Lucky Number Seven
I didn’t really announce it or make a big deal of it, but as a brand new Medium writer still finding my way around (and finding things pretty baffling at times), I have been reading all that I can about writing on Medium (and boy are there a lot of stories about writing on Medium) and trying to figure out how or if this site works for me.
To that end, I set a personal goal to write one post a day for seven days in a row. Hardly an original concept, but it seemed challenging enough.
After running a blog for many years, I knew I could do it. Back in the early days of my blog (blog.karenfayeth.com for reference) I wrote a post a day on every weekday and took the weekends off. I did that for many, many years, so I knew that seven days in a row wouldn’t be so hard, but also not so easy.
Getting back into the daily grind, I found myself a bit rusty, but the muscle memory is there.
Now on this seventh day, herewith is my own Medium article to add to the stack.
Seven things that Seven Days taught me about writing on Medium:
1) There are a lot of articles about writing on Medium and the most frequent piece of advice is to write every day.
But there are plenty of articles saying you don’t have to write every day.
And it’s confusing.
The truth is, both are right and both are wrong. I think the key to making sure this place doesn’t make you crazy is finding the right balance for you and then not worrying about defending it. Do the pace that suits and tune out the noise.
2) There are a lot of articles about writing on Medium where the writer will tell you how much money they are making. And it’s tantalizing. “If they can do it, why can’t I?”
Those articles are poison to a mind like mine. That FOMO or fear of missing out is real and it isn’t good for my psyche. It fosters competitive nature, it pokes at feelings of insecurity, and if you are even mildly obsessive, it isn’t healthy. For me, I mean. Your mileage may vary.
If you are like me and would like a bit of a sanity check, I’ve been here three months and my highest earning month is $7.
Dang if I’m not happy as a lamb about all seven of those dollars. I’m being paid to write!
As a writer, I have published over 20 short stories in respectable journals, and few paid even a copy of the printed book. So making seven dollars? Whee-hooo! I made my subscription fee back plus two more dollars!
In other words, you don’t have to make thousands a month to still have fun here. And for me, once writing stops being fun my creativity flatlines.
3) There are a whole lot of people writing a whole lot of words, not all of them are quality.
I respect and admire the writers chunking out two and three stories a day. Holy hell, that’s incredible. But it also means there is a sacrifice in quality. There has to be.
If you are a bit of a perfectionist as I tend to be, that is a tradeoff to consider.
Push more work, get more views, make more money, but also know you may not be pushing cleanly edited or your best work.
Push less work, get fewer views, make less money, feel more satisfaction and pride in each piece.
Which way should the balance tip for you, personally? Something to consider.
4) There are some really, really cool people here, amazing writers, and beautiful writing.
I feel like I get to be a part of a group of working writers and that feels good. Writing can, by nature, be a bit isolating. I love being here and reading what is being written and being inspired. I’ve even made a few friends here.
It’s truly wonderful. And daunting. And all of that is good.
5) It’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to take your time. It’s okay to earn a small amount. It’s okay.
Don’t lose sight of why you are here.
If you are here solely to make money, then Medium might make you a little crazy.
If you are here solely to produce top notch perfectly edited writing, then Medium might make you a little crazy.
If you are willing to strike a balance between the two, what one might call a Happy Medium, then you have come to the right place.
6) Don’t check your stats page more than once a day.
Really. Trust me. Just don’t.
Don’t freak out if you are not curated.
Don’t lose hope if you get just ten views.
Don’t pull your story too soon if it doesn’t seem to be performing.
And don’t try to chase trends.
Write what makes you happy, and….
7) Write. Just write. And keep writing.
There is my list, hardly original but all genuine and on my mind as I wrap up this week of daily stories. Going into this next week, I don’t think writing every day is going to be my thing. I’m still figuring out what, exactly, my thing is.
Perhaps one cannot truly call oneself a Medium writer until one has written on the topic of Medium.
And so I have.
Find Karen on the web at karenfayeth.com