What I’ve learned Since my First Week Using Medium
A few of my promised unsolicited opinions
So I’m struggling with a story right now, which naturally means I got the inspiration to work on this instead. Below are a few of my takeaways from my first two weeks on Medium:
It takes an ENTIRELY different skill set to write short fiction than it does long form fiction
Holy shit. Writing a short story is the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long time. I’m so use to writing 400–500 page stories filled with multiple angles of tension, side-plots, and multiple point-of-views that when I sat down to write a short story I was lost.
I had to erase so much of what I created and remove a lot of characters. I still posted it but my view count speaks for itself. People on here seem to like 5–10 minute long stories. Fully noted for next time.
I ended up with close to ten thousand words and realized that there’s no way anybody will read a 40 minute long story. I edited and chopped that shit down to 19 minutes and a little under 5000 words.
Moral of the story, what works as a novella or full length novel does NOT work as a short story.
Which leads me to my next takeaway….
Please consume fiction outside of your preferred genre
I love crime fiction. Not the detective-solves-murder type, the “give me my money or you’ll be sleeping with the fishes” type.
Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Cartel Novel Trilogy, etc.
I love all of that shit. And it shows when I write. I know the language of crime thrillers. I know what makes them “great” vs “just ok.”
I attempted to write a short story in a new genre and I realized that it was a struggle.
80% of what I consume is gritty, raunchy, dramas or crime thrillers. The other 20 % is a mixture of action and whatever I’m watching with my girlfriend at the time. So me attempting a dystopian love story was terrible.
It’s important to consume the language of different genres. I’ve started doing that and I can see the difference in my writing already.
Writing everyday really is important
Medium has given me an outlet that I never had before and I now use it everyday. The difference in quality between my first few posts and my latest is staggering. My writing voice has truly gotten better and it’s all due to this new writing community I have been shown.
Having a writing community is important
I’ve gotten great advice and feedback from some you that follow me that is invaluable. Before I discovered Medium, I was writing in secret and only brought it up around a handful of friends and my girlfriend.
My girlfriend loves reading my stuff, but lets be real, sometimes you need a wider sample of people to really know what your strengths and weaknesses are. I had a laptop full of 7-ish novel drafts, along with other shorter ideas, but nowhere to share my ideas.
Now I do. Even if I only get a handful of people clapping for me, that’s more than what I had before.
There are some truly talented people on here
Good lord, you people know how to write. It’s really awesome to see so many talented indie writers in one space. Each and every person I read on here pushes me to get better. My archives are filled with stories that give me inspiration.
I got paid 25 cents for my last week of writing and that was the happiest I’ve ever been
Not so much a takeaway or opinion, but still. I actually got money for something I wrote. Last time this happened I was getting paid in Taco Bell and beer writing for some college friends.
I don’t care if it’s 25 cents, or 5 cents. I got the validation that I needed that if I work even harder I can get that number up.
With that being said, I’m taking my hard earned money and going get a f*cking gumball to frame.
Last but not least……
No one knows how curation works
This pretty much speaks for itself. I’m lost on how my post about why college athletes should be paid got curated but my very personal post about my mental health struggles didn’t. It is what it is. I’ll just keep experimenting with writing styles until I figure it out.
Now that I’m done rambling/procrastinating, I’ll go back to learning how to write short stories. Hopefully I’ll have one ready to post tonight.
Good day and may the mysterious curating God’s bless you with many views!