My, how quickly 2021 has flown by. It’s hard to believe that a Substack newsletter I founded last Dec. 30 is already a year old.

The Naturism Community has grown — from one member (me) on Dec. 30 to 229 members today. We’ve seen a surge in membership this past week. I wrote a Happy Anniversary post today stating that membership was 228, and a short time after it was published, another person signed up.

The vast majority have signed up for free memberships, but about 9 percent took out paid subscriptions over the course of the year, either monthly or annual.

It was never really about making money when I started the newsletter. I did it because I wanted to try something different — a newsletter about naturism as opposed to a how-to blog or the like. It was created for experienced naturists to read and comment.

We found our groove with news and views about how the media handles that news as well as features and an ongoing look at the thriving naturism community on Twitter and much more.  There has been next-to-no promotion of the newsletter, except for the sharing of posts on Twitter.

Substack, of course, is a site designed for journalists who are expected to try to generate some income, of which Substack takes 10 percent and the money handlers take a wee bit in service charges, too. Oh, yes, there is the taxman, too, so a $3-a-month subscription ($36 annually) translates to a cup of coffee for me. lol. If we ever make any real money, I’ll split it between my regular writers.

I started the year with higher subscription rates but lowered them in the fall. Those who had paid the higher rates were given extended free subscriptions.

But as I explained in aforementioned Happy Anniversary post:

(The people who pay) provide the incentive and the necessity to post regularly … — a minimum of two posts a week was the objective, though there were weeks we produced more. As a longtime unpaid blogger on wordpress, I sometimes go for weeks there without doing a post. But when you have paying customers in a newsletter forum like Substack, you have to produce as promised.

So, hats off to those who inspired me to stay on top of the newsletter.

And hats off to Fred Heiser, who wrote so many great pieces for the newsletter over the past year. He’s a wonderful writer, and we are very lucky to have him.

Judging by the stats of this blog, many are still clicking in to read naturism posts here. You might want to check out The Naturism Community newsletter, delivered to your email inbox. All members — free and paid — generally get to read most posts. For now, the comments sections are generally kept open for a few days before the posts are locked and are only available to paid members.

And we are always looking for new writers. We’ve had six different writers over the past year. Another new writer has joined our ranks, with his first post to be published on Jan. 2.

So, we’ll do a lot more of the same in 2022, with some new stuff added into the mix.