Justin Deming
Aug 8 · 3 min read
Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

Due to work, family, and other hobbies, I haven’t been able to go “all in” on writing for Medium. That’s not to say I haven’t tried. In my early stages of writing on this platform, I wanted to hit it big and rake in boatloads of money from the words and stories I produced. At one point, I tried hammering out two or three articles a day, but this didn’t last long because of other obligations: my family, a full-time teaching job, coaching, and simply life in general.

Looking back, I know in my heart that I will never make thousands of dollars a month on Medium — the statistics aren’t in my favor. Once I accepted this simple fact and stopped filling my increasingly-bleak existence with unnecessary stress, it all became a whole lot easier. Everything brightened up again, and words were easier to come by. I was able to find inspiration in the ordinary again.

What happened to me was simple: I set an unrealistic expectation for myself. I had backed myself into a corner that I never should have been in the first place. No matter how hard I tried, the goal I created wasn’t being reached. I wanted to be able to conjure up multiple stories a day, yet there was no feasible way for me to do this. I almost always ran out of time.

It’s true, there happens to be a talented group of Medium writers (magicians, perhaps?) who are able to do this on a routine basis — and I tip my hat respectfully to them in sheer awe — but I am not in their company.

After I tried and failed repeatedly to accomplish this feat, I was spent — burnt. I was the dying ember in a once-raging fire.

I almost called it quits.

Instead of bidding Medium a fond farewell, I decided to tone it back a bit. I chose to do the responsible thing: take a deep breath, assess the situation, and make an adjustment.

It became clear to me that the burden I created for myself was dragging me down. I was being pulled through the mud by some unrelenting force. When I decided to change my approach and alter my goal, the proverbial weight on my shoulders vanished. (I suppose the mud did, too.)

I decided to write some shorter fictional pieces, stick my toes in the water of the poetry pool, and write more nonfiction-based stories when inspiration struck. I also became motivated to tackle one of my book-length projects that had been sitting untouched on my desktop for over a couple months — since my discovery of Medium.

How did this happen?

I set a reasonable, realistic goal that worked for my individual pursuits: write when time allows. I also didn’t let the concept of making money drive me off a cliff.

I think I had a bit of an epiphany, too. I dislike using the term, but in my scenario, I believe it to be true. I ended up going back to my roots, my reasons for writing in the first place: I love doing it.

Isn’t that the point?

In the end I took away a valuable lesson, and I learned my limits. If you feel like you are reaching a similar place, take a moment to reflect. Your writing — and the joy the process brings you — should never be sacrificed.

Justin Deming lives and teaches in the Hudson Valley region of New York. His fiction has appeared in 50-Word Stories, Ripples in Space, Spelk, and is forthcoming in Flash Fiction Magazine and Frontier Tales. He can be found on Twitter @j_deming_.


Be better at whatever you're building.

Thanks to Glen Binger

Justin Deming

Written by

Husband / Father / Teacher / Writer / Check out my published work: http://jdemingwriting.home.blog



Be better at whatever you're building.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade