How Long is My Medium Obsession Going to Last?

82 days after I began a daily writing practice here, it’s a good time to take stock and look ahead

The Yorkie Claire doing her morning practice: a sun bath on the living room couch.

I have written at least 500 words at Medium five days a week since October 21st of last year. The chances seem to be good that I will keep going.

On July 26, 2008, I started a weekly podcast about Amazon, the Kindle, books, and technology. I haven’t missed a show since. This week’s will be the 441st episode.

This is not to say that I stick with every venture that I start. With Will Schwalbe and Lin Yutang, I am a believer in “the noble art of leaving things undone.”

I abandoned podcasts about technology in cars, an audio journal, and a video podcast. When I worried that the Barnes & Noble Nook might eclipse the Kindle, I created a Plan B show about eBook technology named The Reading Edge. I needn’t have worried about that one, as it turned out.

My commitment to The Kindle Chronicles and Medium shares a quality that leads me to hope I will be writing here for a long time: delight.

I remember connecting a Blue Snowball microphone to my Mac eight years ago at the family summer cottage in Maine and speaking into it for TKC 1. I have always loved gadgets and books. Amazon’s introduction of an eReader containing a thousand books was too good to be true. I wanted to talk about it to everyone, all the time.

Why Medium? As a boy, I loved to write and take photos. On January 1, 1958, I wrote in pencil my first entry in a blue Daily Diary:

today Mother went to the Eemmens for Briftas. I was sik dad was too.

As I look at those pages, I wince to see how far back my obsessive tendencies go. I remember deciding at age seven that I would write in that diary every single day of the year. I almost made it. The only blanks are for December 14th through New Year’s Eve.

When I wasn’t able to write an entry for some reason, I would go back and fill in the blanks. That explains why there are so many that say exactly the same thing: “I went to school today.”

It also helped to be shooting for way less than 500 words.

March 19: Grammie Edgerly came.
April 4: I went outside. I saw rockets on T.V..
October 9: I am a cub scout.

I remember how much I loved writing in that journal with a fat-tipped pencil. I can still smell the shaved wood and lead.

First entries in my first journal, 1958

I also remember the first time I tried Medium, after years of writing with word processors on computers and blogging software online. It bowled me over when I realized there was no “preview” button to click. OMG. Whatever I type is in final, elegant format the moment my fingers leave the keys.

Inserting photos into Medium posts is drop-dead simple and gorgeous.

Writing is hard. Anything that makes it fun — from a fat pencil to the the perfect What You See Is What You Get interface — increases the odds a writer will keep going.

It’s probable that I read my first Daily Diary entries to Mom and Dad 60 years ago. Their appreciation ever since has encouraged me to never give up, through many writing jobs as an adult. Dad, who will be 90 next month, uses his iPhone 6 to text me a comment whenever I send him a link to my latest Medium post. In their kitchen in Cambridge, Mass., he sometimes reads a post of mine aloud to Mom, who will be 87 in April.

I am grateful for the additional feedback I receive from Medium followers, recommenders, and commenters. To me, the community vibe here seems intelligent and empathetic, as classy as the page formatting.

That’s enough Medium-gazing for now. I don’t want to jinx whatever momentum I have by over-analyzing it.

See you back here tomorrow, I hope. And many more.