I Don’t Want to See One More Article About Stats or Making it on Medium
Not today, anyway, because my milk of human kindness is starting to sour
No offence to the fine writers who do a bang up job of these articles, but right now we are flooded, absolutely flooded, with writers writing about their stats, writing about how to get curated or how to beat the system.
Writing about about how they increased their readership, read ratio, fan base, email list — you name it.
Eventually we all write about it. I did. You did — and if you haven’t already you probably will as soon as you’ve cracked it, or think you have.
It’s almost a rite of passage:
Step 1. Join Medium
Step 2. Learn you way around a bit
Step 3. Work your ass off to be in the 3% making more than $100 monthly
Step 4. Get lucky, work harder, or both, to make way more than $100 a month
Step 5. Write about how you did it/are doing it/got curated...
Do I care?
Should I care?
Well, I used to care a flying-monkey’s-ass of a lot more. Especially when I first started here. These stories drew me like catnip.
That’s why we all do it.
Because once we’ve been around for a while and think we’ve learned a thing or two, we look at someone who puts out one of these stories, we see all the claps they got, and we say, “Ooh, ooh, I can do that. Maybe I’ll get lucky, too.”
So we do.
You can pretty much tell exactly where anyone is on their Medium quest by the forums.
At first we’re all “O, wow, this is so cool. Can somebody help me with…” And that’s okay, ’cause we all have to start somewhere.
Then we progress to offering insights and knowledge. And that’s a good thing, ‘cause we’re all basically decent, helpful people.
Then we document our amazing stats and accomplishments. We all do. Because we’re excited. It’s cool. We earned a reward. Yay, us!
Then we share our tried-and-true or completely haphazard method for achieving what we did to get where we are — however far up the ladder we’ve struggled.
Because that’s the right thing to do. The generous thing to do. And because we know there’s a whole, fresh crop of readers out there just waiting to read it.
Another “How to do ‘anything-to-do-with-success’ on Medium” article.
And if we’re not quite up there as far as we’d like to be, we all flock to it as if the Pied Piper himself were calling us from Hamlin.
The sad thing is, we’re only writing for each other when we do this.
We’re peddling our wares to the almost closed community of our fellow writers — and banking our Medium success on a comparatively small, insular community to support each other’s work.
There’s a whole big world of readers out there who don’t give a fiddler’s fart about succeeding on Medium. Who don’t care a toss about a writer’s struggles.
They want to read about Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. They want to read inspiring truths, and exciting, provocative articles about the real world. Tech. Travel. Culture. Science.
They want help with parenting, support with mental health issues, to know they’re not alone. They want to learn how to improve their lives, cope with their lives, escape from their lives.
And, yes, bless their cotton socks, some of them want to read good fiction and moving poetry. And, thank God for them.
But honestly, most of them don’t give two shits if we make money or not, or grow our fan base or not. As long as we turn out engaging articles about whatever they’re interested in.
Or write and package what we do write in such a way they are interested in it (I’m talking ‘title’ here).
So if I never see another one of those “How To Succeed on Medium” articles, it’ll be too soon.
I know I will. It’s just how it works with every fresh crop and each new intake of hopeful writers.
We all do it at some point.
But I’d really like a time-out. And I’m really looking forward to the great articles you’ll all write once you get past this.