How to move away from feelings of isolation and envy, and focus on meaningful connections with your ideal readers
My kids did the Home Alone pose last year. That photo is super cute, Dan. Thanks for sharing it.
I appreciate how you offer creatives both perspectives when it comes to navigating technology as it rapidly changes. I deactivated my social media accounts, because I told myself that it's possible I could return to it all someday. I don't like to close the doors on these good options for spreading my work (more accurately, my heart and life), but instead maintain an openness that I believe is vital when you're doing creative work.
So often the best inspiration happens in places, during times, and in ways that I can't plan or foresee or even think was possible. But if I stay curious and attune myself to what's happening around and inside me, I'm more apt to try new things or change course if it makes sense to do that.
Inspired by this .. thank you Dan. I'm off to do some "unfollowing with love" ❤️🙏🏼
I wish every single human who "does" social media would read this ridiculously sane essay. It's like taking a really deep breath--and only then realizing you've been gasping for air for months.
Lovely essay Dan! I have only read a quarter but I can do resonate with all what you mention. I guess for writers it’s essential not to count numbers but to polish our craft to make it presentable to all the ones who really want to read it. Will read the whole essay in depth .
This whole post fits me right now to a t. I’m decompressing from an intense book launch where I posted on three social media platforms often multiple times a day plus writing my weekly substack. I’m toast. I love the community I’ve gained on all these platforms from all this effort and I think it’s because of the “cozy” you talk about. Sharing authenticity about my life in this book launch every day. What delighted and what scared me. But now I need to contract and locate my center again.
Thanks Dan. I took your Substack class through Jane Friedman and I just registered for your workshop in November. Although I am not a writer per se, your content has been quite helpful. I am a board certified health coach trying to reignite my business. Social media always felt icky to me and I love the possibilities that Substack offers. Thank you.
Thanks for this post, Dan. You came into my mind last week and I thought, ‘I wonder what Dan Blank is up to.’ I just created a Substack account today so that I could subscribe to a couple of writerly newsletters I’m interested in. And one of my subscriptions led me to you as a suggested subscription! I love it when magic like that happens. ✨
Nowadays, my creative focus is writing fiction. I’ve been wondering about the best way(s) to seek, build, and engage community of future readers and fellow writers in the not-too-distant future.
Everything you’re sharing in this newsletter is what I’ve been thinking about and wondering about lately. It’s been many years since I’ve had any kind of a public online presence or voice. Even most of my social media is private. The “online world“ has changed so much since I used to do business there. It’s looked exhausting from afar, but Substack gives me hope that there is a better and more human way to connect.
Great read! A small engaged audience made me think of something my podcast coach said when I was moaning about only 20 downloads on my first few podcasts episodes. Her statement was something I will never forget, "If those 20 people showed up in your living room to hear you speak you would be thrilled."
Never, ever discount the small engaged audience.
Such a great message. I am taking away a few pieces that landed well:
1) Seeing Substack as an intimate ecosystem for content, connection and value exchange (including financial compensation). I am so grateful to be re-entering the world of writing at a time when the models have caught up to support creatives!
2) Social Media in moderation can be a sustainable and strategic move. In my case, in an act of self-care, I left social media when my first child was born in 2016. I would only consider "playing" there again if it felt nourishing rather than draining. Glad to feel that possibility through your words, aligned with one's clear and focused purpose.
Many thanks for your sharing, Dan 🙏🏼
The 20 people in a cafe imagery hit spot-on for me bc I just did my first in-person reading event and 20 friends came... and I was so so flattered and happy!! But 20 likes or 20 subscribers or comments, no matter what the metric is, it never feels like enough! It’s easy to lose the person behind the number . And I was so happy with my filled cafe 🥰
I'm new to Substack and chose it for all the reasons you outline so well here. I published my first post yesterday about my own frustrations with social media. This definitely seems to be a very topical theme and it's great that we are all discussing it! I've followed Rebecca Green and Meera Lee Patel for several years too and love their approach to social media and well being.
Wise words, Dan. I went on a major "build my LinkedIn network" campaign last winter, having read too many LinkedIn evangelists who urged quantity, at any cost, over quality. Push past a thousand, they said. Then triple that. I got the followers, alright. Most were nothing but "let's jump on a call so I can sell you services you don't need." Soon, I didn't want to read my feed anymore and stopped sending cheery "thanks for connecting" replies. So, yes, I'll keep weeding as you have, and hopefully get back to interacting with people and ideas that I care about and who have a sincere interest in my work.
I love this post, Dan! Everything you shared about your approach to social media really resonates and feels so good to see. Thank you!
I feel like This post speaks directly to me! In the past I've done a big unfollowing but I've been thinking I need to do another and I love the steps and reasons you laid out. I keep telling myself I can curate my social media to exactly what works for me and that has meant deactivating Threads which I never posted on anyway and it will mean unfollowing accounts so that I'm only following ones that bring me joy, inspire, educate, and delight.
Thanks for putting out great stuff every week!!
Thank you Dan. I continue to use my mantra and insist that all of us are "Perfectly on Time" in every given moment. This post has reconfirmed that for me because the content speaks to the majority of those niggling little gremlins that can lead me to isolation and simply stopping everything.