I think I'm gonna change
Thanks for how you named the changes on this thing. I love the quiet of a non-endless feed -- I look if any of my writers have a piece, if they do, I read them, and when there’s no more, it’s done. I briefly felt like this was a harbor from the toxic waves of the attention economy, but it seems Mr Best wants to capitalize (literally) on twitters downfall. Not interested. I appreciate feeling the permission to opt out of the notes/chat stuff. I’m here to write and read writers and save my presence for more beautiful things.
You are absolutely a rock star, Chris! Never doubted it. (I had "Dickhead Mountain" on in the car when I picked my son up the other day and he said, "I didn't know [redacted name of class bully] had a song named after him." American Falcon lives forever.)
I want to dance with that guy. I'd forgotten that song existed.
Also the comment about a manager coming back from a conference with all sorts of ideas is *exactly* how I've been feeling. Just let me get my damn work done! The launch of Notes actually pushed me to delete the app. I was using it mostly to keep on top of comments but now it feels too much like all the other social media I tried to get away from.
"I’m not a musician, I just like to rock, and there’s not much else to say about it" is a line for the ages.
Whenever one of these new Substack features rolls out I give it a spin, almost immediately dislike where it leads me, and go back to writing and comments, because that's where I think we can still make some sort of meaning on this thing. As others have noted, even just the headline of this piece stands out in that sea of notifications. I'm grateful, as I'm always grateful for you, Chris .
Just a quick comment, because I don't want to overthink it, but I too am feeling swamped by this Twitter/Substack/Notes craziness and YOUR HEADLINE: When I read it, I felt like I could breathe again.
There is no coincidence, I suppose, in the fact that you have that ‘reckoning of a storm’ quality about your writing, of course you do. You are a rock star!
Ha, I am an early fan of the Black Keys but I love the new stuff. "Lonely Boy" is a constant soundtrack in my life. As for Notes, I'm on it. I am isolated from friends and I need to talk to people. I tried Reddit and it's just as toxic as everywhere else. Notes won't last long, I'm sure. But I'll take joy where I can. I get it on walks and bike rides without my phone, and sometimes I get it online.
Couldn’t agree more. I’ve only been writing here a few months and my heart sank when the notes started popping up - it makes me want to run for the hills! I’ve turned off all notifications, so hopefully that helps.
I unfortunately, did experience indoctrination 😬 but this is the first year I participated in ZERO religious services of any kind. My kids played outside all weekend, we grilled, painted rocks, and ate lots of chocolate. I loved reading recently that easter is always the Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox! The festivities may not be on the equinox, but they’re pagan af.
Just days ago I started using substack and published for the first time ever. I felt so proud and like I found a treasure, a hidden place in the world, (again, just days ago) - only to wake up to Notes.. I felt like running away and not even try anymore. It felt too close to what I’m leaving behind - anyways, you described the feeling perfectly.. it’s giving me back the hope that made me start in the first place. I know I will stay, but I do hope writers like you pop up the most on my feed too. 🤗
I have mixed feelings about Notes. It DOES make it rather noisy around here and I’ve also discovered a few great writers that I probably would have never found had it not been for Notes. Conundrum!!!!
💯 on the capitalistic quantifiers of “success”. I couldn’t agree more. I am a much happier human when I choose to define my personal success on my terms.
One of the things I've liked about Substack is feeling some sense of community with the followers of particular newsletters because voices were all in one space. Now those communities are being fractured, some folks are still in the comments, some have mostly migrated to chat, and I don't even know (and don't want to know) what this Notes thing is. I'm exhausted by how many places my attention is supposed to be at once. I've given up even trying, come what may. I recently started an in person poetry writing class, 8 people around a table one evening a week, no phones, everyone is handwriting in a notebook. We read aloud, admire each others' work, laugh together. It's helping me push back against the notion that I have to "do" anything with my writing other than enjoy it for whatever it wants to be at the moment. I appreciate the message reinforcing that there is value in that.
On Easter morning at 7:30, sitting in the back booth at the nearby corner cafe, I asked my waitress Ashley (25) if she had ever bitten the ears off a chocolate Easter rabbit. "Of course!" she laughed. And it was in that moment that I realized that... in my lifetime (b. 1947), almost all Americans have shared this chocolate communion, the ritualistic consumption of the body of Christ.
Damn, Chris! Even at your most irritable you are inspirational. As a onetime indie rock drummer turned middle aged bedroom guitar singer/songwriter, I loved your story of rock and passion. Makes wonder what if I’d been able to keep up with a rock band all these years...
Definitely echo the weirdness/disappointment about Substack. Sigh. Growth at any cost. A good friend has been deep in the mail art / zine subculture for years – perhaps those us of trying to escape the pain of social media will end up photocopying typewritten newsletters and mailing them to each other with cash tucked inside envelopes.
Just a great fucking piece of writing about rocking!
Thank you for putting to words what I've been feeling about the recent "upgrades" here too.
If you’d like to keep writing your newsletter but get away from Substack, it is possible. A couple of years ago, two Substack writers that I follow decided to move away from Substack due to its platforming and promoting anti-trans bias. One of them moved to an app called Ghost, and the other moved to Buttondown. I don’t know the technical details, but both found the support to bring their subscribers along without any action on our part.
Tbh, the description at Buttondown sounds more like you.
Thank you for putting something into words that I’ve been thinking and feeling for a long time (and it has nothing to do with Substack). Dancing fills me with joy. I’ve never done it professionally and at the ripe old age of 57 I never will. But I will continue to find ways to do it. Rock on!