I write a lot. But you wouldn’t know it by my public web presence, since 95% of my writing lives in my private files, and I spend minimal time on social media.
I have three long-term writing projects, each with its own public newsletter. Still, I keep a fairly low profile with all of them.
To reduce the sources of friction that keep me from writing more in public, however, I’m starting a new experiment. I call it a digital incubation space.
A digital incubation space is a relaxed place to write in public without regard to monetization potential, subject matter boundaries, consistency, social media algorithms, audience-building, copy editing perfection, or any factor other than enjoyment of the creative process itself.
A digital incubation space is restful. Uncluttered. Restorative. Liminal. Curiosity-driven. It’s a place to let ideas gestate and ripen.
It’s accepting. There’s no need to impress anyone. No need to try to be something you’re not.
It’s kind of like a nest, or a cozy blanket fort. It invites you in, and there’s a sense of having ample time and safety to explore, imagine, dream, and meander.
A digital incubation space is not quite the same as a blog, wiki, social media feed, journal, newsletter, second brain, or even a digital garden.
A digital incubation space has nothing to do with “content,” business, promotion, education, professional goals, or the “creator economy.”
It’s a retreat from information firehoses, constant context-switching, optimizing for followers/page views, and other digital drags on attention.
The idea is simple: to see if writing in public can become enjoyable again for its own sake. Intrinsic motivation only.
I’ll use A Digital Incubation Space to put more unpolished thoughts out there into the world, but only when I’m enjoying the writing for its own sake, rather than as a means to any particular end.
Let’s see what emerges.
[Ed. note: Originally I started A Digital Incubation Space as a sub-category of a separate Substack newsletter, thinking it would help me avoid the friction of starting yet another online space to track... but somehow that decision actually introduced more friction, which thwarted my intent to write in public more often. The incubation space needed a fresh slate. I'm a web3 nerd who recently joined the Farcaster ecosystem, and I'm quite happy there, so I migrated it to Paragraph. Henceforth it shall live here in its own stand-alone space.]
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash