In some respects, I’m an established writer which pulls me to Substack. I’ve written for the Columbus Free Press since 1980. For years I wrote and edited (pre-computer) a 20-page (or so) monthly newsletter for freelance writers in the Columbus, Ohio area. I wrote and edited several newsletters and training manuals at Ohio State. I copy-edited a couple of books. I have presented at writers’ conferences and done radio shows about writing. Most important, I have published over 1500 blogs in The Daily Bastardette and a couple of other hundred for Bastard Nation, Stop Safe Haven Baby Boxes Now! and Theoconia: A Central Ohio Theocon Report about localized Christian Nationalism. This makes me one of the–or the most- prolific adoption writers today. I never got paid for any of this except for OSU and even then… No, I was the secretary who just happened to know how to write, so why not give it to her to do? Writing became part of the job, though it was never in the job description at Secretary I pay. They would have had to pay an outside person to do what I did for free.
Writing every day for National Adoption (Awareness) Month, as usual, has worn me out This time around, though, I said to myself repeatedly, Why the hell am I doing this?”
As an adoptee rights activist, that’s what I do. I mean, if you have a talent, you use it for your own liberation and the liberation of others.
And rather narcissistically, I have done this every day in November for years and didn’t want to let myself down. It’s a competition. Fortunately, the legislative season is pretty much finished in November so I don’t have to spend even more time writing, writing, writing, and writing testimony and letters and whatever else the Devil has in mind for me. With all this November NAM writing, I never did get to write or complete my really important pieces, which linger in the draft box or in my head. No time for the serious stuff!
I have known this for a long time, but my adoption writing, and the writing of my contemporary adoption writer friends, is not much more than singing to the choir. Most of the choir never sings back except for likes, and re-postings. Do they even read it? Not much changes. Adoption still sucks, and we suck for doing what seems like a waste of time.
Cutting-edge work happens in academia, but it takes an absurd amount of time to get it published once you’re done. Each journal has special rules for formatting, editing, submission, and all sorts of extraneous bullshit that have nothing to do with writing or the subject matter. More singing–or writing–to the choir. Nobody reads obscure social science or history or sociology or law journals that extrapolate the truth from the chaff.
Most of the ‘popular” work that people do read, centers on “pain” and “healing” and victimhood and therapy and wounds and Primal Wounds that stand outside the real issue of adoption class war. This is how the enemy keeps the Adoption Mill running and adoptees in fear and shame and unworthiness. Even the best of us find ourselves at times fighting that Black Dog. Why l am I doing this? Who is reading this stuff I just pulled out of my ass to make myself comfortable and feel important and smart and maybe help some others?
So this brings me back to Substack v Medium. Since the relative demise of Twitter (I intend to stay on until the bitter end), some of my friends have started to write on Substack. It strikes me as a good idea for me, too, particularly to write some important long-form pieces. and maybe reach someone other than the choir.
I’d not give up DB or SSHBBN, but it seems like a step beyond mere blogging–which quite frankly doesn’t seem to get much response, (thank you social media!) though some of the most articulate important adoptee writers and writers, in general, started out blogging and still do.
You can go free on both platforms or mix it up, I understand, so the big question for me is would anyone even pay to read what I write? Long-form pieces, essays about other things beyond adoption–movies, books , crime, dinosaurs. Throw some poetry in. Hundreds of my poems are stuck in a storage pod in Columbus, and lately, I’ve been diving back into that genre. Or is this just another circle jerk?
I don’t have to make a decision soon, but I’m aiming for the first of the year. Would anyone read it? Bow-wow-wow!
Poke the Bear?
We Poke Back!
Day 28 NAM/NAAM/NanoPoblano
Originally posted: The Daily Bastardette, November 28, 2022
Only 2 more days