Discover more from The Column
Why I'm Moving Away From Twitter and Writing Again.
I'm jumping on the substack bandwagon
Ever since I was shitcanned from The Appeal over a year ago, I’ve been meaning to go back to writing. It’s my first love and, as much as I put my heart and soul into the pod, there are many things I wish to say that are better put in writing than on the show. As of now, I put these thoughts on Twitter, but there are many problems with Twitter. First and most frankly: Twitter doesn’t pay for my kid’s childcare or college savings fund. Twitter is a great platform, and it’s a place I think can be useful to push back on horrible narratives and share ideas. The problem is I’m effectively giving my labor every day to Jack Dorsey for free. As much as substack has become synonymous with “some asshole with opinions I don’t like,” the reality is the platform seems to be the most usable. We considered Ghost (many sing their praise) but the setup was too complicated and I’m just a simple country media critic. No frills, no branding, no building a website. I just want to start writing.
And I’d like to get some compensation for it, and I really don’t want to go back to chasing checks as a freelancer. It’s often demoralizing work that involves multiple pitches, waiting days for editors to get back, and negotiating language to death. So I––like a lot of freelancers––am going the subscription writing model. The name. “The Column” is super generic but I find that kind of delightful, so I’m going with it.
I will be writing in this space with In These Times reporter and editor (and my wife!) Sarah Lazare, who will occasionally contribute as her workload permits. She is not on this opening note because she wants to emphasize this blog will mostly be my writing, but she will be doing reporting and analysis when she has the bandwidth. Before we were married--much less, personally knew each other--I admired her work for years and am very excited to write alongside her on these pages.
For those who support and listen to Citations Needed, worry not--launching this substack will not, in any way, take from the podcast. Citations Needed offers a great platform to explore bigger themes and ideas, and it remains my primary job and where most of my energy will go. This blog will be more timely and react to the news and routine shitty media coverage. It will, in effect, replace my Twitter usage.
Please subscribe if you can. If it gets sufficient support the output can remain consistent and we can, hopefully, build something morally and politically useful. I absolutely do not plan on getting wealthy off this and I will be transparent about how much money it provides and where it goes. I have lots of criticism of the substack model––and plan on writing about its limits in the future. In the meantime, I feel it’s the simplest and most logical platform for me to go back to writing writing, instead of just posting.
You can check out my first column here.
In the meantime, tell your friends!