“Who Rang That Bell?”

“Can’t you read?!”

Everybody can name this movie, so I won’t even bother with a proper caption.

Hey there, Dustin. You rang?

I’m still around, but a few months ago I made a few changes to the way I interact with Medium. Here’s the deal ...

(If you’re pressed for time, feel free to scroll down to the last three paragraphs.)

Surprisingly, one of my earlier pieces on Medium went over like gangbusters, so I thought oh, you just write something, throw it up there, and bunches of people start clicking that little green heart. Well, we all know it’s not nearly as simple as that. I also fell into the trap of comparing myself to others and tried to crank out a lot of stuff and force lightning to strike twice. Some essays were okay, most weren’t. Ultimately, via trial and error, I’ve learned a couple of valuable lessons.

I’m not prolific. I’m a slow writer. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to just sit at my laptop and churn out loads of content. I don’t have that much to say. Plus it takes me a fair amount of time to get my thoughts in order and then to figure out how to clearly share those thoughts is a-whole-nother ordeal.

I’ve found that the topics that are most popular with the folks that I’ve written about on Medium are the ones that I have the most visceral reactions to. If it’s something I’m wish-washy about — I don’t know, maybe the writing is lazy within that essay or I don’t present the ideas as thoroughly — but without fail those essays “bomb.”

I stay in my lane … as far as subject matter is concerned. I hope to write essays that offer a different point of view on topics that can trip people up. I write with a Christian undertone/throughline as my faith is important to me and has buoyed my through some pretty crappy times and formed a tether for me not just spiritually, but in how I understand myself and interact with others. I hope I offer glimpses of said faith to readers in a manner that is refreshing and not boorish in approach. I make no without apology for my choices and do not condemn others for their own faith practices or choosing not to have one at all.

And I write from my own firsthand experience, my own perspective, that of a Black American who lives with a disability (Uncle Sam likes to refer to dwarfism as a disability; me, I don’t think so) and is of the Christian faith and gay sexual orientation. The way those four traits intersect make for what I hope is point of view that is … “different.”

Basically, for me it’s come down to quality versus quantity. I try to write something every two weeks of substance. And once a month I compile a list of writers whose work has caught my eye over the previous month.

And since October I’ve been working on a fourth book, a novel. A comedy. It’s a bit different than what everyone’s read here. It’s light fare with the sole purpose of entertaining. Hopefully it will hit that mark and readers will receive it as such … because frankly, that’s what I’d rather be writing about, but it seems the headier stuff is what’s connecting with people … which is fine with me because I want to help people.

If Declan (or anyone else) would like to add more color to their reading list, take a look below and add writers from there.

Readers to Follow on Medium: October 2016
Readers to Follow on Medium: November 2016
Readers to Follow on Medium: December 2016
Readers to Follow on Medium: January 2017
Readers to Follow on Medium: February 2017*

*Note: my recommendations include people of all colors and persuasions. Variety keeps it interesting.

Or you can curate your own list from the people I follow.

So … that was a very roundabout to say, I’m still here, still reading, just writing a little less because I’m working on my great American novel—ha!

Love one another.

Thanks Dustin and anyone else wondering where I’ve been. You Medium folks are good eggs. A few of y’all are a little cracked, but still a good bunch!