Stephen Newman

Fake News: Nobody Reads My Blogs! By Stephen Newman

I began contribuiting to Inmate Blogger on January 6th, 2018. If you do the math, it’s been about three months. I’ve posted close to 70 blogs, on a variety of subjects.

This month, I was convinced that nobody was actually reading my blogs. I likened it to when I was married, when I could say anything to my wife, and she wouldn’t pay attention. “I’m going to turn gay, join the circus, and artificially inseminate elephants in Pakistan, baby.”

“Oh, that’s good, baby….that’s exciting,” she would say nonchalantly, reading her newspaper, having no clue (I hope) what I had just said. (Jennifer, if you’re reading this and you actually did hear me, kudos to you! You had me fooled!).

So I wondered — were all of my blogs just going out into some big black hole in cyberspace? Or worse, what if people…perhaps lots of people…WERE reading, but they found my blogs so boring, they simply didn’t care. Nobody had written me, nobody had signed up on JPay to comment on any of my blogs, nobody besides Anja had ranked my blogs on InmateBlogger (and she only does it because it’s one of her duties as a girlfriend). Perhaps I needed to change tactics? To write about different topics? As a marketing guy, I was fixated on what I was doing wrong.

Then, one day in late March, everything changed. I received my first fan letter! It was a welcome surprise, and most unexpected. It came from a man named Tiago. He’s a Catholic Missionary in Brazil, and the postcard he sent me was stamped in Sao Paulo. He runs a blog of his own, TiagosMissionTales, and he said that he enjoys my posts on InmateBlogger. He encourged me to keep writing and keep sharing.

He didn’t leave a return address, so I am unable to write him back, but I wanted to use this space to publicly thank him. Thank you, Tiago. Thank you for caring enough to say hello, to send a postcard. Something so simple can really lift an inmate’s spirits.

For everyone else, maybe you don’t want to write me. That’s fine. I won’t take it personal. But if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that someone special in your life is incarcerated. A friend, a lover, an ex-husband, a family member. And if so, I challenge you to take a few minutes today (not tomorrow, not when you have time next week, but today….right now) and send them a postcard. You don’t have to send a long letter, just a little postcard. Let them know you’re thinking of them. Let them know you haven’t forgotten them. If you have no incarecerated friends, pick your favorite blogger here and write them a quick postcard. It will brighten his or her day.

People are important in our lives. Without people, without friendships, without love, we truly have nothing. So I encourage you all to write to the person who means the most to you. Perhaps to you, it’s just a silly postcard. But to them, it could be life-changing. Every ounce of kindness in here goes a long way.

Believe in good karma. Be kind to others and that kindness will be returned.

Or don’t. As Kacey Musgraves says, “Just follow your arrow wherever it points.”

Stephen Newman
DOC #90843

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22 replies »

  1. I know no one that is incarcerated but I still read these blogs. As far as writing goes? There is no instructions for this that I have seen thus far

    Like

  2. I love reading your writing. But I was confused for a while- I thought that you could read the comments that we posted on here. I know now that you can’t! But I don’t think everyone knows this, so rather than write to you, they think you can communicate via the comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I first saw Steve and Suzie’s Inmate Blogger heading, I was enamored for them, as it is a miserable time behind bars, for sure.
    When I went through my incarceration, I had come from a privileged…financially, lifestyle, with the DA’s hopes of making this white collar criminal ‘pay’ for his crimes. And it did cost me, over $300,000.00 just to find a judge who would hear my case prior to a 365 day arraignment period in Louisiana. Praise God for all the one day arraignment states. Then the 10 dayers, and lastly for the 90 dayers.
    But it was Tiago who first responded to me for taking the time to read these blogs, and respond.
    It’s only been a few days that I have had to see some of the introductions, and on everyone I read, I respond; sometimes perhaps, too critically. But I think this is your chance to get some things right…like reading and writing.

    For you Stephen, as for myself, we have talents which make us desirable in the world of commerce, as I too have been in marketing all my life. However I was under the impression that you can see these responses anytime you want. I have not joined J Pal or any other organization which can solicit monies. And I am always a day away from homelessness with the fears that anything taken from me will put me back where I do not want to be. On the streets. Your writing is (this blog) performance oriented, meaning, you have good control of your vocabulary and grammar. It is uncommon amongst inmates. Even a postcard would cost a dollar, and stamps are 45 cents I think. I was writing to my grand niece who was at Tooele in UT before she got out a month ago, and am currently out of stationary and stamps. My life sucks, except that I am free to become homeless if I so choose. Something you can’t quite do yet.
    I hope this finds you in better spirits, and God’s blessing fall upon you. Good luck.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I think letter writing and post card sending are a lost art. I’ve recently taken it up again because since I was a kid I have loved writing letters. I had pen pals, and because of the transient nature of my upbringing I had friends and family all over the country…most I lost contact with as my mail was being sorted by control freak parents. But I remember doing it and being excited to get a letter.

    Unlike you I am not incarcerated, but growing up the way I did…you’re right every bit of kindness matters and can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Those letters were my lifeline.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. So I just clicked on JPay. Honestly, when I initially saw “pay” I decided not to click on it…ever! I don’t want to pay anyone another red cent if I don’t have to. I just started following “Inmate Blogger” a few days ago. In all fairness, there’s A LOT of posts by so many different people under this one name. I read some, not all, and I respond to some. I think it can be a little confusing. But we are reading and commenting, but probably more on here, than going to “JPay.” Keep blogging though.

    Liked by 4 people

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