Hey there. Welcome to Very Online!
If you’re reading this, it means you have agreed to support my latest adventure in online bandwagon-jumping. Either you’re a close friend and subscribed to this newsletter because I asked you to; or you’re a total stranger who ended up here via my website or social media posts, and subscribed because you’re curious or bored or gossipy or stalking/lurking.
Whatever your reason, I’m sure you have questions.
#1: You made a newsletter? Why?
Yes, I know this newsletter could become just another “Unread” item in your inbox. But hear me out.
I want to keep in touch and reconnect with people – but without the endless noise, bragging/flexing, and general idiocy on social media.
I also love that I can allow or ban comments here. That means there won’t be any toxic random folks spewing fake news, supporting murderous dictator families, red-tagging people who dare have different opinions… Should I go on?
Plus I hate video calls, and I’m not that into attending online events via Facebook Live.
Look, I hate people in general, OK? #sorrynotsorry
It’s also about choice. On social media, we’re pressured to keep some people we don’t like as online friends; and it’s a hassle to make separate friend groups or mute and unfollow and block. With email newsletters, I can choose what to write about and how, then leave it as it is. The same goes for you: you can choose to subscribe, read or unsubscribe without stressing out about it or hurting my feelings.
Second, I’m currently on an extended work break save a few book-editing projects. This not-a-vacation is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also several serious and ongoing health issues. That’s a long time spent lying low, especially in freelance and remote work. In my industry, taking time off, even for just a few weeks, can cost you dearly. And I’m not just talking about money.
In the meantime, and in between personal projects, I want to upskill and try out new things. I haven’t created or maintained a newsletter before, so maybe now’s the right time.
Personal newsletters can also help me with writing and self-promotion when my writing skills are rusty and I’m super-averse to self-promotion.
#2: Why name it Very Online?
Because I’m online a lot. Like, a lot.
I mostly write for digital publications now, because print is dying a very slow death in the Philippines. I secure work and side projects online. My portfolio’s online; and I keep a blog about books, creative writing, book publishing, and book editing.
My online life isn’t just for work. I use social media all the time and stream plenty of TV shows and movies per month. And (no) thanks to COVID-19, everything else has gone online too – from classes and workshops/seminars to reunions, weddings, “e-numans” or online drinking sessions, and even travel and home tours.
Basically, I don’t know what to do with myself if/when I’m offline. I draw the line at TikTok, though.
#3: What’s this newsletter about?
Right now, I’m thinking it can be a monthly or twice-monthly thing about a bunch of things. Like lists of longform articles and videos I like a lot, observations on the digital life and economy, and some important life and work updates.
Maybe it can also show excerpts of works in progress – like a nonfiction/essay collection I have been working on since 2019, and a science-fiction novel I originally wrote in 2017 as a (hilariously melodramatic) full-length screenplay.
TL;DR: It’s about whatever I want it to be, whenever I feel like it. Just like a blog, only it goes straight to your email inbox for that one-on-one feel.
#4: What will it cost me?
Nothing! It’s 100% free. Maybe you’ll get annoyed and unsubscribe, in which case I would take just a slice of your patience and time.