And so it begins…

my first Substack

Joanne Tombrakos
3 min readDec 4, 2023

I have a habit. I am not sure exactly when I started it but if I had to guess it was sometime after I started teaching. When I am done explaining something, I will finish my statement with this question. Does this make sense?

It doesn’t just happen when I’m teaching. I have caught myself doing the same thing in conversation with a friend.

Does this make sense?

I don’t know how it started or why. But I know I do it.

One day someone remarked that they didn’t know why I said that all the time. They told me everything I said made sense.

I listened, seriously doubtful that everything I say makes sense. Because it doesn’t. Sometimes I don’t make sense to me. But what I got from that remark was that perhaps my constant question was unnecessary and I should make an effort to eliminate it from my dialogue.

I tried.

It wasn’t easy.

Then one day as I was immersed in Brene Brown’s Atlas of the Heart series on HBO, I noticed she did the same thing. Throughout each episode the woman whose books have been translated in thirty languages often posed the same question — my question — to her audience — does this make sense? And she was on a stage, being filmed and getting paid to do so!

That was when I stopped self-correcting and let my pervasive question — does this make sense — creep back into all my discussions.

When I made the decision to start a Substack and start blogging again on a consistent basis I was at a loss as to what title to use. I thought about resurrecting One Woman’s Eye or How I See It, the titles of previous blogs and newsletters. I thought about a Substack devoted to the subject of my new book, Crafting Your Pitch: A Storytelling Framework. I thought about a newsletter edition of my podcast, Marketing, Mindfulness and Martinis but nothing resonated.

And then it hit me. Does This Make Sense?

I honestly do not know if any of this will make sense. I am a modern-day generalist. That means there is never just one topic I am interested in or interested in writing about. But I am interested in writing about what I see and what is happening and changing in these crazy times we are living in when most days, nothing seems to make sense.

So here we are. When I put on my marketing hat, I realize I am breaking the rules by not focusing on one topic and one audience. But then what are the rules for if we don’t bend them occasionally and see what happens?

Thus begins Does This Make Sense — musings on life, culture and business

If you’d like to come along for the ride, you can subscribe — for free — at least for now!

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Joanne Tombrakos

Calling myself a Storyteller since before it was trendy. I use story to teach, pitch, think and escape. Podcaster. Writer. NYU Prof. Follow@joannetombrakos