No, I Won’t Sign Up For Your Email List and I Will Not Create One

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

I just can’t bring myself to start an email list and the reason is because I know well my abilities and weaknesses. I’m old. Eventually we get to know our limits.

I don’t want my own email filled with everybody and their dog’s blog (yes, people really do write blogs from their dog’s point of view), advertising, campaign mail, etc. I’m sure others feel the same about their email.

I can’t bring myself, in good conscience, to ask for my readers’ email. I know that means if Medium stops, I won’t have an audience, but, oh well. I’ve been up stink creek without a paddle many times. Anyway, there’s my social security and state pension, so I won’t starve. Well, not unless Trump completely sinks the government…which could happen.

Every morning I get up and open my email and inwardly groan or maybe I even audibly groan? Yes, I think I actually groan (and moan) out loud.

I once abandoned an email account that had about six-thousand unread emails in it. I just could not keep the damned thing caught up.

At that time I was subscribing to a lot of blogs, belonged to several Yahoo groups, and to various support groups for all that ails me.

Then there were the friendly letters from everybody running for any political office. They all asked me for money. Then their parties wanted money, too. Then they wanted me to take their survey and mark their polls.

I once checked on some life insurance. I should have known better. The spam from the ever-lovin’ insurance companies almost sunk my email boat. Then there were the few important emails to pick out of the pile. It just got to be too much.

I could spend whole days trying to clean out my email. It was especially time consuming since I have ADD and I’d get bogged down by an email from a book club, or a blog that sounded interesting, etc., and never make much progress. More emails would come while I was still trying to get rid of or read the older ones. I’d see things I wanted to “read later,” so I’d leave them.

There were important messages that had to be saved, responded to, or acted upon. The good stuff, combined with all the spam and trash, was taking all my time.

I’d try to clean out my email and I’d stop to read a really good blog. Being as distraction prone as I am, if that blog referred me to another blog, off I’d go to check that out. If there was a book review, I’d take off to Amazon to see if I wanted to buy it. See, I just can’t have a lot of email.

The whole day would pass and I’d still be fiddling around with my email and wherever it might lead me.

I’d promise the next day I was just going to delete it all and start anew. But then I’d see something that sounded amazing and stop and read it.

Finally, I gave up and got a new email account with which I’m being very careful. I make myself clean it out every day and either file, act upon, or trash everything in the inbox. I have to do it or it becomes overwhelming.

My capacity to be distracted from the job at hand is legendary. My husband tells people that we’ll go into a store on a quick mission and he says I’ll stop in my tracks if there’s something shiny between us and the gallon of milk and loaf of bread we came for.

He mocks me and reports that I say, “Oh look! A sparkly!” Then I forget what I came for as I look at whatever caught my eye. That ole man lies. Maybe I get interested in, uh, something, but I do not say, “look, a sparkly.

I went to a home improvement store once to get a gallon of paint to finish a room we were painting and came home with a bathroom chandelier for our old house. I forgot the paint.

So, I’m not getting on anyone’s email list. I come here to Medium every day and read the work of others and I post my diddies here. If Medium shuts the door and takes down the shingle, I have copies, and I’ll do something. Or not. Maybe I’ll write a book instead. Or spend more time looking at shiny things. I’ll manage.

I’m not going to ask you to be on my email list, because I don’t want to be on anyone’s email list, whether they send mail once a day, once a week, or monthly. I’m never going to ask anyone to be on mine. In fact, I don’t even have an email list except for close friends and family.

Not that mail from my writer friends would be junk mail, I’m sure it would be great stuff like what is produced here on Medium. I’d probably read it all. But it would add to the clutter in my mailbox and even excellent and valuable clutter is still clutter. There’s already too much.

So I’m not going to show you mine (email address) and I won’t ask you to show me yours. I just can’t. I’m sorry.

If I could stay focused it would be great to be on other writers’ email lists, but I can’t. As it is I read more than I write and spend most of my time on Medium, reading every piece that interests me.

So, no, I won’t sign up for your email list — no matter how much I love your work.

I don’t have an email list so I won’t be asking you to sign up for mine.

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.

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