Are Views Really Down On Medium?
It all depends upon who you talk to.
Whenever any Medium writer talks about proof, facts, and stats, it's easy to forget that every single one of us here will have a different experience. I don't buy into gloom and doom stories about the Medium Partner Program ending because I simply don't see the point.
Why should anyone quit working hard at something just because some people think it will end sooner rather than later? Everything ends. Any one of us can die on any given day without it being in our control. Yet we still have to decide how we are going to fill those days until we go.
I for one am not going to shit on anybody's dream to do well here. With the way the Medium Partner Program has worked over the past year, I truly believe that most people here can see growth if they work hard and stay positive.
There could be exceptions, of course. We know that Medium isn't focused on fiction or poetry, so views are much harder to earn there. Others have reported a disappointing shift in views among certain topics if the writer isn't promoted directly by Medium. I don't want to minimize those experiences--I simply can't speak to them.
Perspective is everything.
So yes, some folks have reported decreasing views, while others have reported an increase. If you're not seeing growth on Medium, that doesn't mean you're not a good writer. There are so many different variables involved with reaching and continuing to reach readers here. And there are buckets of incredible writers here.
Imperfect and experimental as it may be, Medium is a treasure trove for readers. That includes writing readers too.
ICYMI? I am not that great...
I wanted to address the fact that I am a nobody writer who continues to see great growth, and I've been here for nearly a year. I am not special or better than you and I don't think I'm a superstar.
I am just a single mom who's floundered most of her life away due to mental illness and family trauma. Before Medium, I had nothing outside of motherhood that made me remotely proud of myself. Nothing at all.
But daily writing is teaching me new things.
Making the leap on Medium has encouraged me to be a more positive person, and I've worked my ass off to see good results. Ladies? We are allowed to be proud of ourselves and even talk about where our hard work has taken us.
Over the past year, I've learned that no matter how much we writers should support each other, that's not what always happens. I got started on Medium knowing I would never be the best writer here. Still, I decided not to let that stop me from discovering what I could accomplish.
Because guess what?
If Medium ended tomorrow, that would be scary as hell for me, but leaving my job in December was pretty damn scary too. I can get back up from a loss--I have already survived so much worse!
That's not because I'm amazing (I'm not). I am just me, but I have value. And so do you! Some of us have been told our whole lives that our voices don't matter, and that we should just give up on our dreams.
I'm here to tell you that your voice matters.
It fucking matters. And you can't let any amount of rejection or shaming get you to throw in the towel. I'm so damn serious.
Look, however you approach your writing career is your business. You don't have to have a huge ego or a bad attitude for another writer to take their irritation out on you and accuse you of having lost your way.
Keep in mind that you can't make everybody happy. Some folks will insist you write too much, too little, too short, too long... you get where I'm going with this.
The reality is that I often work on Medium stories for 12 to 16 hours a day--again, not because I'm special, but because I want to see results. I want to change my life. I want to inspire others to not give up on their dreams. Hell, I want to inspire myself.
So, are views really down on Medium for nobody indie writers? Let me show you my monthly stats since I began at the end of April 2018.
I've said before that I was lucky to have a Member Feature for one of my first stories on Medium. The fact that I kept publishing helped me build a little momentum even after that feature's run.
I hit a groove and began writing more, about twice a day. Those spikes came from stories in bigger publications like The Writing Cooperative.
Medium chose a second Member Feature and began distributing it before it hit the home page.
There's the big spike from my second Member Feature. Again, I kept writing and didn't slow down.
In September, I began to notice Medium distributed more of my stories. That's when I began to take more risks with my stories too. Call it luck, but I felt like I had begun to hit my stride and better understand my own writing voice.
More curation and distribution. No, I couldn't explain it, but I decided to keep working as hard as I could.
Kept writing, kept writing...
In December, I actually slowed down and published 22 stories. So a slight dip in views from November.
I promised to hit it hard in January since I quit my job in December to go all-in on Medium. I pretty much published twice a day.
I upped my writing again to see just how much I could accomplish in February. I had a third Member Feature, but it didn't make the top of the home page this time.
And then, I published even more voraciously to hit a few personal goals. Two stories wound up in the "Popular on Medium" section. Now I'm honestly ready for a break.
I can only speak for myself.
Those are my stats and I can't pretend that you'll have the same experience as me. All I can do is share my journey with you and hope that you put your heart into whatever it is that you really want to do.
Do I have any regrets? Only that I didn't start earlier, and I'm not even talking about the money. Writing for myself has saved my soul.
Nothing lasts forever, but sometimes all we can do is try.