The best hits of summer’20

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I began writing on Medium at the start of summer, and back then, I went in with low expectations. In the blink of an eye, three months have passed, and I only have a week left in my summer break. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have one of the best summers, ever.

Looking back at my older pieces, I can see how much I have grown as a writer. The comments section also reminds me of the writers I met and the conversations we have had.

I cherish the people I have met on Medium…

What do we expect from cancel culture?

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Everywhere I look, people are grappling with cancel culture. Even Singapore, where I am from, is not spared the brutality of cancel culture. Influencers take swipes at one another on social media while the angry mob harasses brands and cries for blood. Who could have known that cancel culture would ever hit us just as badly as it has engulfed liberal societies?

Consequences of cancel culture

Yesterday, I read yet another article in The Atlantic that discusses cancel culture, and here is what Helen Lewis argues:

If you care about progressive causes, then woke capitalism is not your friend. It is actively impeding the…

Celebrity Culture | Social Media

Let’s take a moment to think and not be rash here

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Beyonce is about to release Black is King, her latest visual album, on Disney+ on July 31. Before the film is out, Queen Bey has already received backlash for her portrayal of African culture. What is going on? Why are people attacking Beyonce, “the superstar that brought black power to the Super Bowl” as one headline in The Guardian proclaims?

Beyonce’s Lemonade album was even critically acclaimed by the Rolling Stones to have “[legitimized] and [created] space for a range of black women’s emotions.” What went wrong?

Before we get into what the Internet horde has to say about Black…

But please, do it the right way

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I read online more than I do on my Kindle these days. I start my morning with The New Yorker and The Atlantic, and towards the latter half of the day, I consume stories on Medium and other blogs I find on social media. Oh, and I draft listicles almost every day whether it is for clients or my blog. I just published one last Friday!

I know of people who read the first and last sentence of each paragraph and call it a day. For me, I prefer to slowly savor every word when I read. As a writer…

Even as we judge the actions of others, are we equally critical of ourselves?

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Cancel culture has been bugging me for several weeks as racial tensions ramped up in the middle of an election season. Tweets and Facebook posts from as far back as 2011 were dug up, nasty comments were exchanged on social media, and police reports were made. In Singapore, law enforcement is obliged to investigate every police report filed. You probably can guess how problematic and toxic the situation has become with the police involved.

I am not here to debate who is right or wrong because that is one drama I am not foolish enough to wade into. It could…


An Apology

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We often want to do a thousand and one things within a short period. As writers, we yearn to start a blog, write an ebook, post daily on Medium, pitch clients, and market our writing on top of everything else. For most of us, we seek to do all of that — and more — while working our day jobs.

Yet, we only have so little time to accomplish all that we set out to do. Things seldom go according to plan.

Last week, I wrote about feeling burnt out and overwhelmed by the pace that I am going at…

Some notes from my research on Pinterest marketing for writers

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Have you been mulling over whether to expand your online presence onto Pinterest? Do you already have an inactive Pinterest account that you have been thinking of reviving?

I have to admit that I always thought Pinterest was a community of people that exchanged quotes plucked off from different corners of the Internet. Recently, I came to realize that Pinterest is more than what I thought it was Pinterest marketing is a key pillar that many writers swear by. These writers claim that Pinterest has directed thousands of viewers to their site monthly. What is the fuss all about?

What is Pinterest?



And not everything went according to plan

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Worried about writer’s burn out, I declared last Monday as my day off from writing. I have been writing consistently for one-and-a-half months and I felt I was reaching a breaking point. I could still write, but it was beginning to take a toll on my energy levels and I knew I needed some downtime.

It could be that I expanded and tried to do too much within a short amount of time. It could also be that I was never cut out to be a writer. Who knows? All I knew was that I needed a break.

What I thought would happen

I thought…


It must be impossible to feel exhausted from doing what I love, right?

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Most writers I have encountered are always worried about writer’s block, but nobody has warned me about burn out until earlier this week. I always wrote with the mindset that I love writing, and it must be impossible for me to feel drained from doing what I love, right?

Unfortunately, I am at the brink of burn out — close to but not yet — and I am here to tell you that is not the case. You can experience burn out even from doing something you love.

Pulling back from Medium

Before this week, I made it a point to write something on…


Everything you need to know about curation and top writer status to get you started.

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As a new writer on Medium, buzz words such as curation, curation jail, and top writer status often come up in writing communities (e.g. ILLUMINATION’s Slack channel) and other Medium articles. You may have come across stories of people boasting about their curation success that detail how you can be just like them. On the other end of the spectrum, some writers bemoan their plight in ‘curation jail.’

So, what do these terms mean and how does one get curated? What must I do to attain the top writer badge on my profile? …

Ming Qian

Freelance Writer | Economics Undergraduate at the National University of Singapore | Undergrad blogger at

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