Welcome to the Ask Polly newsletter!

Bridging the gaps between wisdom and dread.

The Day Dream (1880) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Change is in the air!

Ask Polly will no longer publish weekly. Instead, it will run every other Wednesday on New York magazine’s The Cut, as dictated by California’s new freelance laws. I won’t join the staff of New York because I answer to no man. But I love New York and I want Ask Polly to stay there. I’ve written for many publications and New York is the best one with the best people, hands down.

You can sign up for the new Ask Polly newsletter for free, and most posts will be accessible to everyone, but there will also be subscriber-only posts and features to fill in my loss of income from moving to half-time. I’m planning to post short essays on subjects like mourning and shame and obsession, and there will also be some advice, mostly because I love Ask Polly so much that I can’t do it just twice a month. (Send letters to askpolly@protonmail.com.) Occasionally, we’ll discuss the column here, hopefully in a fun, smart way where everyone is respectful and open (or gtfo).

Ask Molly will be mostly subscriber-only posts moving forward. If you want more Ask Polly but you’re already subscribing to New York and you can’t afford more, pay them first, I’ll be fine.

Remember that you can sign up for the Ask Polly newsletter and Ask Molly for free, forever. But if you do subscribe to both? Well, that makes you an Honorary Evil Twin. The first 30 people who email Molly (askmolly@protonmail.com) attesting to their Polly and Molly full-year subscriptions will get a signed copy of my book What If This Were Enough. (Molly likes to say she wrote it, lol. You know she can’t even read, right? Her kids are the ones making all that weird horny refrigerator magnet poetry for her.)

If I could write a refrigerator magnet poem for this moment, it would probably just say: I HATE CHANGE. I’ve been struggling with this one for a while, and I’m sure I’ll make mistakes along the way. I just want to thank every single person who reads my words each week and takes them to heart. Writing Ask Polly is my favorite thing in the world because every time I write it, it washes away my dissatisfaction and dread and reminds me of what I already have.

This newsletter’s purpose is to remind you of what you already have: your big heart, your curious mind, and your stubborn desire to keep working hard and growing in spite of a million and one reasons to give up. We’re here to take each bewildering day as it comes, and to savor every raw, brutal minute of it. Let’s keep doing this as long as we possibly can. I’m with you.


Heather Havrilesky is the author of three books, most recently the essay collection What If This Were Enough?, which was a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of 2018. She writes the advice column Ask Polly for New York’s The Cut and maintains the vile newsletter Ask Molly, written by Polly’s evil twin. You can sign up for her new Ask Polly newsletter for free, forward it to your friends, and subscribe for even more bonus Ask Polly. Send letters to askpolly@protonmail.com.