I like having my own platform. By writing down my own thoughts, I’ve met new friends, found new jobs, broadened my interests, helped other people out and learned a lot. Someone even handed me 600 dollar worth of Bitcoin once, just as a friendly gesture. Importantly, I’ve become more responsible as the years have gone by. There was a time when I could never feel proud of anything I wrote more than 24 months ago. The main reason is simple maturation. You won’t shoot your mouth off as readily anymore, when you realize that people are influenced by words and thoughts. To realize that requires you to have a lot of accumulated experience. I have a clearer picture of what sort of advice I feel comfortable giving and how I wish to convey such advice.
That involves self-censorship. One reason I write less these days, is because I self-censor more. As an example, although I don’t feel comfortable giving medical advice in regards to vaccination, I do have opinions on the issue that I think are worth sharing, so it takes me more effort to publish my thoughts on that topic. Similarly, I no longer write about civilization, in a manner that consists of unrestrained emotions. Words have consequences. As another example, I’ve seen a guy angry at Derrick Jensen, because he felt he encouraged him to drop out of college and abandon his dreams of becoming an engineer, because he convinced him civilization is a monolithic monster that destroys the world. This is an issue that rather uniquely affects fringe writers. If you have strong and unpopular opinions or taboo thoughts, it takes responsibility to properly handle the expression of such ideas. If you have a make-up blog, there are less consequences.
There are pragmatic considerations I have too. As an example, I don’t write about anti-globalism and immigration a lot, because I run the severe risk of attracting dumb people. There isn’t much out there that’s more depressing than having someone show up, offended that you’ve gone three sentences without using the word “zionist”. Similarly, I’m probably somewhat less likely these days to write down something that would offend 90% of the human population. I offended a bunch of people by bashing IT jobs, but if you can’t read the essay and understand it’s tongue in cheek, the problem is entirely on your side.
I want everything I write to have a positive, constructive impact, even if it involves very serious issues. As an example, I can write about mass migration and social justice movements, but in doing so I want to help people who are genuinely marginalized: Working class white men. If I were to write an essay complaining about Jews, that wouldn’t do much other than encourage someone who is deeply resentful to further isolate himself from society. On the other hand, if I wrote an essay pointing out how working class white men are genuinely socially marginalized in today’s society, I would have a positive impact. Here’s a hint who genuinely needs help: American white men have a suicide rate 20-times higher than American black women. Pointing out how Jews run the Federal Reserve, or something along those lines, might make an angry libertarian somewhere happy for five minutes because he can “wake up” his friends on Facebook, but it won’t do anything to effectively address the marginalization of working class white men.
So, with that said, there’s one more thought that goes into my writing that I struggle to form an opinion on. I work a full time office job, that I don’t really like that well. Working 40 hours a week makes it difficult for me to spend a lot of time writing. There’s an obvious solution to that, which is monetization. If you earn a living by producing videos on Youtube, writing articles with referral links and partnering with companies, you can afford to spend more time doing what you like to do. I’ve never done this, because I wanted my writing to be “pure”: Free from any ulterior motives beyond expressing my own unrefined ideas. I wanted my writing to be the purest way you can know me. Maturation has involved learning that ideas need refinement, before they are expressed.
There’s a small bit of risk involved here, in the sense that I fear devolving into writing about plastic junk on Amazon for an audience of babyboomer ladies who are eager to spend money, or shilling cryptocurrencies on Binance because I promise young boys they’ll make them rich. How do I prevent this? The simplest answer is that it would disgust me. I’ve tried setting up monetized sites independently before. I grew bored within weeks and moved on to something else. If it doesn’t interest me enough to write about it, I’m convinced I wouldn’t publish it.
The main benefit is as following: If I become willing to professionalize, I can work on improving the quality of the things I produce. In addition, I can work on simply publishing more things. As an example, I wrote a while ago about methods to address climate change. I never proceeded with that, because I simply don’t have the time to write more about it. I generally limit myself to things I really need to get off my chest. If I monetized, I could justify devoting more time. I could set up a podcast, I could start making videos. This would evolve from a strange blog, into a serious platform.
The question I’m left with is: Is monetization a violation of the unspoken bond that exists between the reader and the author? There’s an innocence that is involved in anything done without consideration of the external world. I can perfectly understand that people would feel insulted by a link to Amazon, an ad on Youtube, or anything else along those lines. I browse the web with ad-blockers and never pay for anything. So, as of yet I’m undecided. That’s why I’m offering the question here. What do you think? Please comment with your thoughts.
Patreon. Many would throw you $5, but you’d need to let go of your intentional obscurity. I’d recommend a URL that doesn’t scramble English speaking brains
We’d also love a YouTube channel with live videos, and a Twitter presence. Check out what professor Justin Murphy is doing. He’s probably have you on his show, btw:
He is actively trying to make internet-thinky-guy a full-time career. He’s already got a platform and followers, it’s a lot of work and he’s not even close yet. But you can get an idea for how much you need to be available and active in your community if you want to get $ for it
I would like to second Patreon. It’s a good way to stay connected to your readers and don’t let other interests interfere.
Thanks, makes sense.
A youtube channel is an idea I agree with, but live videos is probably too ambitious right now, as it would involve too many fuckups. You have to keep in mind that writing is a skill I’ve learned over the years, whereas video is uncharted territory for me.
I have no issue with whatever sort of fundraising you deem fit, especially if it would allow you to write more. I personally miss the more overtly iconoclastic and mystical stuff you used to write, though i understand your current stance of caution. Still i hope that you don’t censor yourself too much out of Civic concern as you are one of those most attuned to nature of the various spiraling crises that define our era and it is important that your message is heard.
Thanks. I get your point. This is something I’ll need to think about.