I’m sorry, email list.
I know you’re full of people who signed up because you wanted to hear from me — maybe you found me through Medium, my Facebook author page, or my books. Or (less likely) Twitter or my long-neglected blog.
Whatever the reason — whatever way you found me, you wanted to hear more from me. You’re all real people too, as far as I know. Only a handful of you are friends and family (and one is me). So why don’t I contact you more?
I know how important an email list is to a budding writer. “Build an email list” is one of the central pillars of online writing advice — and I’ve done it! Sure, you’re not millions of people but the number is in the hundreds. Hundreds of people who might want to read my Medium stories or buy my next book (whenever it comes out).
Except you won’t know about it, because I hardly ever email you.
Self-promotion doesn’t come easily to me. I suppose that’s true of a lot of writers — there’s a reason we are often characterised as solitary introverts — but it’s not as though I’m cold calling total strangers or going door-to-door with my books in tow. You all voluntarily signed up to hear from me.
So why do I feel like I’m bothering you?
And it makes me wonder: how many other writers don’t achieve their full potential because of a fear of reaching out?
Fear of going out into the world and saying: I am a writer.
Because that’s what contacting your email list is. You are speaking to these people — total strangers, most of them — as a writer.
Not as whatever your actual day job might be.
Not as someone who writes on the side, as a hobby.
Your identity is a writer.
Mine is, on the rare occasion I send out an email to my list. Maybe that’s what’s so scary.
Well, as of now, I’m ignoring the fear, the awkwardness, the feeling of who am I, to be telling you about my writing?
I’ll be emailing every week. Every Sunday. I’m sorry, email list, for neglecting you. Let’s reconnect.