17 Things You Should Never Do On Medium, And One Thing You Should

Conversations with myself.


“You’re not really going to do this, are you?”

“Do what?”

“A listicle.”

“Listicles are very popular! And they’re easy to do — a fuck-ton easier than trying to be actually creative or interesting or entertaining. And people always click on them for some god damned reason and then argue with the things in the list and then make their own list in contradiction of the list of things that someone else made because the other list is so popular.”

“Which is why you’re making this list.”

“Partially. Also I finally finished this fucking awful and ultimately worthless experiment I started on January First where I would attempt to write something new every day for a month.”

“Which was a failure, seeing as it is now no longer January and you’re only now finishing it up.”

“This is true.”

“So get on with it!”

“With what?”

“The seventeen things!”

“Technically, there are eighteen. The seventeen things not to do and the one thing to do.”

“And what are they?”


“The seventeen…!”


“Eighteen fucking things!”

“Oh, I don’t know.”

“Then what the fuck…?”

“Fine, here’s one thing: All you need is an opinion.”

“What’s that mean?”

“It means that you can just sit your butt down and start writing something without a shred of evidence or supporting details based solely on what you think, and then shape it as if you’re an expert regarding that thing, and mold it into some easily digested bullet points and you have yourself a Medium article. And one that’s likely to be popular, too!”

“That seems overly simplistic.”

“There’s some actual writing happening around here, but for the most part it’s all like my crap, which is just me talking to myself and trying to form some sort of conclusion for the subject at hand.”

“But more often you were just rambling on about nothing.”

“Writing something every day has a few challenges that are harder than I first realized.”


“Just…coming up with something to write about every day. It takes some time — not much, admittedly, but some — to author a piece that’s at least, and I do mean at the very least, a cohesive bit of writing that’s also somehow interesting or humorous or entertaining or…something.”

“Besides boring.”

“Or redundant.”

“Or pointless.”

“Most of it was probably pointless.”

“Did you like any of it?”

“Maybe one or two in there I felt were worthwhile. The one that got the most attention was a throw-away bit of garbage about defining friends into categories, but somehow it caught on somewhere and garnered over 10,000 readers, and hundreds of recommendations.”

“And what’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing, I guess. It’s just that from my point of view, over the course of a month of non-stop writing…”

Almost non-stop writing.”

“Almost non-stop writing, I didn’t produce anything I’d consider publishable. Something I was truly proud of. And that popularity is no indicator of quality. And that the biggest contributor to popularity is luck.”

“Or being famous.”

“Or infamous.”

“Which is its own reward.”

“And that’s nothing new.”

“I suppose not.”

“So would you deem the exercise a failure?”

“Not entirely. I miss writing, so getting back to it was kind of fun. I probably picked a bad model to use every day. A continuous one-sided dialog can get boring or tedious very quickly, and I think the conceit wasn’t very intriguing or ultimately very engaging.”

“So you wouldn’t do it again.”

“Not every day. I mean, one wants one’s writing to be read. That’s why one writes.”

“And now you’re finished.”

“At last.”

“So, congratulations? I guess?”


“Any last words before closing the cover on this book?”

“No. I’m done.”