I’m not feeling quite as joyous today as yesterday. As a matter of fact, I’m stuck in the freeze response (ie: fight, flight, or freeze).
Oy, just writing those first two sentences took quite a bit of effort.
Ever since I moved my blog, the WordPress Reader hasn’t sent me any traffic, and it used to send me a fair amount of it. So, I looked into it, and it turns out that if you self-host your site (as I do), WP doesn’t include you in the Reader’s suggested blogs (unless you pay). Well, poop.
I looked into other blogging platforms that might allow me to sync to their communities, and a lot of people suggested Medium. Medium had a plugin that allowed WordPress users to automatically cross-post to them, but they got rid of it about a year ago. Now, they suggest that if you want to cross-post, then you must manually copy and paste your post and set up a canonical link, and blah, blah, blah, and basically, they made it a huge pain in the ass. Also, Medium has one of the least intuitive interfaces I have ever used. It’s beyond frustrating.
So, I cross-posted to Medium yesterday, and then I went into a minor panic. It was a teacup-sized panic, but it was there.
Why? Because I don’t need it to blog, so anything I post over there is blatant self-promotion, and in my childhood, asking for attention was a bad, bad thing to do. I won’t get into all of the details of it, but I grew up in a weird Catch-22 where asking for love was the surest way to have love denied.
I guess you could argue that any blog post is blatant self-promotion, but I think most long-term bloggers would agree that it’s connection and communication. Actually, when I think about it, the distinction between self-promotion and connection on the internet is mostly a matter of perspective.
Regardless, when I was little, I was taught that my attempts at connection were attention-seeking and that it was a bad, bad way to be. That’s why I needed the anonymity of the early ’90s internet to create any sort of authentic connection with anyone.
Furthermore, Medium’s gimmick is that the writing is supposed to be good. I guess it’s curated in some way? What is the standard? Does that mean an author can only submit researched articles or educational posts? Does every post have to have a beginning, middle, and end? Did they remove the easy cross-post plugin because too many bad WP posts were cropping up on Medium?
So, unless I’m writing something worthy of a Pulitzer on Medium, I’m always going to feel like I’m breaking the rules, and I hate breaking the rules. This is mostly because I’m so tired of being ostracized for my inability to conform, which is another big can of worms I’ll avoid discussing for now.
I panicked because I broke the rules to get attention. As far as my nervous system was concerned, I may as well have stuck my hands into a tank of electric eels. I went to bed last night half-expecting Medium goons to show up at my door to let me know what a criminal jerk I am.
It took me a long time to understand why I was so uncomfortable with something as inconsequential as a cross-post. Once I figured it out, I was able to process some of those feelings. I am feeling better now—I went to Starbucks to get myself a soymilk hot cocoa. Sometimes we need some sweet frothy comfort in a cup to soothe our nerves.
Maybe it’s obvious, but I’m not planning to cross-post this entry on Medium.