If you’re here because someone told you it’s easy money, a fast path to full-time writing, or something you can hack with a few tricks, let this be the slap in your face to snap you out of it: Whether it’s Mike or Kris or me or Sean or Shannon or any writer you don’t know who signed up on Medium yesterday…
I love this. One other piece of this, Niklas, which so many folks don’t seem to understand, is that to sit in one’s basement and churn out listicles, for one, isn’t life. Not only that, too many of those listicles are cobbled from other folks’ work, people who actually DID the work. And, for my part, as my numbers continue to rise every so slowly and gently, I am off the grid regularly out doing epic adventure travel, which gives me fodder for stories that people enjoy reading. I never had much expectation that Medium would be much more than a small paycheck. It is, however, a platform where other editors find my work and connect with me. It is, however, a place where I can showcase my talent for clients. It is, however, a place where some of my potential clients can see my numbers of eyeballs and readership, and I can use that to score work I’d rather be doing, than churning out material that might earn me lifetime payments of $4.25 tops. Of course I’ve got pieces that rocked. But more so this platform has honed my skills. What people highlight is the single best source of reader feedback I have, second only to comments. Barring the occasional bottom-dweller troll who masturbates when he can get a rise out of someone (pun intended), those comments are immensely valuable teachers on what folks like, what they want to read, and in the best sense, how my material has touched them. As a prize-winning author, I never had that kind of immediate, intimate access to hearts and minds.
That, as they say, is priceless. Medium is a training ground, a proving ground, a stomping ground and a launch pad.
Not a get rich quick platform. And to your earlier point, Nick, those who did indeed benefit who don’t also acknowledge and take into account those forces which helped them be successful- and which were NOT of their own doing- are doing others a disservice in the Just Do What I Do and YOU TOO will earn ten grand a month pieces. Kindly, NO. With respect to their work ethic, there’s a lot more at play here, including bloody well having something of value to say. There are themes to my work but I am doing my damnedest to continue to work them through new perspectives, tagging other good writers to add value, heft and variety, and to get my ass out the door and live vividly so that I too have bloody well have something of value to say.
To that end, on Monday I head back to Africa, to ride horses in the Mara, scuba dive Mafia Island, visit rhinos and ellies in the conservatories and explore around Arusha and Moshe.
I might have a few things to say when I get back. Maybe.