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Attaining a Following, Views & Fans on Medium; The Struggle is Real

See all the people? Me, neither. Photo courtesy: burst.shopify.com

Last night/this morning I wrote. A lot. I actually published three pieces on Medium, and started a fourth. Because I’m on a staycation until July 9, I’ve been behaving like I would if writing is the only thing in the world I have to do. I feel like my best ideas come to me in the evening, and develop them further into the night/early morning.

I felt quite pleased with the progress I made overnight.

I slept later than usual this morning, made a nice tall tumbler of iced coffee and strolled out to the pool house to check my Medium stats.

Bad idea.

I’ve been posting on Medium since May 28. Yes, it’s only a month and a few days. I get that.

I’m sad to say that I’ve only posted 18 times. That’s not to say that is the only writing and posting I’ve done, because I also have three blogs that I also post to, regularly.

Was I a bit discouraged after looking at my stats? Yes, initially, until I reeled myself back to reality.

Volume is the key word, here. 18 posts since May what? 28? 29? That is not a lot of volume.

That being said, I can’t legitimately be discouraged, because rarely am I at a loss for words. It’s my lack of discipline that is holding me back. Audra Russell told me that I have to carve an hour into my day to write. Because none of the three blogs I write are monetized, it stands to reason that Medium is the platform I should be concentrating on at this particular time in my life.

What I struggle with, even though I’ve posted articles on my own writer’s voice and about writing what I know, is quality content. While I am gaining a good bit of confidence in my skill, I still have those days where my internal Negative Nancy tells me that nobody gives a fat rat’s ass about what goes on in my mind, and even less about what I put out here. Nancy and I need to meet out back, because I’d really like to kick her ass.

Getting a following is work, people. I find that creating can be even harder than a bad day at work, sometimes.

Here are 4 suggestions I am making to myself, and maybe some of you will find some value in them, as well:

  1. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, how bad a day I’ve had, because I know that it is unrealistic of me to get up an hour early to bang something out in my word processor at 5:30 a.m. that is going to make sense. I need to take at least an hour after work to write about something, even if it never sees the light of day. I’ve actually found items in my Medium “drafts” folder that I’ve been able to pick up and run with.
  2. Don’t worry about what people think. I am going to write what is in my heart and on my mind. Some pieces will be accepted and popular and others will be duds. I expect a lot of duds, because when they aren’t? I’ll be really happy. (I’ve always been that person that expects the worst, only to be surprised when something better happens. This is a defense mechanism that I’ve had my entire life. I can’t help it.)
  3. Watch people. People can really give you some insight to the human experience. There was a really wasted lady at a concert I went to last week that I dubbed the “Smile Ambassador” because when she wasn’t dancing she was trying to get people to smile. Personal insights to people like that can be piece-fodder; who she is, why she’s wasted, and why does she want to illicit smiles from perfect strangers?
  4. Find phrases that spark something in that creative brain. Just yesterday, in fact, my mom said, “I’m happy enough,” and boom! A piece was born:

I’m going to another concert tomorrow and will be people-watching between bands to find inspiration.

That being said? I’m going to keep plugging along for the rest of the week as if writing is the only thing I have to do, because quite frankly? It is!