Okay, Okay, I’m On Substack Now
Much like “wash curtains” and “organize digital photos,” I’ve had a lingering item on my to-do list to “get on Substack.” I even took a precious PTO day back in October to get all set up on the platform.
I changed the name of the publication about five times. Then I messed around on Canva for a few hours trying to come up with a cool logo that didn’t look like it was designed by the amateur that I am. Then I hemmed and hawed about who I should add to my subscriber list. I ended up adding no one and let my inaugural “Coming Soon” post sit there and gather dust.
Now it’s half a year later, and I’ve decided to launch this sucker. Reluctantly, but I’m going for it, dammit. Maybe it’s because people on Medium can’t stop talking about how great Substack is. Maybe it’s because Twitter started blocking links to Substack, which probably means Substack is doing something right. Or maybe it’s because Substack purports to give writers more control over the fate of their stories. And honestly, that would be really nice, since my Medium stats look like a drunk person playing pinball, ricocheting from 1,028 views to 169 to 6,912, then back down to 148 — all in the course of a single month.
I get that Internet attention is fickle, but I take pride in putting out consistently good stories, and when I have to say a quick prayer to the algorithm gods every time I hit the “Publish” button — well, it doesn’t exactly feel like a strategic move. I don’t care about “going viral.” I just want a more or less consistent percentage of people who like my stuff to read it. I wouldn’t expect anyone to read, much less like, every story, but it sure would be nice if I could leverage a platform to build a real audience.
Do my 9,000 “followers” on Medium ever actually see anything I write? Occasionally, perhaps, but it’s a total crapshoot. Usually, it’s entirely dependent on a Medium editor stumbling across one of my stories and deciding to give it a boost. I have nothing against boosts, but I ain’t got time for crapshoots.
And if I’m being honest, I don’t really have time to manage a presence on two content platforms. But, sigh, I’m going to give it a…