4 min read

Is It Worth Supporting a Writer Who You Enjoy Reading?

If you "are what you eat," what about, "You are what read and therefore think about?"
Is It Worth Supporting a Writer Who You Enjoy Reading?
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

If you’re an email subscriber, you’ve seen a couple of mentions of paid posts or content behind a paywall coming soon.

This is a good thing and I’m going to share with you my reasons for doing so in just a moment.

What I want to do first is to be completely transparent. Many of you reading this have been following me for a long time on different email lists, reading my content on Medium, or listening to my former podcast, Think Queerly. When I look back at my earliest work, some 600 articles and 250 podcast episodes, I shudder a little.

Thank goodness I started, and thank goodness my skills have evolved!

Honestly — and I really dislike starting a sentence with that word; it presumes I haven’t been honest with you until this point — I sometimes want to delete the first few years of my published work because of the many logic, grammar, and spelling errors, and what I would now call “writing immaturity.” But if I hadn’t dared to take those early steps, I would not have the confidence I have today in my writing and podcasting skills. Furthermore, I would not have evolved a style of voice and developed my critical thinking skills.

And in case you think I’m being hubristic, please understand how often I am afraid to hit publish on a new piece of writing, or how long I labour over an article with constant editing, looking for errors or a more elegant way to share my idea and message.

Good writing is hard work but it’s work I love doing.

From my perspective, "good thinking" actually refers to "critical thinking," and I find it to be an even more challenging endeavour.

Of course, I’m not afraid to take a stand that reads like an opinion, but to the best of my ability, I want to present logical reasoning that justifies my point. The struggle I have is how to temper my anger, frustration, and strong opinions about certain topics in a way that allows the reader to feel what I feel — to understand in connection — without the need to attack me in the comments.

For things we want to change in the world, we must first change and evolve.

This process requires critical thinking skills, questioning and contemplating why we believe what we believe, and suspending judgment when faced with an idea or way of thinking that seems untenable.

When you take that moment to be emotionally still and step back from personal opinion and prejudice, you might see logic or clarification about something you didn’t know or realize. In that gap of new awareness is when you can use your logical brain to think through emotionally challenging or reaction-prompting ideas — without being held back by opinion or prejudice.

For these reasons, I invite you to support my work with a paid membership to my blog.

A dialectic is a discussion which requires at least one other person to engage in conversation.

I intend to have those conversations with people who believe enough in my message to support my work and to commune with many of the timeless ideas I write about. Those conversations will be meaningful, engaging, and transformative dialogues that will expand our ways of thinking resulting in the necessary actions for positive change.

Recently, a new paid subscriber posted this on their social media:

“As social platforms pull back on relevant and meaningful posts, I find myself searching for quality content. I am sharing this incredibly poignant and engaging podcast series. Darren Stehle is thoughtful, refreshing, and thorough, and his work is always timely.”

To pay or not to pay? Here’s how you can support my work.

To pay or not to pay? Here’s how you can support Untenable.

How often will I publish?

  1. My goal is to publish content every Monday and Friday.
  2. I intend to keep 75-80% of my posts freely available and not behind the paywall.

What content will be available only behind the paywall?

  1. Articles that I anticipate to be more contentious, dealing with subject matter that stirs core emotions, will likely only be available behind a paywall, as will the ability to comment on those articles. This is how I hope to cultivate dignified, engaging, and respectful communication in the comments.
  2. If you are currently a free email subscriber, for the next month or two, I will email you early access to articles that I will later publish behind the paywall. I want to acknowledge that many of you have been loyal subscribers for a long time and I want to provide you with the opportunity to know what to expect, should you choose to support my work.

As a paid subscriber, what exclusive benefits will I receive?

  1. Full access to subscriber-only articles and podcast episodes;
  2. All comments and archive of all my published content, and;
  3. Coach's Corner Q&A: Ask me a question about something you’re struggling with. I’ll respond with insight into your ideas to help you create emotionally aligned strategies to solve your challenges.
  4. As my blog grows and based on paying subscribers’ feedback, I will offer new content or services behind the paywall to fit the needs of the community.

Should I choose a monthly or an annual subscription?

  1. A monthly subscription is $7 CDN. An annual subscription is only $50 CDN — that’s 40% cheaper, or said another way, you get 5 free months.

I’m not ready to pay for a subscription, but how can I help?

That’s a great question! There are two things you can do for every article you read on Untenable:

  1. Share it on social media to help other people find my work.
  2. Leave me a comment or a question, which helps to increase engagement.

Stay tuned and stay connected for what’s coming.

If you’re reading this and not a free email subscriber, or considering becoming a paid supporter, here is my promise to you:

Take a look back at what I have published on my blog. What you see is what you get. I won’t spam your email or aggressively or unnecessarily sell anything. That would be simply untenable! :-)