This isn’t supposed to be a rant. More an epiphany of sorts, about owning it.
If you’ve followed my blog or my newsletter, you’ll know that they have often been sporadic at best, with the blog suffering the most. I’ve tried different ideas to gain momentum and to provide content of interest – for free, or cheaply – but I just haven’t found that “something” I felt comfortable with. As an author, I’m supposed to do “something” and create a buzz around my books, or even better, a buzz about something that has nothing to do with my books, but folk might be interested in. Well, sorry, but I write a lot, and when I’m not writing, I don’t really want to write about something just because I’m supposed to.
This is connected to Social Media and fact that I made a point of dumping SoMe in 2020, having got rid of most of it before then. It was the constant reminder to “write a post” or “share” something from the different platforms that drove me nuts. I had nothing to say. I was already saying plenty in my books, short stories, whatever. Then there was the toxicity, and when I saw how supposedly mature, respectable, businessmen were trashing Greta Thunberg – I don’t know how she deals with that. I couldn’t. I dumped Twitter. It was the last thing I had. I had already dumped Facebook, and then in 2020 I set about going Google free.
It’s awfully, awfully quiet when you get rid of SoMe.
I lapsed a few times, tried LinkedIn again thinking it was different and more professional, and lasted about eight hours – apologies to the people I know in real life who I added as contacts, and then bailed again. But it was okay, I had my newsletter. But then, in trying to go Google free, I changed my email to a private email by a company that puts privacy first. I love it. It totally works for me, but gets treated as spam by almost every other email provider out there.
Awfully quiet, like I said.
Then I blogged a bit, on my website, while shopping around for a more robust form of a newsletter. I tried Substack, then left after the first Facebook-like notification popped in that I could get more subscribers if I posted something. No shit. Really? I returned a month later, set the whole thing up, and then left it sitting there for a bit. Haven’t blogged yet. But I did find the button to get rid of the notifications.
Then Goodreads, which I personally use a lot to track my own reading, and as an author to promote my books a bit. This blog feeds into the blog on my Goodreads author page. But each time I posted a photo, it left a blank. Only smileys worked. So I stopped posting images, and ended up with a pretty boring blog – here and on Goodreads. Cue image right now:
So who am I doing all this for?
SoMe wants me to post, post, post to create traffic and to market the shit out of it. Google and Co. want me to be really active, use all their products, and then they will scrape all the data they can sell from them. And the alternatives to blogging and newslettering (?) just .. don’t .. work for me. And every one of them talks about creating a platform. Which is another word for create traffic for the marketing department to use to drive sales.
And yet, early this year, I amped up my website, and I have to say, I’m loving it. All my stuff in one place. All my books, stories… just everything, all here. And I own it. At least, I’m paying for it, which means it’s not free, and as far as I know there’s no scraping or marketing or whatever beyond the usual stuff. And, most importantly, there’s no bot telling me that readers are missing me when I haven’t posted for a day or so. But you know what? Because I didn’t engage in or write nasty comments, or call people out for … anything … my stuff was so bland I never benefited from the algorithms anyway. I was too nice. Too bland.
Here’s a smiley for being bland, and for Goodreads. 🙂
So, about owning it.
I pay for this website, so I guess I’m owning that part of it. But I also want to own what I do with it. So I’m going to blog for me and throw stuff out there, not caring if anyone reads it, or if anyone likes it. It’s for me. If someone finds some value in it, and chooses to follow or read the blog. Great.
I’m going to use it for me, and for lack of finding anything better or more fun than this website, I’ll post stuff about my books, new things on the way or just updates and stuff here. Such as revamping my payhip store as a means of making my writing more sustainable. There’s a link for that. Or maybe some 3D art, because I love playing around with that. Whatever, and whenever, but all my own, meaning I’m owning the words, pictures, or at least owning the action behind writing and posting it. Not because some big tech company benefits from it, but because I benefit from the writing of it.
Is this a rant? Sure. Probably. But it’s my rant.
I own it.
Graham Williams says
Hi Chris. Sorry you’ve had a crap time with companies that are determined to improve your life….under their terms of course….so you can be just like them🤬
Now,me,i look forward to those…er…what do you call them,made of paper,bound down one side…oh yes,books. Whatever happened to them?
I MISS THEM! I cant stand ebooks. So impersonal. 🤪
Sorry,was that a rant?🤣
Seriously Chris,i know times have been hard and the cost of getting books printed is probably eye-watering,but when will we see your work in print?
Hope Luui isnt causing too much trouble!
All the best
Christoffer Petersen says
Hi Graham! Good to hear from you. 🙂 Love your paperback rant! I remember when Jane got a Sony eReader way back, and I just didn’t want anything to do with it. It took a while, and I think Kindle did it, but I started reading eBooks. However, interestingly, once I started publishing eBooks, I started buying more and more paperbacks, mostly second hand. There is nothing like having a real book in your hand, although, if the story is good enough, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter too much. Hardbacks are a whole other thing. 😉
So, yes, noted, I’ll get those paperbacks sorted. As for Luui, she’s causing all kinds of problems. Which is exactly what we need!
Thanks, Graham! Appreciate it!
Ana Catarina Palma Neves says
Well, it’s good to know that there are others like me that have no interest in social media. I, too, open accounts just to close them soon after. It’s all so boring and tiring. All that pressure to post and like what other people posted just drive me crazy. And the time we waste on that! Lots of way more interesting things can be done in the real world instead. I saw your post on Goodreads. I just sign in Goodreads because I love books and I kept going there for one reason or another. It took me years to decide it (hope I won’t regret it). Yeah, just post what you want when you want it. You don’t owe anything to anyone anyway. Focus on the essential, that’s my motto.
Christoffer Petersen says
Hi Ana Catarina!
So true. I remember enjoying the initial thrill of finding old friends on Facebook, but it didn’t take – and especially in more recent years – until interaction became a “like ‘n’ swipe”. No substance. Now though, the contact I have with people via email, is so much more meaningful, not least because you know someone took the time to compose the message, not just tap a like button. Or send a smiley. 🙂 Another one for Goodreads.
As for Goodreads, I love tracking my reading and discovering other books and authors to read. I’m not in any groups, and the friends I have are family – I mostly just “like” the books my wife reads. But for me Goodreads is all about the books.
I appreciate your comment, and yes, pleased to hear I’m not the only one running away from SoMe!