Today’s Sub Pub interview is with Belladonnaoflavender, aka Shalini, of Belladonnaoflavender’s Newsletter.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have been a science student, good at maths, mastered Laws- a reader and learner for life. I value experiences and recommendations, both of which form a part of me and my upbringing. Brought up in a small town in India, I am a world-navigator who calls herself a general specialist and a good one at that! I read and watch a lot, everyday. Consumption is my way of living, this newsletter is my salvation to provide a home to the tremendous amount of content I consume.
How would you describe your newsletter?
A stash of words, experiences and everything in between. For a very long time, and still, I struggle to box my newsletter- Belladonnaoflavender's Newsletter. The name is my brand name. Me. The letter is a representation of me and an extension of my Instagram personality. Instagram (@belladonnaoflavender) is my main blog and I saw that I don't need clout or expectations to write, which inspires me to write my newsletter.
It is a mixture of themes, topics, specials which focuses on my real life stories, book and movie/TV Recs, Always a collection of Articles from the Internet, some really hair raising accusations, revelations, hitting home. I also feature small businesses and Creators, support other writers, Newsletters, share quotes and thoughts, which gives a reader extensibility to get lost in content where everyone can find something in my newsletter- and my aim is to make that Something, everything for someone who is looking. Imagine listening to Crimson and Clover on a rainy day and walking out, and it’s sunny on a cold winter's day- That is my newsletter. You grow wittier than you came.
Why did you decide to publish on Substack?
I looked at various prospects and apart from competitor Tinyletter, I found Substack to have lots of improvisation as well as good workshops, tips, etc which as a writer matter to me more than just a platform.
What has your experience with your newsletter been like?
I started last year in November, after conceptualizing for about an year and reading multiple newsletters everyday since last 5 years or so. I have a readership of 500 readers and my newsletter is slowly growing but I believe in hygge and slow growth. Anything which off shoots manically is a result of capitalism and I fight it when it becomes a problem for under represented groups and people of colour. I want to bring a safe space which offers dollops of information, data to a reader who is like me- variant and resilient. My newsletter has become my base to connect with readers and other writers.
What have you liked most about your experience on Substack?
I love the community. Take for instance your newsletter, Sub Pub, which is really one of my favourites as it helps me discover new newsletters, and also I love reading interviews, other up and coming writers. This space has provided me with a lot of functionality, always something new and awesome to look forward to.
What have you liked least about your Substack experience?
There are many writers who focus more on earning than providing. The process to sift through the grains to find a brethren I connect with is tough. Also, I want Substack to make it's upcoming writers more visible. Substack can be the next Facebook and I don't want it to become THAT.
How have you let people know about your newsletter?
I just have a bio link on my IG and whenever I write a new letter, I try to talk about it as less as I can, sometimes I broadcast it on my Whatsapp and other media.
Is there a post in your newsletter that you consider most memorable, and if so, why?
https://belladonnaoflavender.substack.com/p/no-theres-no-way-not-to-suffer This letter connected the most with my audience. And for that reason, it is my most memorable letter.
What do you hope for your newsletter in the foreseeable future?
Have a readership of 50K someday, free of cost. :) If I reach that goal, I will free my newsletter for all, forever.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Do follow me on my IG- that is where the real magic happens. I also have 70+ highlights on various topics for your pleasure. You will lose time if you enter my world or my newsletter. So, beware.