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I’ve got to admit, I’m pretty terrified at the moment. Things have changed so much for me that I am at a complete loss for what to do. If you read my recent Patreon post, then you have a little bit of an idea what’s going on. Basically, I lost my faith after 25 years, and I’m trying to figure out where to go from here.
If you know me at all, then you know that I used to be basically an op-ed writer. I wrote opinion pieces based on current events and what was going on in my life. The purpose was to get people thinking, and hopefully making changes that would be better for their personal lives, and possibly for society at large. I stopped doing that when Associated Press and Bubblews shut down and I couldn’t get paid for it anymore. I turned to my own blog. I did the same type of work for a while, but then I narrowed in on a niche, because research indicated that it was the “right” thing to do. It was hard, but I did my best. Over time, it got harder. Partly because I didn’t have the variety of things to talk about, and largely because Google is a bunch of assholes.
You see, Google has slowly but surely been forcing people to conform their writing to certain standards in order to show up in results. They’ve been controlling us all, making us write what they want, how they want it. People who wrote in the “Your Money Your Life” category got smacked down hard a few years ago. (Basically any kind of lifestyle blog or anything about alternative faith and healing got hit.) Google was clearly saying that they didn’t want to see non-mainstream content. I kept up Pagan blogging anyway. Then they wanted everything made mobile. I acquiesced. They wanted headers and bullet points for the TL;DR crowd. I tried, but that was pretty much the end for me. I couldn’t butcher my writing like that.
Google’s constant bullshit made writing so hellish for me. It ruined my flow. Niche writing was a pain in the ass too. I felt like I was selling out, only writing what I thought the audience might want, but not what was meaningful to me. Then the realization came a couple months ago that I wasn’t Pagan anymore. Indeed, I’m an atheist, and I might actually be a modern Satanist. I know, shocking, right? Not really if you know me, but that’s a story for another post. Anyway, all of this led to me not writing books, and not writing on the blog. Everything dried up, including part of my soul. I’m a writer, a teller of things people don’t want to hear, someone who shines a light on the dark places and makes you think and feel. But all that was shut down. A huge part of me was gone.
Now… Now I’m trying to figure out how to recover, how to find myself again. Trying to figure out how to shift from an all-Pagan career to something else is a hell of a task. If you’ve got any ideas on how to handle it, I’m all ears. Right now I’m just trying to move forward. I have no idea what to do with all the Pagan content. It’s good, and it could still be useful to believers, it’s just not useful to me anymore. I’m toying with the idea of moving a chunk of the content off to a free WordPress blog, but I think I need more new content here first. It’s obviously going to be messy for a while, but life is messy, isn’t it?
As for how much I’ll be blogging, I don’t know. Possibly too much. I’ve got a lot stored up inside me that I wanted to say, but didn’t because it wouldn’t fit. And seriously, 2020 has given us all a lot to talk and think about! Some days I may write a shitload of posts. Some days I may write none. I don’t know. If I think I’m getting too inspired, I’ll try to schedule the posts out so they don’t flood folks who are subscribed to follow.
As for the Google thing? Fuck Google. Seriously. I can’t even deal with that anymore. They already hate this site, so fuck it. I’m doing what I want now. I’m writing in the style I like: I’m going to use multi-syllabic terminology, I’m going to have sentences with more than seven words, I’m going to have paragraphs with more than three sentences. I’m going to have long posts, and short posts, justified content, and I’m not going to do skimmable headers or bullet points unless I think there’s a damn good reason to. If my readability score says the content is too hard to read, good. I want to attract intelligent readers. I know damn well that Google is shifting to become an answer engine, and they want answer-based content, and I know that they can kiss my ass. At this point I feel like it’s my duty to give a big middle finger to the G machine, and do what I want, what plenty of my past readers said they wanted, instead of what the Big G wants.
As for topics… dude, it’s going to be all over the place. I’m probably going to start off talking about my transition away from Paganism though. I know that in the past, me sharing my trials and tribulations, talking about things that most people hide, really engaged readers. It helped them to feel like they weren’t alone. I’m sure I can’t be the first person to have a major shift in faith that affected their job, and I won’t be the last. Maybe talking about it will help someone. At the very least, it’ll help me. I haven’t had anyone to talk to about all of this, so I may as well just spill my heart to strangers and see what comes of it. It’ll be free therapy at worst, and a rejuvenation of the blog and my reader base at best. For all I know, going back to my roots and doing what once gained me a rabid following, may be exactly what it takes to turn my life around, both emotionally and financially.
Whatever happens, I hope you stick around. I know that I’m probably going to lose some, if not all of my Pagan readers, because I’m no longer one of them. Hopefully some will stick around, and new readers will take the place of those who leave. As a side note to all the Pagans and witches out there: Me losing belief doesn’t change how I feel about those who still have it. I’m cool with other people having faith. I still like witch jokes and crystals and black cats. I still love my witchy and Pagan friends. Becoming an atheist is going to change what I do for a living, but it’s not going to change who my friends are. Unless people turn on me because I don’t fit in their club anymore, not much is going to change as far as what I think of and how I treat other people.
Anyway, here’s to an interesting new chapter!