The Bigger Picture
Oddly specific. Universally applicable.

Tips for getting your writing published in TBP

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Please make sure your story includes a header image, accompanied by the source — like this one. (Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels)

Hi guys, it’s Ryan. I started The Bigger Picture in October of 2014 as a passion project. Inspired by the creative and unique voices on Medium, I wanted to help give writers I love a home for their work. Now — at more than 15,000 followers strong (and hopefully growing) — TBP has become a global community of writers with distinct voices, worldviews, and most importantly, stories.

My motto has been: If you don’t have a new story to tell, at least find a new way to tell it.

Whether you’re just starting out on Medium, recently came across TBP, or want to learn how to format your article, I am flattered you’re interested in publishing here. …

It isn’t just about Gen Z — it's about much more

The Republican and Democratic symbols covered by TikTok’s icon sparking lightning with the US flag in the background.
The Republican and Democratic symbols covered by TikTok’s icon sparking lightning with the US flag in the background.
(Source: Pixabay chayka1270, graphics altered by Jano le Roux)

As the 2020 U.S. election is closing in, Generation Z’s votes are increasingly becoming more critical to both candidates. TikTok may be the new kid on the block, but I reckon it might be the same determining factor Facebook was in the 2016 election — at least among Gen Z voters.

TikTok has recently seen a spike in politically motivated content, most of which screams division clashes with TikTok’s self-proclaimed mission to “inspire creativity and bring joy.” In late 2019, TikTok released this statement on its website:

“We will not allow paid ads that promote or oppose a candidate, current leader, political party or group, or issue at the federal, state, or local level — including election-related ads, advocacy ads, or issue ads.” …

A Field Guide to Feelings

They both have something to do with cows

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(Image from Peakpix)

There’s a farm not too far from my office where you can have a therapy session with a cow. For $75, you and a friend can spend an hour with the beast; you may pet her hair, look into her big brown eyes, and cuddle. You could tell your problems to the cow, if you’d like; she won’t mind. Her big ears will take it all in and she will never judge. Compared to what I charge as a therapist, it’s a bargain, but you’d have trouble getting insurance to cover it.

Do I have any fears that the cows will take over my business? Not a chance. Whenever I see a new client who has been to therapy before and didn’t find it helpful, they often say it was because the therapist rarely spoke up and gave them no direction; a problem, I imagine they would also find with cows. That is not to say that a cow cannot be therapeutic. …

COVID-19 creates plenty of awkward encounters. You know what I’m talking about.

Inspired by The Pillow-Book of Sei Shonagon

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(Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)

The invite said it’s a lunch meeting, but I’m the only one eating anything on the Zoom call. I made lo mein noodles and the sauce splatters on my keyboard as I slurp them into my mouth.

A woman walks her dog on the sidewalk ahead of me, slowly. Her dog is one of the small fluffy kinds, with short legs always rushing but not getting anywhere. I step into the street to go around her, but cars are coming so I swerve back onto the sidewalk. …

The cost of segregation and a president staking his future on it

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(Photo by Eilis Garveyon Unsplash)

Earlier this year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rescinded the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation implemented under the Obama administration in 2015. The regulation was introduced to strengthen the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which, reportedly, has not done much to minimize segregation.

Richard Rothstein, Thurgood Marshall Institute Senior Fellow and author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America , explains, “The rule instructed cities, towns, and suburbs to assess their concentrations (or absence) of disadvantaged populations and identify goals to remedy segregated conditions.” …

Isolation during the coronavirus prompted me to explore why touch is so important

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(Photo by Victor Rodriguez on Unsplash)

Living in New York City, I have always liked the subway. Packed together like sardines, I feel the intimacy of our shared frustration aboard the train.

I smile as we share the discomfort of our closeness, of commuting, of yet another signal delay.

Though perhaps half my head is adrift in an audiobook, I am wondering where you got your shoes, if you dream, how often you wash your sheets, if you have a cat. I experience the same smiling intimacy when attending a crowded yoga class.

I take secret pleasure in seeing my neighbor’s hand slip onto my mat while we flip our dogs. …


Can money buy inner peace?

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(Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash)

What’s common between all humans? Apart from the fact that we’re all humans, keeping aside the differences. We all have to do some kind of work to earn our living. We all need money to go about with our daily chores.

In order to earn that money, we all do some kind of a job (unless you’ve inherited a fortune). Wake up every day, get ready go to work, toil for the day, and come back tired. This is a cycle that all of us follow until supposed retirement where we’re not fit enough to earn money.

Some would refer to this cycle as the rat race. It’s this almost inescapable societal trap that imprisons people to wage slavery and employer oppression. Because most of the jobs that people do these days aren’t really what they want to do. When you start a job that you don’t like, gradually you get yourself into the rat race. …

4 weird and worrisome (but funny) encounters

A woman is seen lying on a bed through a crack in an opened door.
A woman is seen lying on a bed through a crack in an opened door.
(Photo by Callum Shaw on Unsplash)

Can I give birth at your house?

People can be weird. People can cause weird things to happen. And when you share your home with complete strangers as an Airbnb host, you are bound to run into some of those weird and worrisome circumstances.

I have been hosting and traveling on Airbnb since 2016, and I love it. As a host, it provides me some nice extra income while letting me meet a kind, adventurous, and diverse slice of humanity. …

I didn’t need tapes because I slipped right inside her.

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(Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

My publisher was firm, “You can not use a picture of Melania Trump on your cover.”

But it wasn’t photos of Melania I had sent them, they were snaps of me dressed as Melania.

If you saw me walking down the street, except that I’m tall and lanky, you would never place Melania and I in the same lineup. I have short hair and walk, talk, and joke like a dyke, injecting my Queens accent into my learned General American whenever passionate.

How then do I get so often confused for Melania when I do her impression? Sure, when I’m impersonating her I wear a white “bandaid” dress and a wig cut to match her tresses, with eyebrows drawn in that could start their own Twitter feed, but what really sells my impression is what’s lurking behind my eyes. …

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Author’s photo

Dear Mom,

I imagine I must look different now than I did when I last saw you 15 years ago this month. What must it be like to see your baby girl with a few more lines and sunspots on her face? What do you think of all the canas mixed in with my dark hair? Would you still consider me your “baby” even now that I’m in my 40s?

I remember running hard and fast on a treadmill one day at the gym. You were less than five miles away lying on a hospital bed connected to a bunch of tubes. The vision of you in your hospital gown dominated my thoughts, a sight with which I was all too familiar. …

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