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hey! this is a blog! what’s the difference between the blog and the newsletter?

31 October 2021

I've been writing a newsletter to my readers since around January 2018. That's coming up on four years. I can't believe I've kept going for so long.

In the early months it was super erratic. I think I sent a newsletter out every month until around April, and then nothing until the following fall. By winter 2018 I had published my first novel, The Portrait, and then it was off to the races. I've been pretty consistent ever since. I started out writing newsletters every other week, and then at some point it became every week.

My blogging record is much spottier. There have been times where I've micro-blogged every day, and times where I've been silent for months (years?). I've questioned the relevancy of a blog. I mean, I don't LOOK for blogs to read, do you? (Maybe you do?) I often check in with my young adult children to see what their generation is up to, and they definitely do NOT read blogs.

So what the heck am I doing here?

Here are a bunch of reasons for me to start blogging again.

  • My newsletter is for my newsletter peeps. So I don't publish those. I get personal, I share pics of my kids and my travels, and it's a lot more intimate than my Instagram feed for sure. Also, it's my way of talking to people whose names and faces I can get to know. people write back to me and I write back to them and then we're friends. But sometimes there's stuff in my newsletters (like music recommendations or a book release date) that ought to be shared a bit more widely.
  • My website used to host my blog, and then I took the blog away because…I was just sick of logging into my website in order to write. Basically, I need to be in a certain creative headspace in order to write, and it just didn't match the headspace I needed to be in so update plugins and do general housekeeping in my website. But then I switched email providers away from Gmail (which kept hiding email from me) and over to Hey.com, which has a blog space built into my email address. I'm already writing things in the Hey.com space, since that's where I write email. It was just a short hop over to the realization that I wouldn't need to do a mental switch when writing blog posts.
  • And last, I've experienced a fundamental change in the way I perceive myself. I've always said I was a writer. And then after I started publishing my fiction, I got brave enough to call myself a novelist. But I was musing over the current phrase, “content creator,” recently. I never liked that label. It sounds clinical, don't you think? I definitely don't want to call myself a content creator. However, it kind of IS what I do. Whenever I write an email, a newsletter, a novel, or a blog post, I'm putting my ideas out there into the world. Let me put it differently. Have you ever considered how long the credits are at the end of movies? That's because you need a ton of different specialized skills in order to produce a movie. I wouldn't be qualified to do most of those jobs. Stylists, electricians, animators…I can't do any of those. I could possibly borderline manage to work on the business side of things since I used to be a banker, but I wouldn't enjoy it. The only part of the process that I know I could 100% nail would be writing. So…I need to keep writing and putting stuff out there. It's what I do. And since the newsletter is kind of private, I decided that I needed to blog. Otherwise the world only hears from me when I produce a book, and many people won't get around to buying or borrowing it. A blog, though, is shareable and public.
  • I just thought of this fourth point! I have to admit that I'm not feeling really good about social media right now. What about you? I don't like being on a platform that steals your attention and makes money off it. With a blog, you can read or not read, up to you. You'll get exactly what you're looking for and no more or less.

Until I get a rhythm going, this is going to be erratic. I'll probably start by combing through my newsletters for bits of stuff that is suitable for public consumption. I'll put it out here, on my personal Hey.com blog, and copy-paste it over to my author website at https://mayarushingwalker.net. If you're signed up to this blog, you'll get the post the minute I hit “send.” It's separate from the newsletter, more like a form of social media. You can totally comment on these posts, and I'll get your comment in my email inbox. Sweet, right? Since that's where I would be to answer newsletter email, too. It keeps me in the right headspace to write and talk to people.

So! I'm welcoming myself back. LOL! I'll try to keep the posting to no more than once a day, even if I have a really great bunch of ideas. Ha ha!

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