On doing the damn thing yourself

What’s a young writer to do when both platforms they write for are no longer options, either having dissolved altogether or simply become unfeasible? Once upon a time, I was a regular contributor at two popular blogs, one of which focused on queerness and science fiction, and one of which focused on student life at my university. Now I only write for myself. Now I’m working on building my own platform, on learning how to decide which stories I want to tell, and learning to promote my own work. And let me say, I knew it would be difficult, but it’s a thousand times harder than I ever imagined.

While I’ve always been pretty independent, I find external structures highly motivating. Writing for established sites came with accountability: I had co-writers and editors waiting to hear back from me, and I would not let them down. Comparatively, running my own blog has been a nightmare. I’ve been sitting on this half-finished blog post since September — September! — because, without an enforced deadline, it kept falling to the bottom of my to-do list. I started the semester aiming to upload weekly, but as I got busier and busier it became clear that that wasn’t going to happen. As the weeks passed and I failed to pile up content, I felt disappointed and disappointing — if only I could try a little bit harder, or care a little bit more, I’d be running an internet empire! Still, it was a busy semester, and I had to put down my guilt so that I was free to pick up all of my other responsibilities.

Now I’ve got some free time, and I’m able to return to this deferred dream. In hindsight I can see that aiming to post once a week led to action paralysis — instead of posting biweekly, or just whenever I could find the time, I gave up entirely. I’m changing my goal in order to reflect why I created this space: so that I could post the content that makes me happy, on a schedule that doesn’t stress me out too much. For the foreseeable future, I’ll be posting whenever I can. I think that beats not posting at all.

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