A Writer Reclaims the Responsibility to Publish

The work of reclaiming the responsibility to publish has begun.

In the past few weeks I have stared into the deep chasm that exists between my writing and my ownership and organization of said writings. (Also my photos, videos, podcasts, audio clips, et al. but that's another story!)

My writing, is everywhere, and at the same time, nowhere.

Our stories, together, were once the front page of both our feeds; now buried only to be remembered by a reminder of the day that it was published some years ago. That reminder is only for the publisher, though, so the hundreds (thousands?) of stories I've told were unintentionally ephemeral.

All of my life's work – your stories and mine – was someone else's farm. I was their sharecropper.

My estimation is that I've been writing and publishing at least 1,000 words/day and most of it is spread out across 10 or so different channels. Those channels also include private text messages, draft articles and posts stuck (abandoned?) in the queue, and most recently, AI chatbots which they conveniently refer to as my assistant.

For me the strength of a decentralized approach to publishing has been carefully controlling a message to the audience that is connected to me in specific channels. Those channels maintain the interest of the audience, and when my content is served to them, they acknowledge and receive it. It's also been nice not to have to maintain the costs of hosting and general software upkeep. It also scratches my curiosity itch to try new things.

But 15-20 years later now, the weaknesses are more obvious. And painful. I'm grieving for all the stories that will be lost in the dark forest. I yearn to ensure an archive of all that I've ever made in this lifetime exists in an easily accessible place. I imagine my content being a source of an artificial intelligence Dataset so that others may gain a leg up in their efforts to change-make from all my starts, stops, misfires and wins and also all the ideas, tools, resources and frameworks that I've open sourced.

One comparison is similar to how I've physically moved from city to city, and apartment to house to apartment within cities. While each move earned new experiences, opportunities and perspectives, each move bears a deep cost that I'm only aware of now. It's all weighing on me.

Rebuilding, just as I am republishing, is the work I'm doing now.

I share a lot about my life. I'm vulnerable in my story and believe the journey reveals daily bits of wisdom. And when I return to my personal physical journals, I recognize the patterns in my own story. These patterns enable me to make better decisions and try new things – or in most cases, finally go for what I said I was going for.

Here's my new approach to publishing:

I am writing this article on my phone to publish at DavidAll.com. I'll share a summary on my socials and link the article. And at some point in the very near future I'll paywall my content so that my community can gain access to it, but in a way where value is shared.

Let me know how you have been thinking about your own content and the responsibility of publishing.