Did you hit all your goals last month? )r, did you set your goals too high and crash and burn when you saw how much you earned?
I know the Medium Partner Program posted today. No, I didn’t make thousands of dollars with my writing, but that wasn’t my goal.
My goal this month was to improve my writing.
Last month I started seeing a trend. My stories were not getting curated. If you are not familiar with Medium, curation means that the stories you publish get distributed to a wider audience.
At first, I got upset at Medium and the curators. Then, I started thinking that my writing must be terrible. All this time I thought that I was a halfway decent writer, but here they are proving me wrong.
How dare they overlook me? I am entitled to curation!
Yeah, no. I was an idiot.
With the help of a few of my Medium writer friends, I realized that there was never a promise of curation. I wasn’t promised anything except if people engage with me, I’ll get paid.
Medium was holding up their end of the bargain. What was I doing?
I knew I needed to take my writing to the next level. I knew I needed to become the writer I already thought I was. I needed to be successful without curation and without publications.
I set out on a mission.
Killing my March goals
I knew if I wanted to improve, I would have to write a whole lot more than I already was. I set a goal to publish 60 stories on Medium for the entire month. That was not counting the posts I wrote for other platforms and publications.
How did I do? From February 27th through March 28th, here are the stats:
- Number of stories published: 46
- Number of stories curated: 4–11.5%
- Number of stories published in publications: 3
- Dollars earned in March: $243.68
I didn’t hit my goal of 60 stories published, but I am more than happy with my output. Even though I sometimes published three stories a day, I know the quality of my writing has gotten better. I even took a full day off each week to decompress and spend time with my family. The rule was there was to be no writing, and even though I did use my phone, I kept my laptop closed.
I’m happy about the work I put in this month.
How I improved
Besides the fact that I published more, I tried a few other things as well.
First, after I checked my stories with Grammarly, I ran them through the Hemingway Editor. Hemingway helped me with improving the flow and quality of my sentences. It helped me to lessen the number of adverbs and uses of passive voice as well.
Then, I read the story aloud to check the flow again. I can’t believe how much this step improved my writing. Not only did I find errors, but there were so many cases where the sentence structure was off. I was able to fix it and make my writing more conversational.
These two things helped me more than I can say.
I also took more chances with my writing. I learned a few things about what the audience does and doesn’t want me to write about. I learned more about what subjects I was more interested in exploring.
Up until a few weeks ago, I had been writing quite a bit about blogging. I found that I wasn’t interested in writing about it anymore. It helped me realize I need to shutter my blog (about blogging) as well.
There is no use writing about things that don’t give me joy. For me to keep up the pace I’ve set, I have to enjoy every minute I spend creating. I have to be true to myself and write about things that make me happy.
The readers know when I am going through the motions to get fans.
Taking responsibility for my success
My greatest lesson this month has been that I needed to stop blaming others for my shortcomings. I’ll only become a better writer if I take responsibility for myself. I knew I needed to start doing whatever it takes to improve.
You won’t see me take to the Medium Facebook groups and complain. Medium is not cheating me or anyone else because we are not getting curated.
You won’t see me blame anyone else because I’m not a success yet.
The onus is on me to get my shit together.
If you don’t like how things are going, don’t put the blame elsewhere. Don’t blame Medium or the curators. Also, don’t think you are doing something wrong or that you aren’t a very good writer.
Improve over time. Everyone’s journey will be different. Sure some writers became successful in a short period. It doesn’t mean you will.
Do what you have to do to get where you want to be.
Are you not a success on Medium yet? Get in there and make yourself a success! Grab the next rung of the ladder and pull yourself up. Improve every month until you are one of the high-earners!
Stop complaining. Start doing!
We can all get to the top together!
This story was not curated. If you write and publish on Medium, you know what that means — a quick death. If not, it just means that it won’t be promoted to other readers on Medium.
But it doesn’t always have to be like this, and this is where I add value to your life. It works like this:
We all write free content for Medium. They don’t pay for it. The money we pay to be members is more than enough to pay the writers who are making money. In return for us writing millions of words of free content and paying the writers who engage with the readers (us again), Medium forbids us from adding any more than a simple text link to the bottom of posts to promote ourselves.
If you do everything right, you get curated.
I have no problem with that. I’ve been with Medium for over a year-and-a-half, and I absolutely fricking love that they gave me a platform to earn and share my writing. I tell everyone I know to join Medium and start writing.
But, if I don’t get curated, my stories die. I don’t earn. The only traffic I get comes in is from Google, and if the people they are sending are not Medium subscribers, I don’t get paid.
But Medium benefits greatly. Every time we bring eyeballs onto the platform, Medium gains authority and in turn, members. They also get income from writers paying them for exposure by featuring them in publications and other places on Medium, even if they aren’t members. It’s a great business model.
I thank Medium for giving me the platform, and I respect them, especially when they curate me and my stories live on.
So Medium, I love you, and if you curate me, I will follow the rules and only put a small text link to my newsletter at the bottom.
But, if I am not curated, I am going to use my work to promote myself and my brand.
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