Medium made my writing a conversation, instead of a monologue.
Before Medium, I wrote infrequently, mostly on WordPress. I liked seeing my words in writing, I posted to Facebook, but I didn’t get a lot of feedback. In short, I had no way of knowing if my stories had any impact. (It was kind of like farting in my pants: it made me happy, but no one knew about it.)
The turning point came when a writer I followed commented, “That’s good. You should post it on Medium.”
Thank you Crystal Jackson!
I did post it. And started to move forward. A bit. It was before I joined the Partnership Program.
But the biggest change came when I started Medium Mastery with Tom Kuegler. It lit a fire under me.
“If you want to build a following, you have to post a lot. You need to keep putting your stuff out there, at least four to five times a week.”
Yes, I needed to put myself out there. But what if I sounded stupid? Then I realized I already sounded stupid asking the question. If I’m worried about my words meaning something, I have to put them out there for the public to read.
And I had paid for the course, so I followed through.
Low and behold, the response was immediate. My words actually mattered. Of all the writers on Medium, other writers read, commented, and even clapped for my first assignment.
“Allow Yourself to Return to Your Roots and see What Happens,” has 770 posts, and counting.
I read and responded to every comment.
I then read every commentor’s post and commented.
I clapped on several occasions.
I was so happy, I couldn’t stop clapping!
Through Medium, I’ve connected with a generous group of writers who offer advice and encouragement on a daily basis. I can feel the good vibes. We want one another to succeed.
On a human level, I’ve connected with enough of them to affirm that we are more alike than different. We all suffer, have the same fears, phobias, doubts and experiences, good and bad, and we are all trying to find our niche in this world.
The niche of this group is writing. And we all have that in common as well.
I had two articles curated, in a row and I trust that, at some point, it will happen again. The second one was the biggest surprise. After hitting publish, I was happy to get another one under my belt and hoped it would resonate with someone. I didn’t expect much. As it turned out, it resonated with many.
Stop Making Excuses: You Can Be a Happy Yogi Even If You’re Not a Hot, Young, Skinny Gumby doll resonated so well with Rose Mary Griffith that she said she would “take that tip from me and get on it!” This means, she was going to try yoga.
How fabulous! I wrote and asked her to tell me all about her yoga class. I hope to hear from her again.
At this point, all I carry with me as I travel to work is my phone so I can read, respond, and comment. I am a Medium junkie.
I have conversations with people who I didn’t know five weeks ago, and they in turn are sharing their experiences with me. The monologue is over.
It’s not too often you get such a feeling of community.
In addition, I am going to actually get paid, a little. But it’s a great start.
If I stay on my current trajectory, I may actually be able to retire before I reach the age of 100 and tell my employer to “take this job and shove it” a lot sooner than I had anticipated.
I have been frustrated at the thought of having to work extra years at an unfulfilling and stressful job and worried about another source of income. There’s no way I can live on Social Security and I know with the longevity in my family I am going to have to stretch my 401K a bit.
Now I know I am on the right road. It’s a long one, but I’m no longer lost, meandering in circles through the woods wailing in despair. I can honestly say, I have more good days than bad.
And the more I put out, the more people respond.
I have a lot more work to do.
I find the fast pace of social media challenging.
There will be many nights of sitting in front of my computer writing, editing, choosing a title, and that perfect image to give the reader a visual of the emotional content. All the while, shooing my cat off the keyboard.
I enjoy his company, just not his butt in my face.
I need to continue to add followers and follow, read, comment, connect and eventually get accepted in one of Medium’s larger publications.
I’ve know I’ve just started on my journey and I am enjoying the trip. I believe, as I always have, that we are exactly where we’re supposed to be at all times.
I am looking forward, not back.
That’s not where I’m going.