For the Love of Substack
Why you should get on here NOW
the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
- Jack Kerouac
I want to begin by apologizing. Last week, I opened by wishing all who celebrate a Happy Easter and Passover, completely forgetting that Ramadan is also happening. I’m sincerely sorry for this mistake!
Now, on to this week’s post…
Do you have a Substack? If so, drop a link in the comments.
And if not, why not?
I know a lot of action potential subscribers are creatives. Maybe you share stories, poems, and photos on Instagram. Maybe you keep your work in a notebook or a folder on your hard drive.
Why not publish it here?
My relationship with Substack has been on-again, off-again since signing up in November 2020, when I decided to permanently delete my Facebook account. I left because I thought the search function on my WordPress blog was more robust. As it turns out, that was WP’s only advantage.
When I resumed Substacking in the fall of 2022, I was impressed by the new changes they’d made. An app makes it super easy to read and interact with posts without email. The chat function (on the app) encourages conversation among readers.
And, most recently, Substack Notes provides a space where creators can share short-form thoughts and photos outside of the email newsletter space. People have called it Substack’s version of Twitter, but it seems way more fun (and functional) than that.
Substack vs Twitter
I’ve never been a big Tweeter — long-form writing is definitely my comfort zone — but I used to use its integration to effortlessly share my Substack posts, because why not?
Recently, I noticed that the ability to share my Substack posts on Twitter wasn’t working. I chalked it up to the fact that Twitter has failed to work about 50% of the time since a certain someone took over, but learned in a NY Times article that the dirty bird actually blocked all tweets containing a Substack link.
I didn’t need another reason to dislike Twitter, but here we are.
This juvenile move doesn’t affect a small fish like me nearly as much as it does the independent journalists who make a full-time living from Substack. But, still.
At a time when many of my favorite childhood books are being banned — or burned — freedom of speech feels worth fighting for now more than ever.
Before I made a living writing about healthcare, I was a news reporter. It was my initiation into the world of professional writing, and I cherish that experience. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it — grueling hours, poor pay, and constant criticism included.
The rapid decline and dismantling of news media outlets in the years since I left that industry wrenches my heart. I assure you I’m not being compensated by Substack to say this, but I believe this platform is one of the few places to find, and support, authentic independent journalism.
Substack Makes Publishing Simple
Another reason I encourage you to start a Substack is the ease of use. It takes minutes to set up and start writing. If you’re considering starting a blog or newsletter, I recommend doing it here.
Substack is a lot more user-friendly than other blog platforms I’ve used (coughWordPresscough), and I’ve never had an issue with emails going to the spam folder. Your work is more likely to get seen and read here than on other social channels, like Instagram.
I don’t know about you, but I go to IG for cute animal reels and to see what my friends are up to. More often than not, I photos and scroll on.
If you post multiple paragraphs of text in the IG caption field, there’s a 10% chance I’ll read it. That’s what blogs are for, IMHO. Call me old-fashioned.
You Never Know Who You’ll Inspire
My final thought on why you should start a Substack right now is this: if you feel compelled to bring an idea into this world, it’s because that idea needs to be expressed. You are the creative vessel this idea has chosen — for now — and it’s your responsibility to bring it to life.
I’ve felt this way for a long time, even before working through The Artist’s Way. After blogging for years — since the days of needing a Livejournal code — I can’t even tell you how many people have sent messages telling me that my stories have helped them in some way.
Friends and strangers alike have told me I inspired them to start running, to sign up for their first marathon, or to train for some other type of far-reaching athletic goal. I’ve sparked lively debates on the meaning of Salinger’s “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” and heard, “I needed to read this,” enough times to melt my heart.
When my grandpa lost his eyesight, my aunt would read him excerpts from my running blog, and he got to know a whole different side of me in the months before he left us.
It’s not always easy to show up at the keyboard and share my thoughts with the world, to excavate and articulate deep emotions we all feel in our own way. But knowing that at least one person might find value in it every time I hit publish makes it all worth it.
So, I’ll ask you again, if you don’t have a Substack, why not?
That’s all for today, friends. As always, thank you for reading!
Extra special thanks to my paid subscribers and those who have bought me a coffee (or 3)! Your support means everything to me <3
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