Writing online is scary. I remember my high school AP English courses. I would turn in a writing assignment and pray that Mrs. Bernstein would not torture me by choosing my essay as a personal example of what NOT to do.
I feel the same way about posting essays online. It’s even scarier broadcasting to the faceless hoards on the internet. You sit there waiting for the chirping crickets of silence or the flood of opinions.
I took a writing course that focused on publishing essays to Twitter every day. That was maddeningly anxiety-inducing for an introvert like myself. I understand that the only way to connect with others is to put myself out there, but Twitter sometimes feels impersonal. It’s like that scene from Garden State where they shout into the void.
But then I took another writing course that focused on the idea of building a “public to private bridge,” and I fell in love with this concept. The idea is that we can control and curate our private world. We own the content on our website. We can hit send on a personal newsletter as often as we feel necessary. Audience building starts by interacting in the public sphere (Twitter, social) and bridging over to your private domain. Then you can encourage more interactivity and personal conversations. Finally, readers can contact you through your website or hit reply on a newsletter.
This bridging process starts by personally inviting friends and family to join your newsletter. Then, you get to curate the readers that you want to interact with. For example, I would rather have a handful of good friends/family interacting with my articles than thousands of faceless strangers.