How to Earn Your First $0.86 On Medium! (And Change the World, Of Course)
There are a few things that you ought to consider when you start writing for Medium.
Who are you writing for?
So I realized this week that I have a horrible habit of writing for everyone else in the world. Sometimes, not even everyone else in the world. Just for the loudest, most critical & irrational voice. What does that get me? Some damn bad art. No, scratch that. Producing bad art is not the ultimate tragedy. My production of untrue, inauthentic art is.
Now that’s the actual tragedy.
Check your motivation, deep down. Writing for money is a practical, a necessary part of our existence. Acknowledging that is honest and realistic.
I’ve been dying to write since I became aware that the world was a thing and my toddler brain had formed into something. Seriously, I started begging my mom to teach me to read as soon as I could talk. Poor woman. No wonder she lost her mind later, she says only half sarcastically.
But that’s another series of stories.
I’ve been seriously trying to write and build a body of work for the last 10 years. What a mess. I wish I had tossed all the seriousness (read: the raging sense of pride and terror that comes with having so much pressure on the lame, overly grandiose ideas of yourself) and written for love a whole lot sooner.
Anyhow, a decade of writer’s block later, here I am. Writing for love and progressively stepping out of the way of myself to pour my soul on the virtual pages. I’m writing because I must and that’s all there is to it. Perhaps I’ll never make a living off it but, damn, reaching out and connecting with another human being is a beautiful richness of reward beyond practical measure.
If rich men hire hot women more for the company than for the sex, it’s pretty solid proof that no one can buy love. Not even the most rich and powerful. Their money is only good for faked enjoyment, compliance and silence.
Write the things you want to write, the things you need to write and the things that are the most true in your life. I think that my writer’s block is deeply rooted in the in-authenticity and fear that created an axe murdering spree on my creativity. Because, yeah that’s a hostile environment.
Write the things that burn inside of you until the burning goes away.
Who do you want to connect with?
This is like the huge mouth-breathing elephant in the my mental room that I tiptoed around and kept tossing tapestries over for so long in the vain hope that it’s noisy breathing would eventually not sound like a brash central heating/cooling system. It doesn’t work. Plus the darn pachyderm makes the room smell bad.
Medium is so full of people who are alive, who create and who respond. Do you realize how special and rare that is and utterly painful it can feel at first? You’ve got to do it anyway darling, because here is something special. Start by giving feedback on stories. Medium has features like highlighting, responding to text and comments. It’s super interactive and that’s lovely.
It’s a helter-skelter dog-gobble-dog world so don’t let it eat you! Start saying hi to people. Start saying hi to me 😉
How much comfort are you willing to trade for your growth?
I sat here trying to think of something profound for the last point but the above isn’t profound. Or romantic. Or very fun.
Growth hurts and sucks and is the most wonderful thing that we get to experience as human beings. In our seemingly frail, insignificant, one-among-7.442 billion individuality, we’ve got more power than ever to leave our aching planet a better place.
That sounds so naive and idealistic, you say? Believe me, that’s a mindset that’s hard won after years of depression, entrenched cynism and shutting my heart down to life’s brutality.
No. Forget the bitterness. Get your work going, connect with people and let’s change the damn world together.
That means discipline. It means wanting growth, health, love and healing more than anything else. It means that everything will get better, exponentially so, but even more true than that is the fact that it will get exponentially worse before that. Hence why we need each other.
We’re not stuck at the mercy of the season, or of animals who are born, hunt, mate, have babies and die. We get to do something wonderful with our time here.
(All of this is me preaching to myself here, ya know 😁)
So the secret sauce to making 17.2% of one month’s Medium subscription back? Be you. Love people. Share all of that.
I wrote about the death of Chester Bennington (which I’m not linking because the post was agonizing to write, raw and there isn’t enough emotional motivation in the world for me to go back and edit it!), I posted about having writer’s block for the last 10 years and starting to get past it. After that, it was a few old poems that I spruced up and tossed out there because why the hell not and no one was reading anyway! This includes a brief thing about emotional abuse and divorce. More on that later.
(Those single people who like my posts a lot of times or follow me, or are impacted in anyway, ya’ll mean so much to me. I see you. I’m so grateful to have the chance to cross virtual word paths with you.)
Here’s me, dear world. Slowly tearing off the layers of special ops level protection and letting myself be a human with a heart that bleeds. Letting you see me bleed.
Now, for you. Go forth and write, draw, paint, dance, love and share things. If you don’t have anyone to share with, hit me up!
Thank for the gift of your attention and time! I hope we get the chance to interact somewhere on this grand planet ❤️ You can follow me on Medium here!