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Karlstack Hits One Million Reads🥳
Ostensibly the point of this article is to brag about hitting the 1,000,000 views milestone… sometimes you need to stop and smell the flowers:
But another reason is that I wanted to touch base with my 177 paid subs:
I am deeply appreciative of the support, and I value each paid subscriber tremendously… which is why I feel so bad that I have been dealing with writer’s block lately. In the first week of 2023 (The Future of Karlstack: We All Need a Little Structure in our Lives Sometimes) I laid out a new publishing schedule wherein I would publish 1 paid-subscriber-only article every weekend… but I have had trouble sticking to this plan; in the 7 weekends since, I have put out 3 paid, 2 free, and missed 2 weekends.
This has been for several reasons:
I am working on a few “big” Substack articles that take forever to research
Maybe these will lead nowhere, but I think it is worth investing in time-consuming moonshots rather than pumping out quick, surface-level op-eds
I am working on a couple freelance articles for mainstream outlets
I will publish a link to these on my Substack once they are up 👀
I have major cognitive dissonance over this because I constantly shit on the very concept of mainstream media, but now I am freelancing for them? Sometimes I think I am selling my soul, but I also enjoy being paid money, and frankly I need the money. Besides, these are the “good guy” mainstream outlets whose values generally align with mine, and they give me virtually total freedom to write whatever I want.
I am open to more freelance writing, email me: email@example.com
It’s easier to grow your Substack with free articles than with paid articles
I initially put this below article out for paid-subscribers only… But then I saw it was starting to get traction, so I unpaywalled it, and once I unpaywalled it and tweeted it out, the tweet got thousands of likes and retweets. Those thousands of retweets resulted in hundreds of new free subscribers, and that explosive growth is more valuable to me than providing “exclusive” value to my 177 paid subscribers.
Spreading myself too thin — I am working on several articles at once, and this is obviously not an efficient way to work. If I were rational I would dedicate myself wholly to one article until it was finished, then the next, then the next.
Art is irrational. The upside of my inefficient creative workflow is that I enjoy sleeping on articles and mulling them over for days/weeks/months… I like slowly chipping away at them.
The bigger problem with my productivity is that I am just generally suffering from writer's block…. I am having trouble concentrating on writing. We are approaching the end of February, and I have only published 4 Substack articles this month, which is less than half the rate I would usually publish at. I’ve spent most days in February biting my knuckles and wondering why I am not writing. It’s not even that I am lacking ideas — I have a million ideas for columns to write — I just can’t bring myself to sit down and materialize them.
I think a big reason why is that I’m about to leave Mexico after spending 6 months here, and whenever I get to the tail end of living somewhere, I always seem to tune out for a couple of weeks in anticipation of moving. I will buckle down and redouble my efforts in my next location, but until then, I guess I will enjoy my remaining week in tropical paradise maximally.
All this to say: I am planning on conquering writer’s block shortly, it is not a big deal, bear with me. I will keep pumping out paywalled articles soon for paid subscribers, but I am not sure when, or how many.
A few weeks ago I ran this poll that shows most people want to keep the dark-mode:
I’ve received plenty of disgruntled feedback, though… it seems that the people who dislike dark-mode REALLY dislike it. So I’m going back to light-mode.
In fact, I am planning a total redesign of my logo and colour scheme in vaporwave aesthetic. For a rough example of what this vaporwave aesthetic will look like, see's logo:
Please note that I am not just blatantly copying him — I’ve been considering doing a vaporwave redesign for over a year, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I also told him that I was going to do a vaporwave colour scheme, and he was okay with it.
I’ll probably pay some graphic design freelancer a few bucks to do it for me, since I personally have the artistic ability of a potato. I’ve had good success using Upwork for sourcing these types of small gigs.