The Inner Transcript: A Strange Newsletter

For the summary, check out the Revue page here.

Think of the script to a movie: Entering scenes. Main characters. Conversations, responses, exclamations. They form the outline of a movie, and the foundation of a story. Now think of a comic book: Different panels with small narratives of their own. They begin, continue, and end in a small, closed context. The characters are introduced at first glance; as you get used to them, you start to know what each character represents.

Mash these two mediums together and here you go!

The Inner Transcript is a newsletter of my inner characters as they talk to each other. Set in an inner place of mind called [[Kazan]], characters that I invent that represent different facets of my life (eg. Logic, Emotion, Curiosity) 'talk' to each other as we discuss what happened in our lives. All of them represent me, and I would not be myself if any one of them is missing.

For an overview of the characters that are present on this website and in my mind, go here.

What you can expect

This newsletter follows my daily Roam template and is split into 3 parts:

  • Discoveries: What did I discover out there in the world?
  • The Thoughtmine: What have I been thinking about? What's been on my mind?
  • Timestream: What happened in my life?

Expect discoveries from the strangest of places, in a variety of fields. Whatever captures my attention, deserves a spot in my graph. The thoughts that come out may vary in scale: from self-intrsopective moments to thoughts about humankind and where it should advance. You never know where the conversation goes. Most of all, none of it has to be taken seriously. It's a transcript that's meant to be enjoyed yet provoking!

On a meta level, My Dear Reader, you get to dive into my inner thoughts and learn how I articulate certain things through my characters.

Underneath each bullet point, there will be a sequence of conversations between the characters involved. If it's something emotional like a poem, [[Cloever]] might have something to say about it. If there is a thought that requires careful logical planning, [[Masahiro]] may outline an entire plan. if there's a shitstorm happening in the podcasting scene, our local podcast chicken [[Podrick]] may have something to say about it.

I tend to do these naturally over the course of time anyway, so it's more of picking the best from the bunch and serving it to you.

Once in a while, the format does change:

Personal Narratives

Sometimes there might be a special issue that comes out, consisting of Personal Narratives. There are only three characters: Me, You, Norm.

I employ the advice of ‘talk to myself’ very religiously, where I don’t mind referring to myself in different narratives. Such is the flaw of a fiction writer: they are capable of such great lengths in expressing themselves, but that can be seen as crazy in the eyes of others.

I am aware of how unusual it sounds. It’s fine to make such a comment. I have heard it many times. We look at the act of referring to ourselves as some kind of unusual, negative behavior, yet the vain have mirrors in their homes and the leaders of this world practice their speeches by playing back their own performances. Actors, dancers, we’re all the same. Why not refer to ourselves the same as well?

Hence, the growing realization that everything I do stands atop a stage of performative energy and the crowd is full of myself, and I strive to dance in an echo chamber of constant rhythms and musicalities. What makes life exciting is when we can shock that scene: with earthquakes and new trends and songs and people.

I invite you to laugh at me in the crowd. I invite you to cry with me. I invite you to think with me, so that when you leave the theatre maybe, just maybe, you would want to build your own.

With that said:

This newsletter is not for the faint of heart

Most people don't know that I had an older, now defunct, newsletter. It's been a while. The ones who signed up may have forgotten, and the ones who never knew may have been lucky. It was called ‘ThatsTheIssue’, which felt right at the time, branding-wise (aligning with ThatsTheNorm). But there was nothing compelling about the name. It also never showed the one true, immutable format: conversations.

In an effort to keep writing despite my expertise in procrastination, I want to introduce accountability again. With all the Substacks and available tools, there is a massive catalogue of public newsletters for everyone to read. There is one for every interest. Mine is but one of many.

Except, there's a catch: This newsletter is not for the faint of heart. Not everyone will like it, and that is fine.

I'm writing for the mad, crazy, insane. The ones who think too much about their actions, the ones who spiral into a giant bunch of conversations surrounding their inner psyche. The ones who look at themselves in the mirror and think: "What did I really do the last few days/months/years?"

I am also treating this newsletter less like a catalog of information and more like an experience for you, My Dear Reader. Bearing an open mind and an exposed heart, I'm letting out some of my craziest thought patterns in this environment.

You may not like every issue, and that's fine. Some may resonate with your soul, while others may make you question why you subscribed in the first place. It's to be expected, and I understand. All is well.

I gravitated towards humane blocks of text whenever I read newsletters: the ones who have such a natural tone when read out loud. Rather than niches and specialist fields into one compact weekly issue, I love the rollercoaster rides of issues we get from warm creators. You don't know what you will get from each one. They will make you think through their lens, and you can feel their joy, their struggle, their pain, their laughter when they write.

At least, those are the goals. So instead of playing it safe with formatting and expectation, I might as well go out and say: Prepare for conversational inconsistency.

Signing up

With that being said, you can sign up through two ways:

  1. Use this Revue link
  2. Register as a free member in the top right and it’ll come with the subscription for free!

If you're interested in the technical backend, I'm using Ghost to send this newsletter out, with Revue as a funnel on Twitter integrated via Zapier. As long as you sign up through one of the above methods, you're set :). Plus, if you're a member on this site, you may get extra goodies which will come later in the future!

There is also the option of going paid, etc. but I’m saving that for when I’m ready to launch paid posts. I have some in mind, but that won't be ready for a long while.

Note: For those who signed up for the old one through Sendfox, I have sent you an email about this announcement. I will be using that service for something else eg. paid products and podcasting services, so best to head off from that list if you're not interested in that.

I hope you enjoy this, and I hope I can provoke your thinking through my strange intricacies and insane mind.

Your Dear Friend, Norm

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