Finding an Audience for Longer Work

It seems that even when I write about starting a Patreon, a little screed about the value of women’s writing pops out. Hmm.

I’ve been blogging for more than eight years. For the last four of those years, a lot of my blogging has necessarily been reactive. I don’t regret that work in any way, but it has changed how and what I write.

I used to write more long-form posts, posts which took a step back from the events of the day to examine issues from multiple perspectives. I used to write more about science, divorcing questions from the single studies of news cycles and putting them back into context. I used to do more noodling on culture and the complex relationship it has with our lives. I used to play more with format.

Here are a few examples of the kind of writing I’m talking about:

I want to do more of all that. I have a list of chewier topics I want to explore in text,. Just a few examples:

  • Abuse as a language of power and what that means for social justice spaces
  • The women who made programming easy enough to appeal to men
  • Ways of “winning” an argument that don’t make you right (with copious snark)
  • Fear as a humanist activist issue
  • Hard science versus harder science
  • A defense of problematic music

Now, I could try to find editors who wanted to buy those pieces. Rather, I could if I didn’t have an unholy and entirely irrational distaste for sales work. When my writing has appeared elsewhere, it’s been by commission, not because I was out pitching to editors. It’s a failing in a writer, but it’s my failing.

I could also just write the pieces and post them to my blog like I do my shorter and my more reactive pieces. However, I’ve also discovered over the last several years that I am not immune to that quirk of bias that says female writers are mostly worth reading when they’re talking about being women (bonus points for being women in difficult straits due to their gender). People who think I’m must-read on harassment don’t necessarily bother to read what I write about anything else.

It turns out I resent that. It turns out I resent that enough that I would often rather not write this kind of piece than bust my chops over it only to see it languish in relative obscurity.

I think this work does have its audience, though, and that’s what this Patreon is about. If you want to see writing like that I list above, help me know that it is valued.

Thank you for your support.

If that sounds good to you, head on over to Patreon to sign up. If it sounds good but you can’t afford it, tell other people who might have a little bit to kick in.

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Finding an Audience for Longer Work
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