My Writing Is About Building Community

This Week In Writing, we highlight some of the people I’ve met writing online and answer some of your questions.

My Writing Is About Building Community
Photo by Randy Fath / Unsplash

Here's a little behind-the-scenes for you: I typically write my newsletter with a two-step process. I'll form an idea sometime around Wednesday or Thursday and create an outline. This typically happens right before I go to bed because that's when my brain is the most creative. Then, sometime over the weekend, I'll turn the outline into the newsletter you read on Tuesday morning.

I say typically above, because there are some days, like right now, where I don't actually sit down to flesh out the outline until Monday night. The irony in this is that my first bullet point in today's outline literally reads, why I adhere to my (mostly) weekly deadlines.

The deadline is really important to me. It's why I'm sitting here putting the newsletter together at the tail end of a birthday weekend that included putting my house back together and visiting Disney. Oh, and a lot of food.

The newsletter deadline is important to me because I write to connect with you. There are thousands of people around the world who read my words and, more important to me, respond and share their thoughts. It forms a conversation with diverse options, experiences, and backgrounds. Frankly, it makes me really happy to engage with you all.

A few months back, I changed the auto-response email that sends when someone subscribes. In that email, I ask for an introduction. No everyone replies, but a lot of you all do. It's so fun reading about your interests, what you write about, and hearing a bit of your stories. I make it a point to try and reply to everyone. Again, I enjoy the conversation that my writing affords.

I've met some really awesome people through my wiring; I even launched My Writing Community with some of them! Connecting with other writers in a fun way to learn from each other and grow our craft. It's also just fun to connect with other people from around the globe and talk about our interests.

Mastodon is another way I like to connect with other writers. Recently, I attempted an old-fashioned Writer's Lift to learn about other writers. I connected with some of you, including Philipp, who wrote about moving from Substack to Ghost a few years back. Our stories are very similar, and it was fun to connect with another writer who sees the world in a similar way.

I write to connect with you. So, if you haven't taken a moment to hit reply and say hello, please do so. Be it here or on Mastodon, I look forward to learning about you.

Questions About Transitioning to Ghost

Last week, I shared my plan to transition from Substack to Ghost. Many of you responded with support and even stepped up as a paid subscriber (thank you!). There were also questions that I tried to answer individually. Some of the questions are likely shared by others, so I want to address a few here.

Why don't you just import all of the Substack subscribers into Ghost instead of inviting people to resubscribe?

This is a great question. After all, I've transitioned newsletter platforms a few times by directly importing. The truth is, I will likely go this route eventually. Right now, however, I'm operating under transparency and figure notice, and giving you an option is important.

Substack is a little different than a traditional email marketing platform. There are many of you who don't receive my emails but only read the newsletter in the Substack app. The entire platform is a little more "walled off" than regular email. So, I'm going to transition over the next few weeks to make sure everyone is well aware.

At the end of the day, email addresses in Substack are portable (as they are on any email platform). Most readers likely won't care how the newsletter is sent and won't notice a change. But, for everyone else, I want to make sure you're not caught off guard.

Can I still engage with the newsletter on Ghost?

Yes! Right now, commenting on the page itself is limited to paid subscribers. The reason for that is that I haven't set up a powerful spam filtering option yet. So, limiting to paid subscribers is a way to prevent spam.

All Ghost subscribers can hit reply just like they can now and communicate directly with me. As I said above, I try to reply to every email and prefer when you respond. So, please engage!

Publishing Delays

I know I said everything was caught up last week. Well, I'm behind again. I greatly underestimated how much time moving back into my house would take. I appreciate your patience as I get back into the routine.