Murcof x Wagner - In a Landscape by John Cage. Gentle piano evolves into dark glitchy ambient, with occasional monolith. This whole album is worth looking into if you enjoy this one.
This is a test of the Buttondown Broadcasting System. Broadcasters in your area are conducting a test. You should be seeing this in much the same way you have in the past. If for some reason you are not reading this, please inform your local station as soon as possible.
I mentioned in the previous newsletter that I was considering going with Buttondown or Substack for the newsletter. Well, I did some research, some asking of questions, and some experimentation, and here we are. There are a few reasons for this:
To that last point. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into the notion that in the modern world a writer should diversify their input streams. I guess it’s probably true of any work that is not 9 to 5 in an office (and, in the gig economy, increasingly those that are). But publishing is a wilderness of pit traps, and the middlemen between the words and the money often fail, are eaten by other entities, and so frequently don’t pay for up to years after the fact that it’s become a bitter joke.
Also, aside from the money thing… man, I just need to write more that’s not the novel or short fiction. I’ve currently got checks seven stories in various states of submission, licking their wounds from rejections (read: needing edits), or crying. And I do love writing shorts, and I need to be doing it more than I am. But I also need to be working on things in other headspaces. And, crucially, I need to keep putting out things where people can read them. Because to the public eye, someone who is grinding hard on a novel looks exactly the same as someone lying in bed eating Cheetos. I recognize that for some authors lying in bed eating Cheetos is an essential part of the process, but my greater point is that legibility is important if one is attempting to be a public figure in any degree.
There’s another factor, as well, which is this: anyone who has followed me for any length of time knows that I have Depression. I’ve also recently (like, within the past two weeks), figured out that I also have ADHD. These make it hard to do things. I freely admit that, while some of the reason you don’t see as much from me is that I am working hard on things that can’t be seen in public, some of that is that I’m not doing as much work as I should because it’s really goddamn hard to do the work when you are fighting your own brain. I feel like I’ve talked about this before, and I don’t want to belabor the point because that’s not what we’re talking about here, but I bring it up to say that one of the ways I am working on this problem is to have lots of different types of things I can work on at any given time. Sometimes, churning out a paragraph of weird crap on a blog is enough to convince the terrified beast that words are possible. I’m writing this right now as a way of letting my subconscious work on a problem with an article that I’m working on in another window. There’s no such thing as multitasking, but context-switching can have great effect when used correctly.
So, yeah. I’m spinning up some other possible outlets, which I’ll talk about when and if I think they’re actually working. And I should clarify: this newsletter is not going paid-only. The format, such as it is, will remain the same, whatever that means. I am thinking about what a parallel to this thing would be that people would actually want to pay for. I don’t have any great ideas right now, given that this thing is already a sporadic series of essays about whatever is in my head. I am open to suggestions.
I would love feedback on the new format, if you happen to have any. However, replies, of any sort, on any topic, are, as always, welcome.