Do You Seek Validation on Medium?

My thoughts on our journey as writers.

Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash
Would you still write on Medium if claps, highlights, and comments were not allowed?

I’m curious as to how many people would continue writing at the pace they do on Medium, if it meant no interaction.. ever.

I think as writers on Medium, we obviously enjoy the engagement. It gives us validation on our thoughts, and it’s great to connect with other people who relate to you. Medium makes writing fun and interactive, and there is definitely a social media component to it.

Yes, even though it is not the traditional social media platform like Facebook, or Instagram — we still seek instant gratification. The claps, the highlights, the comments. The only difference is that this website filters out the naysayers. At least, most of them anyway. If you happen to be a hater, jokes on you because you just read 56 of my articles. I’d just call you a fan in denial.

We are all true to our own individualistic views, however we do have one thing in common: we crave meaningful connections. And we do it, through words.

Finding people to connect with on the same topic is powerful, and makes us less alone in our thoughts. Which, in some ways, can be more meaningful than the relationships we have in real life. In the offline world, we might filter 80% of our thoughts to accommodate the social situation. Unless you asked, I’m not going to volunteer my 8 minute perspective on toxic masculinity at someone else’s birthday party. This is the uncut version of my life.

The question remains: would you write for yourself, if it meant that there were no followers? Would you publish a book just to lock it away in your closet without anyone ever reading it? Would you write for the sake of writing?

The answer for me is yes, and no.

We all want an audience. And that comes with validation, connection, sending a message. Part of why I like writing is that I can spark a conversation about something that matters to me, and to continue talking about it. There was a time where I really enjoyed writing as a way to help me cope with depression. From elementary, up to my early 20’s. But you know what?

I ended up tossing that book in a dumpster.

While it was a great way for me to pour my emotions into a single notebook, I realized that I was writing every time I was sad. And when I was happy, I didn’t want to write anymore. It became a collection of my depressing thoughts. And the only audience in that case, was me. Something I didn’t want to be reminded of.

Fast forward to 2019, and now I’m trying to use more than just sadness in my writing. What I discovered was that writing isn’t just therapeutic, it’s also a way to connect. It didn’t have to be depressing anymore. And trying to express my outlook on life with happiness, anger, disgust, fear... is just as memorable.

As someone who places high value on personal growth, I try to document my journey with a positive approach. And I want to be able to look back, and celebrate my accomplishments. I want to inspire people.

As writers on Medium, we all want to change the world. And we all started by writing about our own worlds first. Even if you don’t end up publishing a book, sparking a conversation in someone else’s life — half way across the world — is something to be proud of. And that’s much more meaningful than what a corporate job could ever offer.