Where should post my writing in 2018?
August 24, 2018 12:28 PM   Subscribe

I’m starting to explore writing what I believe would be considered personal essays. I’ve done a lot of writing on my hobby on my hobby-specific website, but I want to branch out more. What I don’t know is where to host my writing.

I’m starting to explore writing what I believe would be considered personal essays. I’ve done a lot of writing on my hobby on my hobby-specific website, but I want to branch out more. What I don’t know is where to host my writing.

Topics I’ve been working on or plan to include things like an experience with street harassment, my experience being dianosed with ADHD, my husband’s suicide and his unhealthy obsession with guns, but also stories that might not be so specific to myself; for example, I’ve been wanting to write about an ISP I worked at in the 90s and talk about things long forgotten but should be important to know today.

Once upon a time go, I would have made a blog for it. But now, that doesn’t seem like the beast place for it. My next thought was Medium. But is that the best platform?

My purpose and goal in doing this kind of writing has a few facets. One is simply that I like to write. But I’d also like to build an audience and I dare say I dream of writing at least somewhat professionally. I also would like to add my voice to conversations where I feel like my life experiences can add something to those discussions, as in the reflections on my late husband’s obsessions with guns.

So. Where to post? Are their places now that I should be looking at besides medium? Or do I post directly to places like Facebook? Or? Or do I GYOB and start up (or revive) my own blog and post there?

At the moment, I have one on street harassment I experienced almost ready to go. It’s perhaps not as insightful as other ideas, but it’s fresh and thus why it’s at the front of the line.

Finally, anything else I should think about? Like writing about controversial issues while being a woman? What about things like patreon for compensation? Should I be even thinking about that now?
posted by [insert clever name here] to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I think that maybe what will help you sort this out is to back up a step and ask yourself what you want to achieve by publishing this writing.

Meaning: do you want to just have a platform for people to come read it, and at least for right now you're just sort of "meh" about monetizing it? Or are you looking to become an Authority On The Topic and are getting paid and stuff?

Honestly, my hunch is that a blog may be fine. Such a blog can always be expanded into something else. But it would be kind of a slow-build word-of-mouth thing (I'm a year into an ongoing Blog Project myself, and I've only grown from 5 regular visitors to 25 in the course of a year); however, if that's okay with you, it would be easier, more personal, and it would give you the space to figure out and perfect your approach while you're building that body of work. Case in point - I may only have 20 readers, but I've got 100 posts, and I've just started the process of moving it all to a fancy-ass dedicated blog site, which I can then in turn publicize in a couple other places; it wasn't ready for that a year ago, but now I think it is. Plugging away on a cheeseball blog for a year gave me that regular routine and the space to mess up.

A blog can be a space to start; it can also give you the space to figure out what the next step even is. You can always move it to another platform after a while.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:20 PM on August 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm generally a fan of always writing on a platform that provides as much control as you can deal with. For me, that means paying for hosting and writing on a blog that I self-manage, for others it might be Wordpress.com or Blogger or Medium.

It's pretty much never Facebook though. Publicize your work there if you have an audience, but don't give FB control of your words.
posted by COD at 1:50 PM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

The answer is "host it yourself, on a domain you own". That is always the answer unless the content in question is work-for-hire, or you have sold the relevant rights to someone else.

You can promote and link to your content on various horrible social media-ish things, of course. But never, ever host your content on any of them.
posted by sourcequench at 3:03 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I actually do not want the hassle of hosting myself, I should have been clearer. I’m looking for some place that deals with all the seo, and ideally is known for exactly this type of content, in hopes of cross pollination and maybe being found a little easier.

I thought that was what medium did, but I might be mistaken. And I’ve heard people gripe about medium. I don’t know the specifics though, if it is fair criticism, or just people complaining about a popular platform because it’s popular.

Generating revenue is an afterthought. I just want to make sure I’m not doing anything that would prevent me from doing so. And of course it’s a nice dream to see some kind of return if people like my writing.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:30 PM on August 24, 2018

I hate to be a buzzkill because I used to want to do this stuff myself. But nowadays the Internet is a free for all harassmentland for women. If you're keeping your writing off social media, that can help to mitigate it, but these days, if a woman's writing gets popular, here come the haters, stalkers, doxxers, etc. It sounds like you want to get into controversial topics so that's probably well, guaranteed to get shit.

Do you have a plan for how to handle that stuff? Maybe not use your given name, or hide your details, or do other things so that folks can't find you if you become popular? Much as everyone wants to encourage "a community," if people have the ability to comment on your work, that also attracts the shitters. Are you sure you want to become popular in the first place? Because this is the price we pay these days if the world sees us. I think if you're courting the world online and you're female, it's probably a good idea to plan ahead for when the harassment happens, not if.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:51 PM on August 24, 2018

Maybe Medium.
posted by pracowity at 8:02 AM on August 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Jenfullmoon, I hear you! I’ve gone back and forth on this issue, thinking about it at length. I have a fairly robust anonymous/alternative identity I’ve considered using. But I’m falling on the side of using my real self. Even in the light of what I see happening to women. I’ve dealt with it on a lessor scale via having a niche website that has occasionally attracted the attention of angry men. No where to the same extent as women who have had the internet decide they hate them- but enough that I have a bit of an idea. And I’ve had my share of stalkers, both online and IRL. Sadly. I just assume it’s the price I pay for being a woman in the world. And frankly, I’m tired of letting men dictate how I live in this world.

For the moment, being authentic to myself feels necessary. Standing up to men who would do this to women feels necessary. Stepping into the space where men do not want to share personhood seems necessary. I’m sure I will be afraid at times, but I also don’t want to hide in the shadows out of fear. I’ve lived that life for too long.

The page you sent is a great reminder though of some security I need to tighten up for myself.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:07 AM on August 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Well, if you're up to it, then good for you.

I wish I could say "damn the torpedoes" myself, but so far no.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:12 AM on August 25, 2018

« Older Video entertainment for my grandfather   |   DIY equinox celebration in Portland, OR Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.