We are the readers who want to read your best pieces whether you are a Medium member or not. We are the Medium members who didn’t come to exclude a group of people but are here to write and share. We are the people that understand that writing is hard work even if you didn’t jump through the same hoops we did to get to the top of the home page.
I wrote a rant the other day about the writers who come to Medium without paying a membership fee and who don’t have to go through the same process the members do. Yet they are often featured prominently on the top of the Medium home page. I felt slighted. I felt the whole situation was unfair. My privilege was showing like Wednesday’s underwear on Friday:
Since that time I’ve had the opportunity to talk to other writers and read comments from readers on both sides of this coin. I’ve had the chance to think about my anger and where it came from and why it appeared when it did.
I almost deleted the original article, because it put on display a part of me that I don’t often entertain. While my feelings were valid, I don’t like that person. But I also don’t like dishonesty, and it would have been a lie to hide that part of me in shame.
A lot of people connected with my words though, so it made me think I was on to something. Maybe I tapped a raw nerve that has been pulsing underneath the skin — ready to explode.
The last thing that gave me pause was the new Medium members that I may have given the idea that this is a terrible place to be. The truth is that, if you are a writer or a reader, Medium to the best place to be. Where else do you have the opportunity to write about whatever you choose and get paid for it? Where else can you cut your writing chops, make mistakes, and learn what it takes to be an effective online writer — and you can test your work on a willing audience.
I am thankful to Medium. I started writing here in October of 2018, and it’s no exaggeration to stay that my writing was garbage — it was a dumpster fire! When I realized the truth, instead of blaming Medium for not giving me the success I deserved, I started to improve. Every day I improved one thing and learned one new thing about the craft of writing. I still do like an obsession.
Has it improved my writing? You bet! You, the reader, are the ultimate judge, but if I look at my work from a year ago and my work now, I can see a huge improvement.
Medium also gave me something else. I am a writer with an illness that kept me from working a regular job for many years. Medium has been the only place I’ve been given the chance to earn a living doing work that my mind and body can handle. When things get bad, I can take a week off and practice self-care. Then I come back and pick up right where I left off.
Who else can give me that opportunity?
The community here on Medium has embraced me, and it only makes sense that I accept everybody, regardless of whether they pay $5 a month for membership or if they cut the line to the featured section on the home page because they are more well-known than the rest of us.
We are all writers and readers, and we need to stick together.
We Are a Community!
It’s hard to find a community that isn’t breaking apart at the seams in this society. There is so much contention. But what I find when I deal with everyone in the writing community — here on Medium and Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn — is that for the most part, we are one big happy family.
Sure, some people don’t get along. And, certain writers try to lift themselves as a Medium Messiah, only for us to find out they are misogynistic and comfortable with their place in the patriarchy. There are others on the edge who think they are better than the rest of us. They always hold something over us — they are a journalist, a published author, or an influencer — and they try to make themselves seem better by cutting down the work of others. These people say that everybody writes like a copywriter nowadays and that personal essays aren’t real writing. They demean the rest of us because we write honestly about our lives or maybe even sex, and that, somehow, is cheating.
But the rest of us are supportive, and we look out for one another. Even the big names — the Medium superstars — are in the trenches with the rest of us, day after day. We all realize that everyone is valuable — it doesn’t matter what your writing style is, or how weak your voice — we all have something to say and we deserve to say it.
It doesn’t matter where you come from, or if you arrived by first class instead of coach. We are all writers, and our message isn’t just important to ourselves, but important for the rest of the world to hear.
We are all here for different reasons — readers, writers, influencers, journalists, authors, copywriters, techies, doctors, politicians, celebrities — but we want to be valued, and we want to feel like our voice is not lost in a world of trolls and arguments in the comments section.
So, welcome everyone — we love having you here with us!
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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