One of the Opportunities of Isolating Myself During This Pandemic

Being able to screw something up big time!

Being able to screw something up big time!

Image by Anand Kumar from Pixabay

As with everyone else who is stuck at home practicing social distancing during this pandemic I am trying to find something to occupy my time. There are many articles regarding this on Medium which suggest we use the time to read or write more on the site. My good friend Sherry McGuinn told me she was starting a newsletter with Substack and suggested I try to do the same.

So I spent most of yesterday and today reading on the Substack website and actually joined the site and started my own newsletter. Now, what the hell do I do with it? Following the directions on the site, I imported my posts from Medium. Oh shit, what in the hell did I do? Every article I ever published, all of my drafts and every damn comment I have made since joining Medium appeared! What the hell Medium!

I finally figured out how to delete the comments and the drafts that I did not want. The only way to do it is to delete them, one by one, in a two-step process. I’m doing this a little at a time, from month to month. I’m now in January of 2020 with all of 2019 to go. Now I regret making so many comments! I wish Medium did not count comments as published posts.

Now that I have a newsletter I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t have any subscribers, but I have managed to put the link to my newsletter on a few of my recent posts (including this one). If I do get some subscribers I won’t know what to do next. The Substack website is not at all clear as to how to do anything if you don’t have any subscribers. I suppose for techies or those who know what their doing it is quite simple. But not for me.

I searched Medium for articles that would explain how to start your own newsletter but found them to be geared to people who already have subscribers or know what they’re doing. I must point out that I chose Substack because it’s free. I don’t have the money to pay for something I don’t know how to use!

Eventually, I would like to switch to paying subscribers, but I have to figure out the basics first and feel comfortable with a newsletter. I have so many questions that were not answered in the Medium articles nor the Substack website. Once someone subscribes, what do I do with them? Can I send out a notice each time I publish an article? How do I grow my subscriber list? Is a newsletter and mailing list worth it to someone like me? Am I wasting my time?

I would appreciate any information and comments from those who have a newsletter and know what they’re doing. If you feel charitable and want to help out an old fart, uneducated in these technical things, please leave a comment. Who knows, if I continue on my own experimenting with Substack I could destroy all of Medium!

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