Why I Started This Newsletter

I dreamed up Second Breakfast in an attempt to reclaim my own writing voice. The irony about that statement is that I’m a writer for a living, but mostly for other people and organizations. I wanted to write under ~Elizabeth Black~ because sometimes it’s nice to write for fun, without needing to monetize it.

Why the name Second Breakfast?

This name is a love letter to my favorite meal of the day. I wake early and I’m hungry often, so 10:00am usually finds me rummaging in the kitchen for something to sustain me until lunch.

But Second Breakfast is more than about food; it’s a mid-morning ritual that always recenters me, and usually recalibrates me if I need a fresh start. In addition to chowing, it involves taking a mid-morning break from whatever I’m working on, making a fresh cup of coffee, and usually stealing 15 minutes to read an article that’s been open on my browser for too long or stepping outside for some fresh air.

It’s a peaceful moment in which I can step away from the noise of the world, reflect on something or other, and feel better when I come back.

This is a privilege for sure (and one that disproportionately favors those with desk jobs/access to a computer/the ability to take 15 peaceful minutes to themselves without having to answer to someone—someone being a boss, child, parent, patient, etc.)—and it’s one I don’t take for granted.

But regardless of who or what dictates your time, reclaiming your time and stepping away for a moment—even if just for 5 minutes—is deeply important.

I hope this newsletter offers you a moment of calm or creative introspection, and I hope it’s a space where we can observe and learn together, while finding ways to become more engaged in the spaces that interest us.

What I’ll write about

A little bit of everything! I’m interested in how we can become more curious, compassionate, contemplative, and creative humans—all qualities that I believe can make the world infinitely kinder and just…better. So, I’m going to write about topics that pique those traits in me, in hopes they pique yours, too.

I won’t pretend to have all the answers or to be an expert on every topic I write about, but I’ll always try to create a cute little learning journey for us to walk together.

What this newsletter is:

  • Thought-provoking, mindful, and fun long-form commentary, with a side of whatever else I feel like including (read: favorite weekly reads, tweets, interviews with people who are interesting, etc.)

What this newsletter is not:

  • A public diary

  • Vulnerability porn

  • A series of hasty hot takes

  • Long-winded policy analysis

  • Apolitical (We don’t do the “I sTaY oUt oF poLiTiCs” bullshit here). Many people much smarter than me have written about why that’s problematic.

  • Relatedly: An opinionless LinkedIn-esque newsletter that doesn’t say anything of substance for fear of being seen as “unprofessional” or—gasp!—challenging the status quo.

  • Materialistic promotion for stuff we don’t need (capitalism doesn’t need another hype woman).

About Me

While I’m a Midwestern gal at heart (ask me about Chicago hot dogs and my overzealous use of “ope!”), I now call the amazing city of Seattle home. Professionally, I’m a writer and editor working to advance social impact at the intersection of gender, public health, food security, climate change, and more. Personally, I’m an old soul with a love of books, bread, the outdoors, and scintillating conversations with cool people.

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A newsletter on becoming more curious, compassionate, contemplative, and creative.