The Christmas Gifts that Medium Gave Me
Friends. You know who you are, I tag you regularly, read your stuff, cry when you offer kindness, and love you. Nuff said.
Feedback. 98.5% offered with generosity, in private, with respect, and with the understanding that first, I’ll read it, second, take it seriously, third often will do what’s recommended, and fourth, I appreciate the hell out of it. The rest, folks, please leave your corrections about facts or grammar through private messages. It’s polite, it honors my efforts, and I will return the courtesy.
Fabulous articles from people all over the spectrum, whose various quotes pepper my pieces and allow me to link back to really good shit, which shares the pie, and whose thoughtful, intelligent, and gut-bustingly funny stuff (here’s to you Jessica Wildfire and Kris Gage) makes me spew my coffee.
I had to buy a new computer because of this but I digress. (It was worth it.)
Feedback Part II, from people who harbor hate in their hearts, if for no other reason than to allow me to choose to respond with as much grace as possible, watch what rises in me and learn from that, or choose to block someone swiftly enough so that the sewage doesn’t flow any further. I wish you god speed, and a way out of the places where you dwell that you would seek to do harm to those who mean you no harm. This is a place of gracious discourse. I mean to do my part to keep it that way as best I can. I will honor disagreement, seek to understand different POVs, but I won’t tolerate bullying or viciousness. Nor should any of us. So let’s don’t.
Forums on which to present material that I hope is useful, funny, insightful, educational, rewarding, inspiring or otherwise worth reading. What you highlight is a constant reminder of what you find useful. I watch, notice, and do my best to keep those priorities in mind. What an extraordinary opportunity to write for a living, breathing audience which will take the time to comment, challenge, improve, and add value. What a gift that is, a constant stream of information, education and guidance from people who are invested in what you say, and want you to provide more. I wonder if many of us even realize what an honor that is. I sure do. Your time is the single most precious thing you have, and you are spending your time on my articles, then even taking more time to highlight, comment, and sometimes engage me in conversation. You are gifting me with pieces of your life.
Family. I have to create mine as I go, and the more I work at participating on Medium, the farther that feeling of family stretches. Whenever I can (with the exception of when I am on remote travel and out of touch for weeks) I read all your comments. I take your stories, thoughts, ideas, suggestions and confidences seriously. They matter. Your life’s experiences matter. Your questions and queries and challenges and shared sadnesses, joys and insights matter. Your wins, your weight losses, your endurance races, your battles of the bulge and your new loves and lost loves and genuine heartfelt advice all matter. They feed the river of my words and inform what I choose to write next. I read what you say with interest and respect, and often find myself pilfering your prose for another article. But I will always give you credit (even if you pilfered from someone else).
Fun. I write every day anyway. How wonderful to get paid a pittance (or more) for doing what you otherwise would do because you love it. Writing gives me joy, having it land well on occasion is over the moon. These days a good part of my fun is in finding new ideas, and new perspectives on evergreen topics. A great deal of what I am putting into my third book comes from people I meet, interview, write about and read on Medium, as well as in life. That works. And it’s just lots of fun, if for no other reason than I keep meeting such fascinating people, who become friends (see above) and morph into family (see above) who provide feedback (see above) all of which keeps me on my toes.
And finally, thank you.
You are a gift, Dear Reader. I hope to remain worthy.