Someone suggested I think about starting a Substack newsletter in my, ahem, retirement. I have thought about it, and I’m troubled by a few things:
1) Many days, I have very little to say, and would feel terrible charging anyone for it.
2) Even if I did the free thing, what if Substack goes toes-up? Another migration of content I don’t need.
3) It’s my goal to have the last surviving blog in the world.
Seriously, though, while I have no doubt at least some of you
suckers lovely people might be generous enough to give me $20, $30 or $40 a year to read what I have to say, I don’t know that I could accept it, even though I firmly believe writing is work that is worth paying for. I have subscriptions to several paid Substacks (fave: Roy Edroso Breaks It Down), and several more to unpaid Substacks – a common setup is one freebie a week, and one or more bonus editions for the paying guests – and already it’s starting to annoy me; as a sales tactic, either the platform or the individual writers will send out teaser editions, with five grafs of writing, then a “want more? you gotta subscribe” pitch. There’s no easy way to know if the email you’re about to open is the complete freebie or the incomplete teaser.
I think, at least for now, this will remain a free-to-all space. I feel no pressure to produce if I’m feeling down or empty (although I usually do, unfortunately). I have a friend who uses Substack to write short fiction, with the gimmick that he does it every single day. A short story a day, going on more than two years now. Every so often he pitches for more subscribers, and he sounds almost angry that more people aren’t signing up. Writing fiction is hard work for sure, but it should also have something to say, or be entertaining, or be something other than a gimmick, which it inevitably becomes when you’ve pledged to produce it every single day.
I don’t want or need another job like that. There’s an argument to be made for taking it easy. I will write as long as I’m able, but having just finished 40 years of deadlines, I won’t take on any more right now. Now that we’re in our (gasp) third decade here, I’ll stick with dumb ol’ WordPress a little longer.
I was an early adopter of blogging, and now I’m a dead-ender of blogging. Me and Neil Steinberg, hangin’ in there. In a Laura Lippman line I’ve certainly quoted here before: She never met a rut she couldn’t love.
If a crisis hits and I have to beg for money, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
I’ll tell you this: One of my goals for post-work is to raise my game here. Won’t be so busy, will have more time to think things through. Fingers crossed.
Bloggage: I don’t think this story is paywalled. It is instructive, however, about some of the candidates invited to a “Call to Action” conference hosted by Church Militant, which is a far-far-far-right Catholic outfit here. Here’s our Republican candidate for Michigan Secretary of State:
“We see the authoritarians that have taken over the Democratic Party, the traitors that exist in our own party. We understand that we the people have got to rise up, get involved,” Karamo said, sharing a couch with Arizona Republican secretary of state nominee Mark Finchem.
The two are part of the America First Secretary of State Coalition, a group of election deniers vying to serve as their states’ top election administrators that includes those campaigning on a blend of stolen election claims and evangelism. Their campaigns appear to be part of a larger Christian nationalist movement marked by radical religious and political views, according to experts.
…”Part of my passion is to get more Christians involved in government,” she said during the panel. “We’re not trying to establish a theocracy,” she emphasized later. The “justice and the truth that we are fighting for” is for everyone, not just Christians, she said. “We just hope at the end of the day, they come to Christ.”
Ai-yi-yi. She doesn’t have much of a chance, but still.
Meanwhile, the two mopes who plotted to kidnap the governor were convicted today. Good news for midweek. See you all later. Tip your waitress, but not me.