• Richie Crowley

The Permission Opening My Own Publication Gave Me

I was being so foolish. Chasing down editor egos, delaying newsletters until a 5-minute story had been accepted and published alongside 12 other pieces that day.

I feel free.

Fan of him, or not, Joaquin Phoenix is a person to listen to when he speaks. Recently, his words have been admirable.

In discovering Phoenix more, I found an episode of 60-Minutes that he appeared on, and wrote down this response of his.

“There is something liberating about public humiliation.” — Joaquin Phoenix

Is he instructing me to embarrass myself publicly?


He’s addressing expectations and fulfillment, responding to the artist's dilemma of creating for yourself or for others, and repurposing shame into a personal strength.

So you have a massive public fail? Shake it off, and keep going, is kinda what he’s saying.

In Untamed by Glennon Doyle, she writes

“Rebellion is as much of a cage as obedience is. They both mean living in reaction to someone else’s way instead of forging your own. Freedom is not being for or against an ideal, but creating your own existence from scratch.” -Glennon Doyle

Woah, this quote hit me.

You see by handcuffing myself to publications, I was existing in a cage of obedience.

Then, when I published the benefits of self-publishing I was still writing from a cage, as my rebellion was being dictated by the actions of publication managers. Or, the actions lack thereof.

Channeling Doyle, I opened my own publication in an effort to create my own existence from scratch.

In a letter to Medium members sent moments after they sign up, CEO Ev Williams writes:

“120 million people read on Medium every month and over 20,000 times today someone will publish on Medium to share a story, an idea, or a perspective with the world. Each one has a chance to influence others, plant a seed, perhaps even start a movement. Medium is creating not just technology, and not just content, but a new information ecosystem — one that is open for everyone to participate in, but without submitting to the lowest-common-denominator.” — Ev Willliams

One that is open for everyone to participate in.

How had I missed this when I signed up in early 2019?

Why was I being so foolish, chasing down editor egos, delaying newsletters and life until a 5-minute story had been accepted and published alongside 12 other pieces that day?

I am a writer and recently I’ve felt like a marketer.

Since opening my own publication, I’ve been able to be a writer again.

I’ve found my voice again.

There is an energy present here again.

Maybe you call tell.

Or, maybe I just had too many sips of Green tea this morning…


And maybe this advice is premature. See, I’ve been fortunate that the work I’ve put into my writing over the past 2 years has grown me an audience on and off Medium.

But, I gotta say maintaining the sovereignty over my work, being able to backlink as many stories as I want, and including my newsletter and social links again feels good.

Opening my own publication gave me permission to be completely myself.

It’s my journal. It’s my diary. And, it’s completely public.

Every grammar error and typo you see is mine.

But so is every word that makes you feel, something.

Richie. Human.

The difference between Seth Godin, The Morning Brew, and me? I respect your inbox, curating only one newsletter per month — Join my behind-the-words monthly newsletter to feel what it’s like to receive a respectful newsletter.