WTF is Sluggish??
welcome 2 my newsletter
Hello friend, follower, esteemed netizen:
Welcome to my newsletter! I am Jess (or Jesse, if you want, idc) known in some parts of the internet as @queervengeance, and you are probably receiving this because you graciously handed over your email address to me at some point or another. (I will take care of it, I promise)
I know, I know, I said I was going to start a newsletter months ago, and I tried, I did! But I hated the platform I was using, and if you hate the tool, you’re never gonna pick it up to make the thing, so I’m picking up a different tool.
This is a newsletter for people who are tired of trying to keep up — daydreamers, mind wanderers, spiralers, creatives, deviants. Collected a bunch of disorder labels because of it? Me too, and I’m calling bullshit.
My nemesis Russell Barkley wants to coin a new attention disorder — Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, symptoms of which include daydreaming, mind-wandering, and spacing out. It’s another label for people who don’t do the capitalism good (me, it me) and it’s fitting, because I’ve been thinking a lot about slugs lately.
What does it mean to be sluggish?
Slugs are creepy-crawly, slow, and kinda gross. Lots of people consider them to be garden pests, but, my favorite kind, the leopard slug, eats other slugs’ eggs, so they can actually be helpful to have around.
Slugs are both male and female at the same time, and they dangle on a string of goo and duel with their penises when they mate. Slugs are freaks. They come out at night.
They’re also brilliant survivors, able to hide in crevices and withstand freezing temperatures by burrowing into the dirt. Slugs are ancient — did you know they evolved from snails over a dozen separate times to lose their external shells?
Slugs are incremental, and they create their own road of slime to get around. Their muscles move in fast waves that propel them forward slowly. Slugs are paradoxical. Moving takes them a while, but they can climb walls, if you give them enough time.
I relate to slugs — my queer, nocturnal, slow and slimy brethren — and I’m reclaiming the word sluggish. We might not have tempos fast enough for the Russell Barkleys of the world, but we can get there, in our own way.
This newsletter will cover the politics of mental health, the narratives that shape our dis-order, and the culture that makes our brains. I will also probably (definitely) go on a lot of tangents about nature and the seasons and meaning and sense-making through art.
There will be link-roundups and commentary on the latest psych news, reading recommendations, analyses of mental health narratives on social media, and the occasional long essay released from my Patreon, where I make even more stuff! I’m also planning to branch out into some new projects this year, which I’ll update you on here.
Sluggish is free and whenever I feel like it - a regular schedule may emerge as we go, but for now I am shooting for once a week.
I’ve become disillusioned about making content on algorithm-based platforms, because I don’t really follow trends or enjoy doing hot takes. I spent many hours working on long, deep-dive-type essays on Medium last year that not many people even saw (check them out if you haven’t!) and this year, I want to explore what it feels like to send my writing directly into the inboxes of people who want it instead.
I am also hoping this outlet can divert the majority of my creative energy away from IG, because posting on there sucks me into that hell app in a way I can no longer abide if I wish to continue making art and enjoying my limited time on this strange earth. I must break free from the algorithmic Anger Machine! I will not stop trying!
Anyway, I do hope you stick around, because I think this is going to be fun.