Dough, re: me

and you too

California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see;
But believe it or not, you won't find it so hot
If you ain't got the do re mi.

- Woody Guthrie, “Do Re Mi”

What was true in the Great Depression is true today: The situation is not so hot if you ain't got the “do re mi.”

“Do” as in dough, also known as money.

I want this newsletter to be primarily about you, the Substack creators and readers. But I can only afford to make it so if I've got the do re mi.

I feel very lucky compared to many of the people about whom Woody Guthrie was singing. They had to focus on survival. People such as Guthrie and John Steinbeck created on their behalf. I’m in a position to create. Even I must stop creating as much as before, I’ll get by.

To the extent I can create in the long run, I expect to earn a sufficient income eventually from paid subscriptions. Sub Pub's core audience of Substack creators is growing fast.

But it's a relatively niche audience compared to people interested in, say, cryptocurrency (many millions of people).

I have reached a reasonable percentage of my potential audience. Several people are paid subscribers. I anticipate more to follow. This won't happen fast enough.

What to do now?

Maybe I can apply for one of the jobs that Substack is advertising. Or get some other support from Substack.

But few people, relative to all Substack creators, can count on Substack in this way.

Maybe I, and you, can get the do re mi with the N F T.

Some of you have created or acquired NFTs. Some are considering it. Some are dubious. And some don't care.

Just like many people have joined Substack in the past two years, I think many people will have NFTs in the next couple of years. NFT creators and sellers won't all be techies. Buyers will go well beyond rich people, investors, and speculators. There are many people working to bring NFTs to everyone on the web: as images, videos, sounds, and words; as characters or equipment in games; as keys to the metaverse and financial products; and more.

We can't avoid the internet (aka Web 2.0 or Web2) even if we wanted to. And I doubt we'll be able to avoid NFTs and their roles in Web3. Perhaps we should create, sell, buy, and use NFTs now, even if just in preparation.

You, like me, might be looking for the do re mi to sustain the creator’s dream. You might wonder whether NFTs are worth a try.

It might help if I can show that they are.

That’s why I'm working very hard at understanding, explaining, creating, and promoting NFTs.

I'm mainly in the creating and promoting stages now. I hope to get back to you very soon with the most economically satisfying stage: selling.

As with this newsletter, I had to take a step back from preconceived notions about creators and earnings in order to proceed forward. I feel a creator needs to remember why they are creating, whether it's a newsletter or NFTs. If it's mainly for money, the creation won't be genuine. Creating should be for the joy or satisfaction of making something, which people may want. Something intriguing, something useful.

Twiloot and Stackloot NFTs should be useful, if and when people acquire them in sufficient quantities. I'm glad I created them.

I decided I should supplement them with more creative items – not limited by formats or categories, even broad ones. I felt this new collection should consist of items that buyers could appreciate now, whether they bought one or many.

Thus, NFTs of the Absurd.

I won't lengthen this post by explaining them here. I'll just suggest that you take a look.

I'm working on creating, pricing, and promotion. I want these NFTs to be whimsical and meaningful. I don't want to lower the prices too much – except maybe now, to encourage people to start buying. I’ve gotten better at promotion this year; let’s see how quickly I can get up to speed on promoting NFTs.

I'm going to focus on this project this week – next week too, if needed – and hopefully provide a good report to you after that. I might not publish a post until then – now you know why.

If you remain uninterested in NFTs (how can that be? 😉), please know that I intend to return to things you might like more, such as interviews with newsletter creators.

If you have advice or other feedback, feel free to comment, email, or DM.


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