When Does The Newness Rub Off?

Carolyn McBride
Published in
3 min readDec 20, 2021


Am I still shiny?

A pile of shiny coins is spread across a table
Photo by Marcel Strauß on Unsplash

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, “new” is defined as,


noo͞, nyoo͞


Having been made or come into being only a short time ago; recent.

Still fresh.

Never used or worn before now.

So a “new writer” is one who has only recently started writing.

Here on Medium, there are terrific publications that can help a new writer find their audience. I subscribe and write for some of them myself. But as I was making a cup of tea this morning, I got to wondering, how long can a writer call themselves “new”?

In the fiction world, once an author has a novel published, they’re no longer considered “new”, or “debut”. Self-publishers seem to drop the “new” status after a while, although the relationship between their status and their writing output is less clear. With ghostwriters, once a few articles have been written, the writers (called ghosts) are no longer considered to be new.

So when are we no longer new writers here on Medium? When we have 500 followers? 1K followers? 100 posts? 200? When our writing seems polished enough to shine among the greats? When we have published a post a day for months? I have done a deep dive into Medium for the answer, and I’ve found nothing concrete that I can point to as an answer.

I have knocked around in the fiction world for years. I’ve written a handful of articles that were printed before I ever found Medium. Some of my work has been published in anthologies and had a novel published, although that particular publisher went down in a ball of flames and scandal. I have been a ghostwriter for a little while now, too. I no longer consider myself a new writer in any of those arenas. But here on Medium is a different story. I signed up a couple of years ago, wrote one post and then promptly forgot about the platform. Just a couple of months ago, I decided I would get serious about it again.

I have two publications, one here and one over on Substack. Here, I own and operate “The Old West Gazette”, which focuses on life in the Old West. It’s still small and unknown, but I started it to feed and sustain my love of all things Western. I’ve not yet found anything here quite like it.

(If you know of anyone who might enjoy reading it, or write for it, send them my way)

Over on Substack, I am building a publication called “Behind The Crime Scene Tape”. It discusses everything to do with crime, investigation, the psychology of criminals, different sorts of crime, murder, art and gem theft, and so much more. It feeds into and from my research as a mystery writer. I have plans to bring it here in the next couple of weeks.

I no longer feel like a new writer, and I suppose that’s an answer in itself.

What about you? How long have you been here on Medium? Shout out and let me know in the comments.



Carolyn McBride

I’m a self-sufficiency enthusiast, an author of novels & short stories, a reader, a gardener, lover of good chocolate, coffee & life in the woods.