Encouragement, tips and insight for your first few months of writing
I landed on Medium when I wasn’t looking. I had been blogging and learned about Medium through a podcast I was listening to on Social Examiner.
I started reading interesting articles on various topics (mainly health, personal growth, and society), and commenting on articles. Then one day, the thought hit me, hey, I sound like and can relate to the experiences of some of these writers’ lives.
And I enjoy writing. So I boldly wrote and published my first article, and then my second article.
And waited to see what happened. A few readers at first. And I had to figure out how to upload a photo (easier than I thought — no need to resize most photos).
Then I discovered through the Medium Partner Program, that I could get compensated for my efforts.
About a month after publishing, I had my first article picked up by a publication, The Startup (Medium’s largest publication). Then a second and a third article. I wasn’t trying to, and didn’t even know what curation in Medium meant until someone from The Startup sent me a note.
On the Medium platform, I got a little green dot in the bell icon, which meant I was getting a notification. It’s always a good sign as it means someone has commented or clapped your article, is newly following you, or wanting to publish your article (could be The Startup or Medium curators, etc.).
That first time on The Startup, I went ahead and followed the editor’s note with instructions and my article was published in their publication that very same day.
Since then that first article (You’re 30 and Single — Now What?) has had hundreds of eyeballs. That’s more than I could’ve reached on my own or through the same amount of time blogging.
Stats, readers, and new followers growing daily is all very exciting, but writing for a purpose has been the most personally rewarding reason.
Best Part of Writing on Medium
The best part of writing on Medium for me is helping others, sharing encouragement, inspiration, and life lessons that impact lives. Everyone’s story is different on how they get to where they are. I love expressing truths through creative writing and life experiences.
I’m grateful about (the timing) when I started writing on Medium. The opportunity timing worked out since I have enough behind me (trials, experiences, years) to be able to share.
Twenty year olds could have years and loads of wisdom, but when you double that amount of time on earth (like I have), you naturally have twice the amount of time to have experienced life, work, relationships (or anything).
I have optimism about the new Medium Partner Program that changed about a month after I started writing. The idea being that even if you’re new to writing on Medium, the objective is quality writing and not popularity or how long you’ve been writing on Medium.
I started writing in the comfort of my own home. But then one day I was inspired to write outside as the weather was nice. And writing to relaxing music.
Then another day I found myself writing at a Starbucks. And now I write anywhere I can get on my laptop and type without a screen glare. Sharing my intentional thoughts is the end all, be all…
Inspiration comes from within, not the location. But new environments, remind me it’s a new day with writing possibilities.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” (Steve Jobs)
I wake up every day with new ideas that I want to share. I start with a blank page with a one or two word title like Low Self-Confidence or any thousands of words (or word pairs) that can have infinite meaning in the English language.
And then I see what happens on the page.
I aim for 1,000 words (5 minute reads), but sometimes I have more words to add so I keep going. Sometimes the words just pour out and sometimes I stop.
If there’s a pause, then I open up any dozen or so other articles I started. Having been writing for a few months, I have choices to which of my articles I started that I want to work on (on any specific day).
I’ve learned to not write an article and publish the same (article on that) day.
The first day’s draft is never complete until I’ve given my mind at least a day’s break to be satisfied that the ideas are complete (quality writing).
For my writing, editing is natural. I’m first a creative (inspired) writer, and secondly an editor for my work. I wouldn’t want anyone editing my work because then my voice gets lost. I’ve worked with editors (with titles) before (in a different capacity) and found they’re more like legal writing nazis.
I’ve always considered myself an artist in every sense of the word. I love thinking outside the box, making my own artwork, wearing bright and multi-color outfits, and writing descriptive metaphors.
I write like I talk so that sometimes contradicts strict English grammar rules that editors abide. I’ve discovered not losing ideas (flow), and providing usefulness are most important on Medium. So I will add conversational blog post ending punctuations (“…” or “!?”).
Short punchy sentences are better, but sometimes you find more to say. So you try to say enough, shorten sentences (and paragraphs), and reduce redundancy when possible.
And to purposefully write what you mean, avoiding obscure words like “it”. There are so many more interesting descriptive ways and words. I’ve now published over 60,000 (carefully chosen) words.
Sharing over 60 articles to date, I’m diligently working my way to writing 100 articles, publishing about an article a day mostly on personal growth topics and relationships. You don’t get to where you are without others on your journey (and I’m grateful for mine).
Focusing on the reader and writer community keeps my mind sharp and focused on helping others, which is what got me interested in Medium in the first place. I found helpful articles that I read about, could relate to, and now am one of the contributors.
I’m personally excited about the possibilities that Medium offers and through what other Medium writers write about Medium. I think there’s hope and something to be said from those who have been writing on Medium for years.
These people make a newer contributor like myself, realize that Medium is a good platform to write on. So thank you! I look forward to growing relationships, and continue collaborating in Medium in the year ahead.