This page is now going to be a stream of updates about how my thoughts on what to do with this substack are evolving.
From the oldest to the most recent.
This is where I was at when I created this in 2020, how I was thinking in late 2021, and where my head is at November 2022.
Sometime in 2020:
“Okay, another substack. So, what is this one about?”
I’m not sure, but I’ll tell you how I got here.
In April 2020, I started a substack because everyone was starting one.
Peer pressure is not new to me.
In 2010, I started a Blogspot because my friend had one. Then I moved to WordPress in 2012 — where I found my first audience — because everyone said it was better. Everyone was right. By the next year, someone on the Internet convinced me to try writing stories.
So I started a daily flash fiction challenge: write a 300-word story every day for 300 days. I started it because I saw someone else’s. That person finished, but I didn’t even make it halfway through mine. It was enough to convince an editor to hire me at my first writing job. This was in 2015. That year, I found something else, Medium. Everyone said the writing experience is great. Everyone is right.
“This doesn’t explain what this substack is about, still”
Hear me out. Between 2010 and now, I’ve learned so much about how writing and all content travel across the Internet. I especially understand the power of creating around niches and specific interests.
This is my problem; I have too many interests. I like food, how it’s made, and where it comes from. I’m curious about history and the small things that have shaped the present. I learn about cities, culture, and the people that shape them. I’m learning about people, the things that make them tick, and the media that captures them. I’m learning about money, and how it moves; class structures and how they’re defined.
Instead of spending months thinking about what niche to write about, I’ll figure it out what to write about here.
There’s a format for this approach — it’s called the essay.
I once read an essay about the essays; it describes them as an attempt to understand.
The essay is in itself, an exercise in curiosity and self-revelation.
The next time you return here, this page might be different.
Imagine you’re on your knees crawling into a rabbit hole. In real life, there’s no way the distance between your shoulders will fit — most rabbit holes are two inches wide. This is not real life.
You wriggle in, there are burrows in more than one direction, but you follow one. You follow it till the end. Whatever you find, you grab and crawl out with.
This is what this exercise is; crawling in, and coming back out with whatever I find. And sharing with you.
This is a 1.0, and I look forward to seeing where it leads. I also hope you subscribe. If I didn’t want anyone reading it, I’d have put it in my journal.
November 11, 2021:
My brain caught a wave:
I’m currently thinking a lot about the idea of writing here more frequently, but it’s going to require a lot of time and resources that I don’t yet have the luxury of.
Nevertheless, I’d like you to take me up on it.
Now more than ever, I have a good sense of the types of stories I’m interested in exploring:
I like to make a big deal of small stories.
Everyone feels ordinary until they tell you about their lives. You look beneath the mundane and find all the colour and magnificence. Whether it’s an ex-con trying to navigate life and find his own second chance, or a small team inside a unicorn shipping a new product in the middle of a pandemic.
It’s why, when the floods across Nigeria first began, I knew that a story I’d love to explore from the floods was away from the headlines, to the grounds. And this is why, for the first time ever, another writer is publishing on Vistanium.
I’m going to continue to explore collaborations like this from everywhere. Who knows where it’ll go?
Okay, let me know what you think here. Go read a story while you wait for the next update.