Yes, you too. And no, this isn't an ad for any new writing course.
Thanks for the mention!
Thanks, Alejandro! Anytime someone suggests 'writing' as a good way to make lots of money I can't help but laugh. Of all the unlikely get-rich-quick schemes, 'being a writer' is by far the funniest.
In my time working at the National Centre for Writing in the UK I was fortunate to work with a wide range of authors, from complete beginners to superstars, and the one thing most of them had in common is that they didn't earn much money. There were a couple of exceptions, but on the whole authors simply don't make a living directly from the writing - hence so many of them also teach and do other bits and bobs, or have an unrelated day job. Even writers I would categorise as successful were in this situation.
The MLM thing (I had to look this up the other day as well) has also been popping up in my Notes timeline. However, it's been people worrying/moaning about it, rather than the thing itself. I've not seen any of that - my newsletter inbox and my Notes feed is full of lovely writers being interesting, creative and provocative. Maybe the people complaining about the MLM-vibes are following an odd bunch of people?
I always try to focus my newsletter on helping people write more (and occasionally write better), and steer well clear of 'how to make money' articles.
Speaking directly to the MLM concept on Substack: a lot of people are going to be really upset when they find out how the economy works.
I am a retired Cisco certified network design and engineering professional with a Masters education in CS/Logic. In all pragmatic candor - Substack doesn't yet have the infrastructure to support "everyone" writing on Substack.
Substack is like a Library of self-published 'articles', OpEds, and few actual stories. It's mostly a digital Library of opinions. when authors start publishing real stories on Substack - that would be awesome. Substack needs more real story telling and less opinion peddling.
Nobody goes to a library to read the entire content, they go to read what they're interested in reading. Substack has no Dewey Decimal System, it has the inherent generality of Boolean Searching. When Substack starts to model the platform like the Library it is, it will be a lot more compelling.
Who's interested in reading the opinions of a stranger rattling on about "Palestine" when they spell 'Iraq' as Irak? Who's interested in reading the opinions of an adult without the requisite education, who can't even form proper paragraphs, uses words out of context, misspells every other word, or writes in an idiotic vernacular with intent? There's lots of that elsewhere on Substack.
Currently, there's as much arrogant ignorance on Substack, as there is in society. There's as much popular sciolism being self-published on Substack, as there is talked about in ordinary conversations. Sciolism isn't good. It's the product of intellectual-laziness, arrogant ignorance, puerile gossip, and institutional advertising propaganda - not Gnosis. Sciolism is the standard of idiocy in every society, and the antithesis of Gnosis. Good story telling on the other hand is what opens our minds to possibilities and knowledge. I want more Joseph Campbell, not the opinions of a stranger.
It is axiomatic Logical certainty that Truth is a function of Logic, not opinion. Math is proof. Modus Ponens/Modus Tollens are proof. The Algebra of Statements is proof. Why are there so many self-proclaimed 'journalist' opinion pimps publishing on Substack arrogantly-ignorant of the axioms of Truth? It's maddening.
Writing is an inherently axiomatic endeavor, and Substack is replete with writers ignorant of this fundamental Logical function of writing. The words we write are 'self-evident' of meaning. It's how reading works.
Too many of the 'writers' on Substack consistently demonstrate that they are oblivious of the Logic of Language and how Language operates, and It's maddening. It is the single greatest fault of Substack - writers who cannot write, and writers who only write Bernaysian OpEds - poorly.
The problem with Substack is that there is no editorial quality control, and the world is not full of articulate, educated writers with compelling things to say. In the end Substack thus far, is just another Internet hustle. It's yet another 'Bernaysian' opinion pimping platform, and we all know the colloquialism about opinions...
Substack has the potential to change publishing, and reading. It could be the 21st century library model, but it's not there yet.
If Rumi were alive to publish on Substack, I would definitely subscribe. If Khalil Gibran were alive to publish on Substack I would be a subscriber. Is it financially viable for an accomplished author to publish on Substack? What about authors who are no longer living?
Had to GPT what MLM is. Like you, I write two very different Substacks and the audience I write for is very different. Breaking the Rules is very much written for an audience of one: me. The Python Coding Stack is different-its purpose is to inform, and although I am still writing the articles I would like to read, I have an audience in mind, too
Still, I think many authors, as you say, write first and foremost for their own benefit. It’s relaxing. Therapeutic.
I've seen the MLM comparison bouncing around a bit, but I haven't really seen many people that make me feel like that's what they're doing. Maybe it just hasn't gotten on my radar yet. There are always those jumping on the bandwagon of "this is an easy way to make money. pay me and I'll show you how." I laugh my ass off any time I see a pin on Pinterest touting how easy it is to make money writing a book.
Huh. That's the first I've heard on comparing Substack to a MLM.
I'm just here to write. While yes, seeing my name in print or online with a published story or winning a writing contest is my goal, I'm really just here to write.
And maybe people can just write to offer their expertise. Open source without code. So many products are now open source, and they may be better than product for which you need to pay. Why can't we build a community of professionals who share their expertise for free, providing advice and share their experience? Free while keeping the quality of their writing very high at the same time.
This is a great take.
I think MLMs will snake their way into anything but the nature of free and paid subs makes it difficult to pull off on Substack. I definitely don’t want them here because it’ll take away from the real reason writers encourage other people to write: because it’s good for you.