The Value of A Good Article
What are your motivations for writing?
When Medium first introduced its paid partner program, I was starry eyed. I signed up for the program thinking that it was the golden opportunity for me to make money out of my writing.
I was thrilled. Happily, I tapped away on my keyboard, swishing my fluffy tail in delight.
Upon enrolment into the paid partner program, I was bombarded (on my suggested reads page) with a good number of articles suggesting that authors should write at least one article a day to become more established.
‘Writing everyday keeps up one’s momentum’ the articles read. It was quantity over quality. I was convinced. Hence, I began to push myself a little harder.
Needless to say, I failed, colossally. Writing an article a day was not easy — especially when you are an exhausted stay at home mum and a perfectionist.
I not only wanted to write, I wanted to keep my articles at a sufficiently high quality. The content of the articles and the language used had to be up to standard.
When I realised that an article a day was beyond my ability, I persisted writing as often as I could. I thought that by doing so, my writing skills would be honed and I would soon acquire more followers and become an accomplished writer.
Weeks passed. I checked the amount of money earned from my writing – still $0. That saddened and disappointed me greatly. It disturbed me enough to do a thorough reflection on my motivations for writing. I began to consider the following:
- What is my purpose of writing?
- What is the value of a good article?
Below are the fruits of my rumination:
1. What is my purpose of writing?
I am a thinker. My mind is constantly flooded with thoughts. I usually unload these thoughts on my husband and friends.
Sadly, I am not a very accomplished speaker. I tend to ramble on without much direction and my thoughts usually come out in an unpolished manner. As a result, most of the time, people do not understand what I am trying to say.
Writing helps me polish up my thoughts. When given sufficient time and privacy, I am able to digest my own thoughts, polish them up and serve them in palatable bite-sized articles.
While my thoughts may not be the most ingenious ones, I believe they do have some merit. When chanced upon by the right person at the right time, I believe that they can do much good for that person. (Inspired by Stella Lim)
Some of you may know that before I became a full time mum, I was a tutor and a trained catechist. Sadly, my mothering commitments prevent me from doing any form of teaching now.
To me, writing is a way for me to ‘teach’ the elusive other (you – the reader), so my charisms and talents would not be wasted.
To sum it up, I write to communicate (and polish up) my thoughts and to teach and potentially help people.
2. What is the value of a good article?
I have never done professional writing so I do not know how much a good article costs. I am guessing about $100 per piece?
When I first signed up for Medium’s paywall, I was expecting to earn a meagre $5 a month for my articles (I just wanted enough to cover for my membership fees). When my ‘results sheet’ reflected $0, I was disenchanted.
The following thoughts began to flood my mind:
- Is this an indication that my articles are worthless?
- Now that they have been ‘valuated’, are my thoughts less influential than they were before?
A resounding No.
A article is a good article. It’s life-changing quality does not change base on the price tagged to it.
Of course, ideally, it would be good if budding writers could be rewarded monetarily for their efforts, but for some (like myself), it remains an idealistic dream.
In truth, I have only 29 followers and an average readership of 24 views per article. To be honest, it is very unlikely that I will ever be paid for my writing.
With that said, I can and will of course still persist writing for the other non-monetary benefits — personal satisfaction, a vague sense of contributing to the greater good.
In conclusion, the road ahead is long. I do not know if I will remain a stay-at-home-mum for the rest of my life.
Perhaps, if this hobby persists, I may look for a job as a professional journalist in time. Perhaps not.
Either way, I will endeavour to continue writing — For all the reasons above and simply because I love writing!
Thanks for being one of my 24 loyal readers! Do share my articles with your friends if you have found them helpful. It would really help me a good deal. 💖💖💖