|St. Peter's Denial by Rembrandt, 1660 (public domain - Wikipedia)|
I lost some newsletter subscribers this week.
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 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. And not everyone wants or needs to be put to 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 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.