Photo by Raychan on Unsplash

Happy Medium Birthday to Me

It’s extraordinary what a difference a year can make.

Sandra Ebejer
Jun 18 · 6 min read

It’s my Medium birthday!

One year ago today I joined the Medium Partner Program, wrote up a silly listicle, hit publish, and then crawled under my desk to hide.

OK, maybe I’m exaggerating about that last part, but I was terrified. After 13 years of writing grant proposals — all submitted under an organization’s name — I was putting my own thoughts, feelings, and experiences out there, with my name attached, for all to read. It was the most vulnerable I’ve ever felt.

Little did I know that silly post would send my career on a new trajectory.

I’d been really, truly, incredibly unhappy in my job for months. I knew I wanted to do something different — I’d dreamed of becoming a Writer for decades — but I didn’t know how to make the change. When you’ve been following one path for so long, the idea of taking a turn is daunting. I’m no longer 25. I have a family to consider. I can’t just upend my career and start over.

Or so I thought.

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

That first Medium post received kind comments from friends and family. No one laughed at me. No one mocked me. In fact, my loved ones encouraged me to continue sharing my work. So, I did.

I wrote and published. Sometimes I wrote without publishing. But I wrote. And I reclaimed my love of writing. I bought books on freelancing and creativity, listened to podcasts on publishing (like this amazing one by John August), and joined online writing groups. Then, in September, I did it.

I quit my job and dedicated myself to writing full-time (and then some).

None of this would have happened without Medium.

A Medium Timeline

The following is a timeline of my successes and failures over the past year. I wrote it up for myself, really, as a reminder of how far I’ve come…and how much further I have to go.

Thank You, Medium

Though I have my fair share of complaints about Medium, I have to admit: this site changed my life. If I hadn’t faced my fears and published that silly listicle, I might still be sitting in a cubicle, hunched over a desk, writing grants-speak and ignoring the pull to do more with my life.

Instead, I have bylines — The Boston Globe, Brevity, Scary Mommy, Folks — with more pieces in the works. I have pitches out to magazines and submissions out to literary journals. I’m getting used to shrugging off rejections (a skill I learned during my grant writing days) and am building a slightly thicker skin when it comes to reader feedback.

I’m slooooooowly building a following here and on social media, and my newsletter subscribers are increasing incrementally each month. According to Medium, though I’m no longer the tops in Parenting, Social Media, or Reading, I’m still a Top Writer in Advice and Writing. I’ll take it.

Point is, for all its flaws, Medium is a pretty incredible place for a new writer to launch a career. I still have a long way to go, but I’m so much closer to achieving my dreams than I was a year ago.

More Importantly: Thank You, Readers and Fellow Writers

To anyone who has ever read one of my essays, blog posts, rants, or listicles, thank you. It still feels surreal that anyone would take the time to pay attention to anything I put online, let alone highlight it or clap for it. I’m enormously grateful for your support. More than you could ever know. ❤

And if you’re a writer, please continue writing. Publish, publish, publish. Get over the fear and put your work out there. Yes, it can be a bummer when a piece doesn’t resonate, but it’s SUCH a high when it goes well. Chase that high. Brush off the naysayers and put your best work into the world. I promise you won’t regret it.

Sandra Ebejer

Written by

Writer, reader, mommy. Just trying to figure out this thing called life. Pub. in BREVITY, Boston Globe, Scary Mommy, etc. / / Twitter: @sebejer