I’ve successfully migrated my official author newsletter from Substack to Buttondown. Effective immediately, Everything Is True is no longer hosted on Substack and my Substack account has been deleted.
If you have paid any attention to the news of the last few days, then you already know why I did this. (I have also deleted my X account and my author page on Facebook, while I’m at it, not because they had anything to do with Substack’s mess, because life is too short to enter 2024 still desultorily engaging with moribund platforms that have been enshittified to the point of unusability.)
This is also no longer a paid newsletter. Everything in it is free. I have refunded everyone who was still in the middle of a paid subscription. More on that later.
You can subscribe to it here, if you feel so inclined.
How I feel about Substack right now
I first joined Substack right before the first big waves of authors who left the platform, on account of how it was platforming TERFs. And I was like, ugggh. And I didn’t leave.
Why didn’t I leave? Partly, I didn’t believe there was going to be any platform, ever, that didn’t have TERFs. Leaving every platform that had them felt like ceding too much ground. Partly, I liked Substack’s features; they’re still among the best in the business.
But also: I think I am a tiny bit more of a freeze peacher than most queer and trans people. It’s not that I don’t believe speech can be harmful – obviously it can, and if I didn’t think so, or if I thought all speech should be exempt from criticism, then I wouldn’t have started writing all these autistic book reviews! It’s just that I have been around here for a while, and I have watched an exhausting number of queer and trans authors get cancelled for the stupidest reasons. I have watched, sometimes, as right-wing bigots intentionally start campaigns to get them cancelled and the left-wing queer community eagerly picks up on it, because right-wing bigots are not stupid, and they know how to hold our favorite shibboleths and buzzwords against us. It is not lost on me that the current campaigns of hate against trans people revolve around framing our existence as harmful – as child grooming, for instance – and insisting that we shouldn’t be heard or seen for that reason. This aspect of things is only going to get worse.
So I dared to think that maybe, a platform that offers useful tools to any author, even if people are loudly insisting that author’s speech is harmful – even if it is harmful – might be a net good for trans authors.
Turns out I was hilariously wrong about that. And that’s on me. And even I am not enough of a freeze peacher to be okay with actual fucking Nazis.
So here we are. And I’m angry with myself for staying this long. I’ve been told that it’s too easy for me to direct anger like this at myself – as opposed to, like, at the actual Nazis. Nonetheless, “angry with myself” is where I’m at, and it’s not going away anytime soon, so I think I need to sit with it and figure out what to do with it constructively.
(“Why did I stay in this toxic situation?” is also a big theme in RESURRECTIONS, so…)
But what about the 12 Days of RESURRECTIONS?
The 12 Days of RESURRECTIONS event was always being held on multiple platforms at once. If you’re on Bluesky or Dreamwidth, you’ll be able to keep participating without an interruption.
For those of you who were depending on Substack, I think I’ve handled every interaction that I needed to handle, except for one (1) microfiction prompt that was being saved for tomorrow. There are some things, like cat pictures, that I was waiting to post on Substack until the end of the event (although Bluesky and Dreamwidth will get them faster); these will be posted on Buttondown instead, and the one (1) outstanding piece of microfiction will be posted along with them.
I’m going to keep posting most of the regular features that I was putting on Everything Is True – book reviews (though I’m woefully behind on those after Barcelona and the book launch), Things I’ve Been Reading, general author updates and announcements. (I owe you a Year In Review very soon!) Some of these will be in the newsletter, and some – as Autistic Book Party already was – will be posted on my WordPress blog and linked in the newsletter.
What’s changing is my essays and other nonfiction. These are not going completely away, but they are going to come out less often, and when they do come out, they will be for everyone. They will not be behind a paywall.
For reasons that are more complicated and harder to articulate than “because there are Nazis,” I’ve been feeling disillusioned lately with the paid newsletter model. It hasn’t been sitting fully right with me. Look, I have an honest to God middle class dayjob that I mostly enjoy, okay? I don’t actually have a burning need for the modest amount of money that Substack was earning me. I have a very lovely, if small, group of fans; but most fans do not, in fact, have $5 a month to give separately and piecemeal to every single author they enjoy, nor should that be a fan’s responsibility when they’ve already done us the favor of buying our books. Even I with my middle class income don’t have that much to give to every author I like, and I’m tired of it, frankly. You haven’t seen the last of my essays, but I think I’m going to go back to writing them when I feel like it, and asking for nothing in return.
Thank you for bearing with me through this fairly sudden transition. We live in some interesting times.