Subscribing to a worldview

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Several of my favorite writers have written for the New Yorker. It’s a publication that has long been on my radar, but for years, I’ve consistently put off subscribing to it. This holiday season, however, my wife and I got an offer we couldn’t refuse, so we finally singed on for a short-term subscription.

The first episode came around the first of the year. I chipped away at it every night after putting the kiddo to bed only to see a new issue show up a week later.

But wait…
I wasn’t done with the first week’s issue yet.

This continued week after week as I fell further and further behind before resigning out of frustration. I had no idea that the New Yorker is a WEEKLY publication.

How does the average mortal keep up? How does one have THAT much leisurely reading time? (Or, how do people read so fast?!)

All of this lead me to ponder (like I do)… How does the New Yorker move so many magazines?

Which made me realize…

People don’t just subscribe to a thing if they use it. They subscribe because it helps them tell the story of their worldview and express their identity.

I believe that most people who subscribe to the New Yorker only read about 15% of the words contained inside the New Yorker.

The reason people buy the New Yorker is to have it laying on their coffee tables and bathroom reading baskets so as to showcase to their friends and family how highbrow and sophisticated they are.

It tells their friends and family the thing that they could never say out loud…

“I’m more highbrow than you.”

Take this lesson and prosper from it.

If you express your tribe’s worldview in a bold way, they’ll subscribe to you just so they can tell/show their friends that they’re subscribed to you.

They’ll share your work because it’s a way for them to express their identity and worldview in a more subtle way than just blatantly talking about themselves.

Go boldly in the direction of your shared worldview with your readers.

Dig in and say the things they wish they could say themselves.


Jonas Ellison is a professional copywriter and interfaith minister-in-training who provides practical and spiritual support to his fellow creative craftspeople. You can find more of his work at Higher Thoughts, one of the most popular single-author publications on Medium. Subscribe to his daily missives and musings at JonasEllison.com


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