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(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
—Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, 51

The boxes in our attic attest: I’ve been scrapping words and pictures together for as long as I could hold a pencil. Making art and writing were always how I wanted to express myself and to spend my days. 

Flash forward, I’ve been building a career in design for almost two decades, and in design leadership roles for many of those years. I’ve been raising kids and moving countries and renovating homes. And somewhere along that long road of hustling for money or hustling for sleep, I stopped making things for myself.

This newsletter is about reclaiming that thread that’s been a part of me since I was a little girl. I want to follow it to see where it goes. I want to explore that vulnerable process of creation and publishing, which is why I’m calling this letter, “On, on”. It is often how I sign my emails if I have anything vaguely bad to communicate, which is all to say of course things don’t always meet our expectations, especially when we take risks. We put ourselves out there, we make mistakes, learn. Then we do it again.

On, on is also the reversal of no, no. This whole thing is about saying yes, yes.

Yes, I will make time to do what fulfills me. Yes, I will take creative risks. Yes, I will let people know I’m doing this so we can grow together, probably in unexpected ways. We go forward. We go up. We go around in confusing loops. 

In any case, on, on.

Expect poetry, fiction, publishing news, experimentation. Expect progress updates on my creative projects, what I’m reading and learning, and news from friends in the literary world. I plan to send letters once or twice a month.

Fair warning, especially if you know me from the design, tech or real worlds: I strive to write with courage. Which means covering love, death, trauma, the body, violence, caregiving—subjects that don’t fit neatly into my “work” box. All are welcome, but it’s probably gonna get real in here! I’ll add content warnings where they’re needed.

I’m super, super happy and grateful you are here with me. Let’s go. On, on!

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Creative writing with Cassie McDaniel


Writing poetry and fiction. Product Design Director at Lattice. Designer, gardener, writer, mom. 🇨🇦🇺🇸🇬🇧🌳 She/her