Is there anyone on Medium that is not an aspiring writer?
A couple months ago I started a blog (yes, I know, yet another blogger) and several people mentioned that I check out Medium.
Not knowing much about it — I do live at the tip of Africa after all — I eagerly created a profile. Now, of course, there are rules and proven strategies to gaining success on a platform such as this and several Medium -mavericks have found their natural habitat on these white pages.
But what struck me after reading my hundredth article, is that everyone (and I mean everyone) sticks to the same proven post formula; so much in fact that its rather boring (how to ______ , 5 things to do before ______, get my checklist here, and so on). It made me question whether anyone other than aspiring writers (and perhaps coaches) even read these articles. This is a completely unsubstantiated claim, of course, so feel free to ignore my ad lib gibberish if you find it offensive.
There are reasons behind my view. For one, several cult-status writers that post frequently (a proven strategy, of course) gain tremendous applause and responses usually from others looking to make a remark, semi-intelligent enough, to gain profile views for themselves. Another signpost is that a lot of the time the responses are incongruent to the post content — which proves that the responder is less interested in the content than the hope of any recognition. Let’s not even get to the copy/paste call-to-actions.
Now, it’s not all bad. I’ve read many interesting articles and fresh perspectives on this platform and its wonderful that the platform exists at all. We all know (we, being aspiring writers) that a writer needs a public platform and someway to get their work out there.
But, it does make me question its authenticity. Authenticity (true authenticity — not the “I skateboard to work and drink Matcha” variety) is something I am passionate about and have a heightened sensitivity to. Every time I read another ‘17 steps to change your life’ I do wonder about the person behind the words. If we were less busy trying to crack the formula, would be perhaps be more focussed on trying to truly connect? After all, writing is an art that connects us with others. It requires its scribes to have some commitment to the truth.
Fellow truth-tellers, I know you are out there. I would love to follow your accounts and connect through the power of authentic narrative.