It’s High Time I Change How These 7 Things Work Out Between Me and Medium
I am not sure if that’s the right thing to do, but let’s see!
I love writing on Medium. I always did. (Let’s keep this short:) It’s one of those places where I have been the most consistent with my blog.
Though I have written effectively for not more than 6 months, I have completed one year on here. Yay! I will try to better my writing schedule, I promise.
My track record was even worse when I was writing on my new WordPress blog, or on Simily or Vocal Media, which were just come and go for me.
So, yes, I deserve a pat on the back for the same, don’t I?
But recently, I seem to not like Medium that much. Why? I don’t know. Maybe we are past that honeymoon period. I don’t know.
Past vs Present
A couple of months ago, I would jump straight into the Medium app if I had even a second of spare time. That’s the case no more.
Now I fidget between all those “cool and flashy” social media websites. I am not criticising them. Just that I don’t seem to use them as productively.
One reason for my not-so-frequent visits to Medium may well be the editor feature of the app.
Once upon a time... (haha JK) there was an editor present in the app. So whenever I opened the app for reading the stories, after consuming the most interesting ones, and the ones from the people I was following, I would take a peek into my Drafts section.
That led me to complete or make progress on my unfinished pieces. That led to more reading, writing and engaging. But because that’s not the case anymore, I think everything is going the opposite way around. Which I don’t seem to like.
I love the community here. That’s why I pay my monthly ₹199 subscription fee. In fact, it’s the only app I pay a subscription fee for.
Netflix aur Prime ka jugad toh bhaiya didi aur dost log se ho hi jata hai; why pay?!
(I use my siblings’ or friends’ Netflix and Prime accounts, so I don’t have to pay for that.)
But I was reading here so little (in the previous month) that when I received the email notifying me that my Medium membership had been renewed, I wanted to cancel it.
And then I introspected a little. Was I doing something wrong, or is it just that Medium is not that interesting anymore?
I didn’t seem to find out. Maybe both. So, now from my side, I am trying to put some things in place, and change the others, so that I can engage in this community a little more, while also exploring the things I am passionate about.
#1: Thinking less about what people will like and more about what I like
Yes, a little more selfish. I think if I talk about topics that make me feel enthusiastic, it’s more likely the readers will also like and enjoy it.
I took a page and roughly sketched all the topics I like to read and/or write about. Then I came up with a nice half dozen of it that I could talk about and was willing to put in the research, if necessary.
And those were... well, you will see in future articles. (Not very different from what I used to write, or am writing lately; just an extension.)
#2: Writing more long-form content
Earlier, when I wrote a long-form story and would see that the read percentage was below 40–50, I used to think that people were not liking what I was writing.
And that pushed me to write shorter blogs. But because I am not enrolled in Medium Partner Program, the article’s reading time doesn’t matter to me.
What matters, and I realised it now, is how you guys feel after reading it.
- Was I able to deliver on the title?
- Was my article maintaining a flow all through?
- Was I being honest with myself and with y’all?
These, I realised, are more important questions to ask than tracking stats.
I will give myself a little more freedom in choosing what length an article should be. Or even better, write until I am done and take that stress in editing time.
#3: Starting my newsletter
Though this is not related to Medium, I recently acted upon my long-lost desire to start a newsletter. (Not romanticising or something; it’s just that it was a long time ago, and was quite lost until a few weeks ago.)
I was reading a lot of Substack newsletters and when I discovered they had launched a brand new app for iOS and a pretty cool inbox on the web version, I started visiting it often.
And it was not until a fortnight ago that I pushed out my first ever Substack newsletter. And I am constantly maintaining the routine. To small wins!
I am enjoying writing it. So, I think I will continue.
You can subscribe to Be Curious here. Here’s the one-line description:
Some stories are too important to miss and yet are unheard of. Curated by a teenager.
#4: Engaging with the community
I took the back seat for this action. I would read, but not clap or comment that often. And then it got even more downhill from there; I stopped reading at all, and then writing as well.
But I think now it’s time to reinvent, to learn something new, to participate.
So here I am, trying to read more of the stuff that piques my curiosity and engage with the many other cooooooooooool writers out there.
And that needs a little housekeeping..., and that leads to the next point.
#5: Following more people I love reading articles of
My following has been below 50 for... almost always. I don’t do this follow-for-follow thing. Sorry! Don’t like it.
But for I long time, I haven’t followed anyone new. I think that needs to change. I am following some new writers and publications. So that when the Medium algorithm has nothing good to recommend, I can easily switch to my Following tab and be confident that a treasure trove of value is already there.
#6: Making a schedule for writing, and not publishing
I am about to write a whole other article on it. But in brief, that’s my recent technique to keep burnout and writers’ block at bay. It helps.
I plan on writing for at least one hour per day, and that’s it. Until that routine is maintained, I will not worry about anything. It’s totally okay with me if I publish once every three days. Some articles demand time.
And you know what, both writers’ block and burnout have their roots in our high (and most of the time, unrealistic) expectations. Focus on metrics that are in your control and chill.
#7: Self-publishing most of my articles and sending a limited number of articles to the publications
I wanted to try out self-publishing on Medium. I have written for more than 25 different publications. But I never experimented with self-publishing.
That’s not to say goodbye to publications. I will continue to send articles to publications, just that when an article doesn’t fit perfectly into any publications, I will self-publish it.
It’s better for both publications and myself. I will respect the publication’s submission guides while still exploring my interests.
Plus, the independence that comes along with that is an add-on. Views will plummet in the beginning, of course. And I have seen that with my last two published articles. But let’s have some patience and give this a shot.
Read my latest Substack post here. It’s a dark story of a Pulitzer Prize winner who killed himself just four weeks after winning the prize.
Why would he do that? Read on to find out!