But, why though?
on the transition (back) to a long-form platform
Following six weeks of regularly sharing my experiences as a disabled late-blooming lesbian who recently lost my mother to cancer on Instagram, I decided it was time to assess whether IG was the best platform to share my written work.
I have consistently hit the character-count barrier on IG with this project—and true, I could have continued my post(s) in the comments, or shared my story across multiple posts as I did in my recent series featuring the panorama of the stone circles at Hunn. But this generally doesn’t make for a good reader experience for long-form writing, especially if you didn’t hit the posts in the right order. (I mean, can anyone predict the IG algorithm at this point?)
With all this in mind, I took some time over the last week to consider: is there a better way to share my work with those who want to read it?
Once a blogger, always a blogger
If you’ve known me for long, you know I’ve been blogging in some form or fashion since 2002. From my first Xanga account, which was called “The Writer Just Trying to Be the Artistic” (or something similarly nonsensical), to the WordPress site that I’ve had since 2011, I’ve been writing online like my life depended on it since I was a young teenager.
In all that time, the blogosphere has changed tremendously (thankfully—as nostalgic as I am for the days of LiveJournal, it wasn’t the most user-friendly). Instead of a community of bloggers reading each other’s work and talking to one another, writers are building communities around their work that extend beyond whatever platform they are using to share their writing. Frankly, that’s always happened, but I say this to highlight a shift I’ve seen from organic communities I used to see on LJ, Tumblr, and WordPress to cultivated followings linked to individual creators.
In the last few years, I have also seen a shift from readers seeking out their favorite writers on their websites to receiving content via newsletters sent to their inbox or even shared links on social media. And while blogs like WordPress offer features like this, I have seen an increase in users of platforms like MailChimp, TinyLetter, and Substack that offer more opportunities for control, analytics, and monetization.
All this to say…
I’ve decided to try my hand at this. This newsletter is free, weekly, and will feature similar content to my Instagram: details of my late-to-lesbian journey, meditations on life as a disabled person (including details of my specific experiences over on “Disabled Journey”), and glimpses of grief over my mother’s untimely death.
While that might sound, in a word, bleak—I can promise that it won’t be. Even after everything this last year has been, somehow, I still have hope and joy and a sense of humor. Hopefully all of that—all of me—will come through here.
Thank you to Christopher González for inspiring this move. Make sure you subscribe to his Substack, whether or not you sub to mine.