Okay, I Guess It’s Time to Get Back to Writing

Or is it?

Image by sianbuckler from Pixabay

It’s been almost a month since I last published something on Medium and I wasn’t sure I would publish this today. To be perfectly honest I just didn’t feel like sitting down and writing anything, much less an article to publish. Sure I had a lot of thoughts regarding a variety of subjects and I did a great deal of thinking, but I just plain didn’t have the energy or desire to write anything down. I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about not writing and I didn’t feel any pressure to write. I was at ease with my inactivity.

This did wonders for my self-confidence, but not for my bank account.

At times I did consider sitting down to write about some of the ideas swimming around in my head, but that feeling soon passed. I checked my medium statistics occasionally and was surprised to see that my daily views remained very strong, even though I didn’t receive a lot of claps. I noticed that the vast majority of the views came from outside of Medium. I was pleased that people were still looking at my articles even though they couldn’t clap. This did wonders for my self-confidence, but not for my bank account. Too bad we can’t benefit from outside readers of our work.

This is where I began to feel conflicted.

Even though I didn’t write or publish I did spend time on Medium. I read articles and clapped and highlighted for those that I particularly connected with, usually on a daily basis. Since I spend a bit of time on Facebook every day I can’t help but read the notifications from Medium Mastery. This is where I began to feel conflicted. I knew I would eventually start writing for Medium again at some point, but I didn’t want the unnecessary stress and guilt that sometimes comes with the whole process of writing, publishing, clapping etc. I retired from a very stressful job, where if I made a mistake someone could die and I didn’t want to do something I didn’t enjoy, if it meant I would place myself in stressful situations again.

I didn’t like this and I didn’t want to stress myself out the way these people did.

Every day I would read comments on Medium Mastery and see, in real time, how people were stressing out over clapping, reading or not reaching their financial goals on the Medium Partner Program. I saw people needlessly apologizing for not having the time to clap or read more because they were caught up with attending to their children or their health problems. I saw people berating themselves or worrying about their stories not being curated, as if curation was the gold standard for success or self-worth. I saw others expressing their disappointment over the amount of money they earned on Wednesdays, often comparing themselves to writers who have made hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month. I didn’t like this and I didn’t want to stress myself out the way these people did.

There are as many reasons for writing as there are writers.

People who write for Medium come from a variety of backgrounds, education and experience. Some have an education in literature and writing, some are professional writers with varying degrees of experience and talent and some, like me, have neither. Some of the writers here spend 8 hours a day or more dedicated to writing and interacting on Medium, and view this as their full-time job. Some have full-time jobs not connected to writing and view writing on Medium as their second job or a way to supplement their income. Some are single parents trying to make extra money to care for their families. Some are professional writers who write for Medium while also producing work for other outlets. And others like me are retired or for some reason or other don’t work full time and write either for pleasure or to make some extra money, or both. There are as many reasons for writing as there are writers.

We all have our own reasons for being here.

I am not writing here to compete with anyone and I do not expect to dedicate endless hours to Medium to enhance my bank account. I am not criticizing anyone here who does spend hours trying to increase their earnings and hone their skills, on the contrary, I admire them. We all have our own reasons for being here. I’ve just come to the point where I can honestly define who or what I am and how I will interact with Medium. Financially I don’t need the money, even though it would be nice to have a few bucks more. As long as I make enough to pay my monthly membership fees I will be satisfied. I will never be able to compete with the big name writers here, but I feel humbled and grateful to just be allowed to write for Medium. I have been accepted here and that makes me feel worthwhile.

…I didn’t want to feel pressured into doing it.

As I have previously stated in a previous article, I Write About What I Know, I don’t have a niche and write about a variety of topics, according to how I feel at any given moment in time. The same goes for what articles I read. I realize that some people spend hours a day reading and clapping for articles as a way to support other Medium members. I too used to do that, but I felt less than genuine doing it, and I didn’t want to feel pressured into doing it. I realize that what I write may not be interesting to many people and it may also not be any good. I don’t expect people to clap for me just for being a member, if they don’t connect to my writings. So I’ve decided to interact only with those articles I like and are of interest to me. I’m not going to clap in reciprocation and I also don’t expect others to.

I am just sharing my thoughts and feelings

I realize that this decision will hurt me in regards to my claps, followers, views and other interactions, but I feel I am only doing what I feel is right for me. It will make my life so much less stressful. Part of reducing my stress, I am not going to worry about being curated, even though I never paid much attention to it before. I will leave the worry of curation to others. In writing this article I had absolutely no intention of criticizing other members actions and I hope I have not hurt or insulted anyone. I am just sharing my thoughts and feelings about my relationship with Medium.