On Losing Subscribers

Resonance beats reach.

I lost some newsletter subscribers recently.

Not in any kind of tragic accident or anything—that would be terrible.

No, I mean they unsubscribed when I sent my weekly newsletter.

It’s not like this is an abnormal event; they didn’t subscribe in any huge numbers to make me wonder what happened. It’s something that occurs every week after I hit that "publish" button.

And you know what? It really doesn’t bother me—for a couple of reasons.

The first reason can be explained with a simple formula: 

Attraction > Attrition

That is, I can count on seeing a net positive every week, as I attract more subscribers than I shed.

The second reason is I know there will always be people who don’t agree with me, or for whom my writing isn’t relevant. And that’s okay.

I’m an acquired taste. In a sea of fast food, I recognize that my offerings sometimes equate to more of something like a seven-course meal. There’s certainly more to digest, and it’s richer—that is, it makes people think.

Not everyone wants or needs to be put through that kind of ordeal right now. I can respect that.

I don’t look at my stats regularly; I’ve turned off email updates from my newsletter host. I keep writing because I’m writing for me (partially). But also because I know there are people (like you) who enjoy what I write.

But I don’t mind debate and disagreement either. In fact, I’m glad to hear from people who tell me I’m off base, because it helps me hone my thinking. I might push back, or I might sit with the criticism and rethink my position, and that helps me become a better writer.

It helps me fine-tune what I do the next time, and the time after that.

I guess what I’m saying is when I lose subscribers, I gain focus.

Also: I’m glad you’re still here.

Thanks, and I’ll see you on the internet.