Following 350 Days and 101 Posts…
… It is about looking back with satisfaction
The year gone by was special in more ways than one. Among the many positives was the fact that I managed to keep my New Year’s resolution the same pertaining to this platform.
When I made my first submission of the year, on January 5, 2022, I resolved to achieve what was hitherto a chimera. The intended target was to make 100 posts on Medium. To begin with, it seemed impossible. My previous best annual return was less than half of the set target (only 45).
However, life is about facing challenges, setting targets, and trying your best to achieve them. My approach was a pragmatic one. I focused on achieving a consistency of output first before focusing on gathering momentum.
Gradual acceleration and loss of momentum
In the first half of the year, from January to June, the goal was to make seven posts each (every month). As such, after six months, I had made 42 submissions. The consistency in numbers served as a confidence booster. In July the number went up 10 and a month later, in August, I made a dozen posts.
But it was in September that an absolute peak was reached. In the first 25 days of that month, I made a total of 13 posts. That’s an average of one post every two days. It marked my best return on this platform and maintained a steady increase that I had been attempting to achieve over the course of nine months.
If the first six months of the year were about acquiring and maintaining the momentum gained, then the next three months involved acceleration. Towards the end of September, I had completed more than two-thirds of the intended target.
That being said, after every acceleration comes a certain stagnation. No wonder I got carried away to an extent towards the end of September. It wasn’t as if consistency led to complacency. It was possibly mental fatigue. It did make me wonder what will be the case if it breaks the momentum altogether.
Even though I came back strong, as far as numbers are concerned, in the second half of October, I do admit it was difficult to retain focus in the last two months. I was preoccupied with making arrangements for the year-end vacations, and making submissions wasn’t exactly on the back of the mind.
Getting past the intended target
However, since a bulk of the work had been done in the first nine months, I could afford to take it easy in the final three months. Despite the erratic postings, there was the reassurance that I would sail through and manage to achieve the target that I had set for myself.
If there was apprehension at the start of the target (in January) towards the end, it had made way for conviction. It is this conviction which helped me get to the target, rather than get past it.
I made my first submission on the fifth day of the year. The last happened with 11 days left for the year to end, with the holiday period looming. In the intervening 350 days, I managed a total of 101 posts. That is one more than the intended target.
More importantly, there was not a single month when I did not publish at least seven times. For someone who at one point in time could not publish one post in seven months, it definitely marks steady progress.
There are many writers on this platform who remarkably manage to write (and publish) multiple drafts in a day. These writers probably reach this century in two to three months, and their annual total is possibly in a few hundreds, if not more. For them, 101 may be an inconsequential number. But to me, it is a landmark, one that I am particularly proud of.
My journey towards this landmark has been quite a learning experience. It has taught me that passion and profession can coexist with a proper course of action.
There’s a sense of satisfaction
Towards the end of November, I achieved a first. It was a personal milestone, something I had hitherto never managed, despite being on this platform for quite some time. On November 26, two of my submissions got published on Medium on the same day.
There were further successes, ones that result from a consistency in output. The overall readership of my submissions has increased considerably in the last 12 months. Besides, I have not only managed to attain a steady readership but also got to interact with quite a few of my readers. Not to forget, I more than doubled by subscribers in this period.
To put things into perspectives, I will always look back at 2022 with satisfaction and a sense of achievement, of course. Writing is something I am passionate about, but the profession had ensured this passion took a backseat for years. I wanted to get back to writing, but was rendered helpless, if not hopeless.
It’s only a few months into the Covid-imposed lockdown that I could start all over again. Work From Home (followed by the Hybrid model) is not exactly as draining, both mentally and physically, as the rigorous daily routine (work and work-related travel) of the good old days. So it gave me a license to get back to the drill. It gave my writing aspirations a lifeline.
As regards 2023, suffice to say I start from scratch again. It won’t be about achieving a certain number, albeit.
Things are moving at a good pace at the moment. However, that is no excuse to get complacent. There’s a lot more ground to cover. I neither have many followers nor can I boast as regards being a top writer. I am yet to fully understand the dynamics of Medium.
More importantly, I need to know the details about Medium’s algorithm, curation of stories and other such things. I work hard on every post and I would love to have more and more people reading it. I, akin to most people who write on this platform, like the idea of a post going viral. It gives a different kind of high. I want to experience it again and again.
This year will expectedly witness a change in the course of action, and I will embark upon another adventure in my quest to achieve further success in something that ensures personal satisfaction. Writing for me is both an elixir and a stress buster.
As such, any challenge or target I set is aimed not only at taking me to another zone altogether, but also at pushing the boundaries further as a writer, thereby ensuring significant additions to my existing repertoire.