My first few months on Medium
I started writing on Medium in March of 2018, coming over from a blog. I had some life stuff going on and was really overwhelmed. Like, “one step forward, four steps backward” overwhelmed.
I was taking a class that was really, involved. I had family stuff happening. I was exhausted.
I have always wanted to write, ever since I could remember. As a kid, I’d jot down stories. In college, I wrote for the student newspaper. I wanted to be a journalist, but when the market crash of ’08 happened, I switched my major.
It’s been a few years since I was paid to write. When I started again in March, I had a lot to learn. I couldn’t even get a letter to the editor published. My professors returned papers and projects with comments like, “You’re way off the mark.”
I didn’t have high expectations, initially. I just wanted to have some fun, take my mind off things, and, maybe, earn some money.
What I Learned
I really love writing humor! I haven’t done it since I was a kid, really, so I plan to do it more.
My life, according to my targeted advertising
When I scroll through social media, I see targeted ads that show every potential version of myself. Ad Me is…
I also figured out why so many people write about millennials. It gets clicks! My piece on millennials is my most-viewed story.
I’ve learned a lot from many phenomenal writers, too. There are too many to name, but I follow several and find their writing and their lives inspirational.
Medium’s platform is kind of “articles as social media,” so I thought it would be a great place to experiment and grow, and it has been. I am reading a lot more articles than I expected I would. And I think my writing has improved in just a short time.
I’m not much of a “joiner,” but I do like writing for publications. I really should seek out more and write for them. Currently I write for The Ascent, Pickle Fork, and the evolution. They serve different audiences, but I really like the theme of each one.
I do like writing members-only content and getting paid for it, though, so right now I have a mix of publication/non-publication content. I should probably seek out paid publications in the future.
If there was a “hide stats until you post your next article” button, I would use it. My stats have gone up and down, but it is a useful feature.
Medium has some great basic tools for formatting. I have been experimenting with some other techniques, like section dividers, but I still get wowed on occasion by what people do.
I also like to use “pull quotes” to highlight what I think are the most important parts of a story. I give them a little space — not placing the quote directly after the text — so it doesn’t sound repetitive. Do you think that works well?
I also like to use “pull quotes” to highlight what I think are the most important parts of a story.
Images are a must in front of your story, and I’ve never broken that rule. Most publications require them, and they help your article look great. I have found that more inspirational images, like images of beaches or landscapes, seem to work better than, say, a picture of a lamp. However, my experience on that is very limited, so I’m not using it as a guide just yet.
I also tend to use just one image in a story. Should I use more for longer ones? Maybe.
I have been working on improving my photography, so someday soon you may see my original images gracing my articles.
My plan going forward
No clue! You could see a poem, humorous article, commentary or self-help piece. Or all of the above!
Okay, I do plan to improve my commenting — both responding to comments I receive, and writing new ones. I love getting feedback, but sometimes I’m out and about when I see the notification, so I just give a quick clap and forget to comment. In the future I want to go back more, thank people and respond to their thoughts.
Most people don’t go viral, and I’m no exception. So I’ll still be here for awhile, writing my strange articles with pictures of lamps accompanying them.