Newsletter

Farewell Substack

I’m decisively abandoning this newsletter and focusing on WordPress.

I originally published this on Substack.

Hi!

I know it’s been a while! My last Newsletter was in September and it is now December. I have decided that with my new job, my too many hobbies already and my desire to play Skyrim [writing as quickly as I can so I get time to play Skyrim before the weekend is over!], I just do not have time to cram in trying to make a Substack blog about my blog newsletter.

Since the last newsletter I did start my new job, and I’m now two months into it. Love it, I am so glad I took the plunge… but also it’s a lot to learn, with more mental load, and I can’t skive time off in quiet times to sneak blogging!

Drama

I follow Elizabeth Tai and I did catch that there has been some Substack Drama of late with comments she made about Substack’s UI/UX being taken out of context by Summer Brennan, for a rant about how people who aren’t big successful writers are just lazy and jealous losers who don’t want to put in the work, or some such. Liz’s summary Note here.

I follow them both so I had read both of the original posts. I agreed with Liz Tai in her post What I learn from one of Substack, she pointed out all the things I do not like about Substack. Summer’s post just made me feel icky, it was gatekeeper in tone, and I decided to unsubscribe.

I read all this while I was drinking my tea in the morning, and really it just reminded me that I need to get myself off Substack.

I don’t want to put in the work. I don’t have the time.

Substack is not for me. I’m not a Writer. I don’t really have ambitions to be. I’m not here to mine for gold.

I do this for FUN. I like to keep my hobbies as hobbies. If I try to do it for money it will induce the anxiety that I originally was trying to relieve.

I don’t find Substack fun.

  • I find the UI horrible. I hate the editor. The reader app is also a pain in arse to navigate.
  • The discovery tools – as Liz Tai pointed out – are rubbish if you’re looking for anything other than an already successful famous writer with loads of subscribers. If you want to find the small fries, good luck to you – happy endless scrolling. I wanted to find other small bloggers like me… I have no idea how to do that on Substack!
  • I hate the endless “subscribe” prompts as a reader. I hate that it prompts you for your email – and money – before you have even read an article!
  • Since Notes the whole place has a social media vibe that I don’t like. I don’t need another app to keep up with either!

I’m Sticking with WordPress

  • So I have moved my old Newsletters to my website, and I’m going to focus on using the tools WordPress gives me to engage with other bloggers. (Now I finally figured out how to get Jetpack set up properly!) Those are also not amazing discovery tools but they’re lightyears better than Substack.I am looking for online community and it’s not here, but maybe I can find it there.If you do want to keep up with me (my precious 7 Subscribers) here are some options, more details on this page.
  • WordPress Email Subscription
  • WordPress Follow/Subscription if you have an account and use their Reader.
  • RSS feeds – my posts might be about booksembroidery or just personal blogging so you can subscribe to just specific feeds if you use an RSS Reader.
  • I am on Mastodon too: https://universeodon.com/@alice_digest

For my own following I’m slowly moving the Substacks I subscribe to my RSS feed reader instead.

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2 Comments

  • A.S. Akkalon

    I have wondered at times whether Substack was something I wanted to have a go at, but reading your post and some of the links you included makes me realise my hesitation was well justified. I’m going to stick to my blog plus one or two social media sites.

    • Alice

      It’s a weird place at the moment, definitely. I was never very active on there because I never understood the discovery tools and could never find much I wanted to engage with! You’ve got to put in a lot of work to get noticed if you don’t arrive there with a big subscriber base to begin with.

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