Íse Murphy

The importance of record keeping and choosing your platform

As you certainly will not know, I have been writing blogs for almost ten years. Do I have any proof of this? I do not. For I have deleted them all. Why?, I hear you not ask, well I never felt comfortable with the name, the platform, you name it. All I wanted to do was write but I found myself instead worrying about being judged, rejected, subscriber numbers, aesthetics, and the time it took to load a page on Wordpress.


I began, like most of us, on Wordpress. After growing disillusioned with it and the years it took to rectify margins, I transitioned to Medium. Medium promised me the world, money and followers. It encouraged me to write often and with hooks. It spat out posts by writers claiming they made their first million on Medium.

It was the worst writing of my life.

To this day when I sometimes review my exported Medium posts, I recoil in disgust at how its ecosystem influenced me to write like an utter gobshite.

I felt disheartened and a failure as a budding writer, unable to find a voice in the echoey chasm of possibly the world's worst writing. This is where I discovered Ghost and its beautiful soul lead approach to publishing. I loved Ghost. I still love Ghost, but I wasn't making money to be able to pay the yearly fee. What was hard for me was when I logged in to Ghost dashboard, the first thing I see was the giant ZERO DOLLAR next to the membership count.

It didn't help my creative writing. Instead, I found myself seeking ways of growing subscribers and being seen, rather than writing for the pure enjoyment of it. So I turned to Substack, where I felt freer to write without the pressure of making money, as it was free to host, and because of their social structure, I thought it would be easier to connect with others.

I was wrong. Once again, this platform was set up with the goal of turning on paid subscriptions for people to sign up to. There is a home page with other writers, a twitter-like feed with thoughts and opinions, and although I found some great posts to read, I found myself once again feeling worthless because I had few subscribers, no money and no one reacting to my work.

I began to observe a common theme arising between these platforms, the inevitable creeping in of comparison. I also wasn't able to write without distraction because I would have to access the platform to publish, and then lose all focus on what I was creating because of the visuals of numbers, metrics and seemingly everyone else being successful and making money with a gorgeous community except me.

About a year ago I fell on to Derek Sivers website and I immediately loved his perspective, approach, values and how to show up on the internet. I even emailed him, and he replied. Cool.

It was through Derek that I found Bear Blog as in his latest email he encouraged his subscribers to craft their own home on the internet, to remind the world that humans still exist on here I guess.

So from 2015 to 2024 I found my way to Bear Blog, and after some research on the Discovery page and Herman's own site, I decided to set up my own. One thing I like about Herman's approach is for the sites to be here forever, as for me, record keeping is important and I lament the little evidence I have of the evolution of my writing online due to deleting every blog I had.

Record keeping allows us to reflect on how far we have (or have not) come, it provides a new lens to consider the past perhaps in a more positive (or negative) light. It allows for new insight to a situation we may have perceived a certain way. For me it shows me that I am doing my best and that it's okay to make a mess, for I am human. Record keeping has taught me compassion for the person I was, and the person I am now.

Facilitating record keeping is therefore an important role and without the correct structure, it is difficult to keep records in a format that is simple, accurate and easy to access in the future. Herman is doing this. In 2024 I believe it is even more important as The Dead Internet Theory becomes a reality and we're losing our minds and souls to social media, clickbait and bots.

We need real writing by real people sharing real experience.

I have also deeply struggled with social media over the years, and have deleted, recreated, and deleted again more accounts than I am willing to share with you. In 2020 I deleted LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp and it was magical. Slowly however, Instagram and LinkedIn creeped back in, with Instagram being the painful time absorbing, mind vomiting habit I battled with.

Last week I disabled it, again. My mind has calmed. I do not want to return.

What I believe my body is alerting me to, through headaches, anxiety, nausea and judgemental thoughts, is the fact there are platforms which support my writing and platforms which inhibit it. Writing, for me, is meant to be an enjoyable expression of my life experience. It is for me to enjoy and share with you. It's not for me to beat myself over the head with because I didn't get any views, subscriptions, likes or comments.

Choosing your platform is perhaps more important than we may initially realise as it will either help or hinder your experience of sharing who you are online. As the world begins to wake up to the fact that walking over our needs for someone else's isn't actually that loving, we need to demonstrate individual decision making and that it's OK to not be like everyone, spending time doom scrolling promoted posts, unknowingly being influenced by algorithms.

It's important to support the indie creators, the humans with good intentions, the ones who know no other way than to follow their heart. These small decisions make a big difference as we demonstrate a break away from systems wildly out of balance.

I am glad to have found a new home here, and finally feel the peace I need to write what comes up and share with you, from my heart, and nowhere else.

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#awareness #reflection #writing