I've really enjoyed reading this journal entry by Jeremy Keith this morning and it's inspired me to write some thoughts. It makes me happy that I'm in good company with other folks who are enjoying self-publishing. I've also discovered some great RSS feeds, so thanks, Jeremy!
I've found that actually owning my content makes me consider the impact of my writing more. It's easy for it to feel disposable on Medium or Twitter, because they affectively treat it that way. I've also found that I write a lot more on my own site. Yes, I still publish content on social media, but I like to make the origin of that content this website, where appropriate. I also write directly on those platforms in the form of posts, replies and shares. It's just nice to have that flexibility.
What self-publishing does is provide me a choice, which makes me feel good. I feel like I can step away from platforms at will and I don't feel as shackled as I have done previously. A big positive change for me has been stepping away from Twitter and using the platform via outer means. This has included an RSS based approach and also a 3rd party client that's designed for a calmer experience. This, mixed with a specific list for a “calmer Twitter” is making me feel a lot better about the platform.
I feel like I still have to post to Twitter, because it is unfortunately synonymous with our industry. That won't change any time soon either, I'm afraid. Being able to publish there via automated tools is empowering and not having to be directly involved in the fire-hose and an algorithmic hell-zone is very good for my mental health. My current setup will be a permanent thing because of that. Well, until the platform eventually vanishes.
The last point is that because this website is essentially static, I can zip it up and move it wherever I want. Again, having a choice in hosting makes me feel empowered too. It's a feeling I've missed over the last few years.