The power of writing, according to the forty-fourth president

A picture of President Obama reviewing his handwritten edits to a printed draft of a speech.
President Obama editing a 2009 speech. Photo credit: Pete Souza/Wikimedia Commons.

In a genuinely free and fair democracy, it would be. That’s not the democracy we have.

A sheet of red, white, and blue “I voted” stickers.
Photo credit: Element5 Digital on Unsplash

More phonebanking, less doomscrolling

One housekeeping update to start. This will likely be the last edition of Reframe Your Inbox for a while. I plan to write fewer newsletters and articles, and instead spend these hours on a new book proposal.

Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste” sheds light on the GOP’s head-spinning double standards

A selfie taken by Mike Pence with Republican members of Congress in 2016. Nearly every person in the picture is white.
A telling look at the Republican coalition. Mike Pence and congressional Republicans, shortly after the 2016 election. Photo credit: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Twitter (via Business Insider)

Thinking deeply “is not a dismissal of the urgency of the issue,” says Cal Newport. “It’s actually an affirmation of the urgency.”

Some of Dr. King’s notes for “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Image credit: The King Center Archive via

Even in an age of instant gratification and “fake it till you make it,” some creators quietly do their work, however long it takes.

Photo credit: Aaron Burden/Unsplash

Flu fiction lets us peek at the world of worst-case scenarios — and return to reality with a new sense of perspective.

Photo credit: Huzeyfe Turan on Unsplash

An unexpected reading habit

Over the past six months, I’ve read quite a few novels about global plagues and pandemics. Perhaps too many. First came Stephen King’s The Stand. …

Awareness, appreciation, gratitude, presence — now those are some interesting ideas.

Photo credit: AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Making time for interesting ideas

One evening a couple weeks ago, I was washing dishes and listening to Ezra Klein’s podcast, as I do many evenings. On this particular evening, instead of thinking about the interesting ideas that Ezra and his guest were discussing, I was thinking a meta-thought about…

Two stories about a man who always kept the faith.

A photograph of the late Congressman John Lewis.
Photo credit: Participant Media

Everything I do takes longer than I think it will (and other early takeaways from Cal Newport’s strategy of “time block” planning).

An open monthly calendar.
Photo credit: Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

A brief reflection on the passing of Congressman John Lewis

As he was for millions of people, John Lewis was my hero. I was lucky enough to spend some time with him on a couple different occasions, including as a young Hill staffer interviewing him for a graduate school essay. …

Some writers and creators might be able to make social media work. I am not one of them.

A light-up sign of an Instagram image with zero “likes.”
Photo credit: Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

What the world needs now is… more reflections on social media

I’ve spent a decent chunk of the last few months trying to re-engage with Instagram and, to a lesser extent, Twitter and LinkedIn. (I never entertained the concept of returning to Facebook.) My goal was to do what I thought I needed to do as the author…

Adam M. Lowenstein

Author of “Reframe the Day” & former U.S. Senate speechwriter. I write about politics and life, occasionally at the same time. Subscribe & more:

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