Sorry I’ve been among the missing here. Again! I’ve been writing at Medium.com almost exclusively since early March, trying to see if I can build a readership outside of my blogs. And I did. I also added publications willing to take my work, which energizes me no end.
I’ve joined three Facebook groups dedicated either to Medium or to the kind of writing I do, which gives me the sense of belonging once again to a writer’s community. I didn’t realize how much I needed that until I got involved with Medium and found those other writers.
Medium is a strange enterprise and I’m not sure I understand it even now. Anyone can write there and the formatting is a dream to work with, but it’s grown by leaps and bounds and draws thousands more each week–which means it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Big names and publications, like The Atlantic, for example, publish there, but most are writers like me–barely making a blip on the writing scene.
Some get published in places I can only dream of, but when we’re on the Medium site we’re all of a kind, looking for readers like everyone else. I could write there for free but if I want payment for my stories I have to pay $5/month. Then that money is split between all the writers in a system that I still don’t understand.
A few writers there make thousands per month but they publish 3 or 4 times a day and have built up a strong readership. Their stories appear on the front page and are promoted in ways I don’t understand, either.
I’ll be happy just to get my five dollars back every month, and if there’s any more, it’s gravy. Lol. The stories, for the most part, are behind a paywall. New readers get three stories a month (I think) and then have to pay their $5/month in order to read more.
They have a clapping system I find silly, and even demeaning, but the oldtimers say it works, so who am I to question it? At first I was telling all of my friends to clap the full 50 allowed claps for my stories, begging them to do the thing I hate most about Medium, and then I found it was all for nought, since only paying members’ claps mean anything.
There are publications within Medium that require application and acceptance, and thus are considered prestigious. I’ve applied for and been accepted into three of them, two of which are considered at the top. (The Writing Cooperative and Writers Guild)
Then there is their curating system. If our stories are chosen by a group of around 25 Medium editors to go into their specific pages (For example, “Writing” or “Creativity” or “Politics”), the chances at being read go up exponentially. Everyone hopes for a curate but that’s arbitrary and not always given. I’ve had many of my stories either curated or accepted by publications but so far I haven’t noticed a rise in my payments. So we’ll see.
But the best part of Medium, for me, is the community. I’m meeting writers whose work I deeply admire–and some who have a long way to go. But we congratulate and commiserate and read each other’s works. And, okay, clap.
Since most of the stories I’ve written there are behind a paywall, I’m going to start cross-posting some of them here. I hope they interest you. Many of them are about the writing trade, so it could be you’ll just pass those by, but I want to keep this blog going and this is how I’ll do it.
I think what draws me most to Medium is the immediate interaction. People comment there. They highlight parts of the stories that interest them. They let me know they’re there and reading. I don’t get that here. Not to that extent. But I still love my blog and don’t want it to get lonely. And the best part is that, if you’re interested, you can read those same Medium stories for free! That’s something, right?
Here’s the link to Medium, so you can look around and see where I’m hanging out.
Thanks for being here. Thanks for supporting me. Thanks for being you!