What Medium Has Done For Me

My first two months

Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash

There are so many posts about the experiences people have had their first few months here on Medium. Most of them are about how much money they’ve made and how you too can have the same success by following their tips of when to write, how often to post and recommended techniques for increasing your followers. This post is about my first two months on this platform too but it’s nothing like the ones you usually read.

My first payment from Medium was 94 cents. I was happier with that then I have been with any amount I have been paid for any job I’ve ever worked for two reasons. One because it was for writing. Whether it be five cents, five dollars or five hundred dollars, I got money for something I wrote and that’s the first time that’s ever happened.

Once in high school I wrote a poem that was published in Teen magazine and while it was exciting, and I was the coolest person on the school bus for a week I got a free year’s subscription. That wasn’t money. Yes, it probably equated to about $8.00 which is more than 94 cents but that’s not the same as getting paid.

The second and more important reason I was thrilled was because I have been on social security disability for the past seven years due to multiple debilitating manic and depressive episodes of my bipolar disorder. Being labeled “disabled” due to a mental illness is a hard thing to accept and has often made me feel as if I would never be capable of doing anything again that was worthwhile. While I’m aware that 94 cents won’t even buy a cup of coffee it shows the potential for income is there. Whether it be from writing or something else, I’ve proven that it is possible.

My second payment from Medium will be $4.59 according to the email I got today. Yes, that’s small potatoes and no one is going to be asking me how I did it so that they can replicate my success. However, I started with exactly 0 followers. My social media presence is virtually non-existent, and I have yet to publish in any publication. And I am fully aware that these are still very small numbers and when you’re starting out with less than a dollar in income you really have nowhere to go but up. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that in one month I had a 388% increase.

That’s incredibly exciting for me. That tells me that I am capable of something that I didn’t believe I could do. This has planted the seed of possibility in me. This has ignited the flame of belief in a part of me that had smoldered out years ago.

I have interacted with people from all walks of life, who are on here for so many different reasons. And if I never logged onto this platform again, never posted another article, never read another post, Medium has changed my life forever. Because it has shown me that what I was feeling before was wrong, I am not helpless or destined to sit passively in the role of the victim of circumstance.

I can still make a difference in my own life. And I have already begun to do so.