I think you hit it on the head when you said this is democratic. Writing opportunities on the Internet have made the democracy of writing even more so — but it creates a glut of material that we must sift through ever more carefully to find the gems. And the fact is, some people aren’t looking for the precious gems. Some are okay with rhinestones and they can find plenty here. This is no different than it ever was. The only difference is that more of us are reading and writing than ever before. I think we can’t look to Medium or any publications for validation of our work. The work itself must be validation. This is hard but we must constantly remind ourselves of it.