Despite Eight Years of Togetherness…
In a real sense my relationship with Medium is just starting
Medium recently celebrated its 10th birthday. The occasion also made me realize I have completed eight years on this platform.
I was one among those who booked an early ticket and boarded this flight meant for writers. Yes, I joined Medium in its nascent stage. That being said, from a personal point of view, the journey has been marred with frequent turbulence, as in the early engagement was anything but consistent.
For a major part of my first five years on this platform, I wasn’t entirely committed to the cause, so to speak. Professional life is hectic, and I suffered as a result. A series of business meetings scheduled for every working day meant more hours were spent in a conference room than at the writing desk.
Add to it frequent work-related travel, and the combination of factors took its toll. There was a paucity of time. Writing is definitely something I am passionate about, but professional commitments had ensured passion took a backseat.
Once the work got over the body, begged for rest. Besides, the overall stress and resultant mental fatigue ensured writing suffered in general, and this platform in particular.
I was seldom consistently contributing to Medium. There was a good period somewhere in the middle, one during which I must have made more than 50 posts in under a year or so. But it was followed by months of inactivity. Largely, it remained that way. In fact, there were multiple occasions when the number of posts made per year, my annual submission that is, was in single digits.
The COVID-imposed lockdown, albeit led to a change. It made me to introspect. In retrospect, I should have done this introspection a lot earlier. That being said, in hindsight, everyone is wise.
A few months into the lockdown and I had started all over again. Work From Home (and the Hybrid model) is not exactly as mentally and physically draining as the daily routine in the good old days. One does not need to not worry about travelling to (and from) work on a daily basis. So it is something that gave me the license to get back to the drill.
It gave my writing aspirations a lifeline. It is during this period that I have made rapid strides. I like to refer to it as version 2.0 on Medium. It is my reincarnation on this platform.
In fact, in the last 15 months or so, I have actually hit back with a vengeance, thereby making up on lost time considerably. In this period, I have managed a consistency in output and an overall increase in numbers. That almost half of my total posts on this platform have happened in this period is no coincidence.
This year, in particular, has been extremely productive. While I managed to maintain an average of seven posts per month in the first half of the year, the last three months have witnessed an incremental growth. It is the kind of consistency I had always aspired to achieve, without ever actually making an effort towards that end. It feels great to finally reap the rewards.
My focus for the foreseeable future is simple. I want to continue being as consistent as I can, set targets that I believe can be achieved, and work towards achieving them. Thereafter, it will be time to set new goals and explore new horizons.
This recent consistency is pleasing, but I am aware that there is absolutely no point in getting overenthusiastic or going overboard. What I need to remember is the fact that despite being on the platform for a considerable period of time, my actual journey on Medium has only just begun, even if it actually happens to be a restart of sorts.
There are millions of writers who have joined a lot later but have moved way ahead. They have worked hard to achieve what they have in terms of followers, status and the thing that motivates the most. They inspire me, in more ways than one.
That being said, I also need to understand what works for me now, and what will be practically possible in the long run. A lot of the big names on Medium write an article a day and are palpably a lot more visible. I know I cannot be one of them. I am neither as talented nor as productive.
Then there are others who are top writers in a particular niche. This is something achievable and to aspire for, especially now when I have a modicum of consistency.
At the moment, I cannot boast of too many followers, even though the recent consistency has ensured a steady increase in those numbers. I can neither claim to understand Medium’s algorithm fully well nor can I vouch that a bulk of my stories have been curated. What I can proudly say, though, is that writing some of them has given me immense personal satisfaction.
Besides, these days I get to interact with readers on a more regular basis, and appreciate the fact that they express their opinion and views without hesitation. To see my effort getting appreciated gives me an immense high. It makes me more motivated than ever before.
As things stand, these factors, coupled with my new found consistency, are the biggest takeaways from my version 2.0.
I joined Medium when it was about to enter its third year. Even as the platform has completed a decade, I look back with both a tinge of regret and a lot of optimism.
The regret owes to the fact that I lost considerable time, years I could have used to build my brand. The optimism stems from my consistent approach in recent times. Had it not been for the last 15 months, I would have had no hesitation in admitting my decision to join Medium, as also my first stint (those eight years), was a total failure owing to a lack of effort.
These 15 months have been a learning process. They have taught me that passion and profession can coexist if there is a proper course of action. I have been made to learn the importance of a consistence approach.
More importantly, I have been made aware of the significance of planning. The biggest realization has been the fact that even though not everything goes as planned, it is still better to do some planning than neglecting an aspect altogether.
I will never ignore writing completely ever again. I want to enjoy the moment, and work towards building on the solid foundation that has been laid over the course of the last 15 months or so. My short-term goal is all about maintaining a consistency in output.
The long-term target is pretty much straightforward as well. By the time Medium celebrates its 20th anniversary, I should have done enough to look back at this second decade with a sense of pride.