his absurdly popular newsletter, Dense Discovery (28,000+ subscribers), but I’m not as tech-savvy as he is so it’ll be much simpler.
So, that’s my update.
*As of October 2020