More than a year ago, I was sitting with my Mom sketching an Eastern Island stone statue. We were, though, thousands of kilometers away from the Chilean island, right by the entrance of the Wellcome Gallery at the British Museum.

Back then, I didn't know that that drawing would be both the opener of the first of a series of A4-sized Moleskine sketchbooks and the first illustration to make it into my sketches newsletter in July 2, 2019.

One year later, I find myself with fifty-three published sketches and stories.

I won't lie: it wasn't easy.

Some posts were fast to write, others required an intensive back-and-forth effort of writing and reviewing and writing and reviewing.

Many times, I've talked about my daily routine and habits, and about the process I follow to make this newsletter happen. I've wondered if I was repeating myself too much, but ever since I read John Maeda's advice I don't worry too much about it. "Repetition, repetition, repetition. It works. It works. It works."

In these pieces, I try to share things I learn that might inspire you as much as they inspired me, and tell stories with a personal tone without turning this newsletter into a personal diary. This is not a how-to guide, it's an art experiment and a literary exercise.

Many of my journaling notes are for me to keep. Yet I'll continue revisiting my notes and using the dozens of unpublished drafts as a source of inspiration for future stories.

I'd like to THANK YOU for pushing me to keep going in one way or another.

On top of writing a story and drawing, scanning, and editing a sketch—every Tuesday—I was hesitant to translate every single story to Spanish. "If you don't translate [your stories] to Spanish I probably won't read them," a friend said. As a native Spanish speaker who's been reading in English for the past ten years, I've used the translation of these posts as a way to practice my Spanish writing skills.

Some stories even made it into the Getting Simple podcast. (I produced an augmented audio version of Stories Are The Answer including clips from Patrick Winston's lectures.)

My girlfriend and my Mom have supported me heavily, providing feedback on most posts and helping with things that didn't sound quite right in Spanish.

Friends reviewed drafts; brainstormed; shared ideas on the publication format and the web layout; and spotted typos or simply corrected my English.

Many of you replied to my emails with insightful points of view.


Happy newsletterversary.

June 30, 2020
Nono Martínez Alonso

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Pencil sketch of Nono Martínez Alonso.