Why You Should Celebrate the Little Victories on Medium
When the little victories on this site come, feel good about the work you’re achieving and celebrate!
I have been writing on Medium since May 1, 2018.
Almost a year now. I have had highs and lows. I’ve had a few weeks where I got lots of new followers, lots of new fans. I’ve had weeks where almost nothing was happening. I’d post article after article and just nothing.
It’s part of the reason I slowed down on this site at the end of 2018 and only wrote a few articles between mid-December and late February. I was busy at the time writing a new middle grade novel — a pretty decent excuse for my absence — but at the end of February, I decided to return to Medium full time and post at least three new articles a day, and I had very specific goals in mind.
Write articles people wanted to actually read.
Write articles that either taught something to readers or showed readers I was learning something.
Experiment at least a few times a week with articles about other topics.
Focus on subjects I deeply care about.
The last major goal I had for the month of March? I wanted to earn $500 or more.
I figured if I put three to four hours of work into this site every day of the month, $500 seemed like a reasonable goal.
So I gave it my all. Made lots of mistakes. Wrote some successful pieces, and some not so successful pieces.
I knew after the first week I wasn’t going to reach my $500 goal for the month, and I was OK with that.
I was loving the writing, loving the interactions I was having with readers. To be able to get up every day, write about anything you want, and then be able to publish it right away and get people to read it?
There’s little more exciting than that.
I did my very best in March. Published 125 articles total. And in the end I earned $178.
I could have looked at this as a negative. As a failure in some way. Instead, I looked at it in an optimistic way, noting that I had doubled the previous month’s earning and that I was gathering dozens of new followers and readers every day.
It was a little victory. Not a big victory, but a small one.
Yes, you should celebrate all the victories you have on Medium. The big and the small.
Sometimes in life, after all, it’s the little victories that count more than the big ones. The little victory that slowly moves you to a new better place. It can be subtle. It can mean almost nothing, at least at the time.
But as my dad likes to say, every little bit helps, and the same can be said of tiny victories here on Medium.
Tiny victories like…
Receiving a positive response from a reader about one of your stories.
Having one of your Medium posts curated, whether or not that translates to a significant increase in reads.
Getting a few more views of your stories today than you did yesterday.
Accumulating a few more fans of your stories this week than you did last week.
Your big victory might seem small to other writers on here. And your small victory might seem huge to countless people! You just never know.
My third week in March, for example, my number of views, reads, and fans actually went down from the previous week. It was enough to make me cry. I wondered if I had what it takes to do well on here.
But you know what? That third week might have seemed like a victory to many of you, and that’s exactly the way I chose to look at it.
I didn’t give up, and I didn’t let the momentary disappointment get to me.
I pressed forward and wrote more content, better content, the fourth week of March, and I ended up almost doubling my earnings that fourth week from what I had made the third week.
Another victory, hooray!
My biggest victory to date though happened just yesterday.
It happened when I published two lengthy Medium essays I wasn’t sure were going to land.
The first was my most personal story I’ve ever posted on here, about the moment I realized I was gay.
We all come to the realization about our sexuality at different ages and moments. Here was mine.medium.com
And then I also wrote about how last week I posted 40 articles on Medium, a definite record for me.
In a word? VERY. Here are 5 things I learned from the experience.medium.com
The articles were really, really long, and I wasn’t sure if anyone would read them or would care.
What happened next was astonishing to me. Not only did many, many people read these two pieces, but the response was unlike anything I’ve received on this site ever before. So many views, reads, responses, and claps.
Here’s what my stats currently look like for the past month…
Notice the huge climb of fans I received yesterday. 74 total. 22 more than I’d ever received before in a day. And about 40–50 more than I ever received in a day during the month of March.
The two stories I posted yesterday had a big part in getting my stats to climb in such a dramatic way.
I count this as a big victory, at least for me.
Because after five weeks (a year, really, when you factor all the work I’ve put in), people are truly beginning to follow and enjoy my articles on here.
We’ll see what happens next. My stats could always plummet way down tomorrow, and for the rest of the week.
In the meantime, celebrate your tiny victories on Medium.
Writing on this site is an adventure for all of us. We learn what works and what doesn’t. We try things that pay huge dividends in the long run. We also try things that fall flat within hours, and then we do our best as writers to forget about them and move onto the next thing.
The trick is to learn from your mistakes and try to get better, try to write smarter.
And always, always, always, celebrate when something goes well for you.
Tell your friends. Tell your family. Share your victories with us on this very site! When you work really hard for something, you should feel free to celebrate your victories loudly and clearly.
Then, once you’ve had your amazing moment, take a deep breath, sit back in your chair.
And keep writing.
Brian Rowe is an author, teacher, book devotee, and film fanatic. He received his MFA in Creative Writing and MA in English from the University of Nevada, Reno, and his BA in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He writes young adult and middle grade suspense novels, and is represented by Kortney Price of the Corvisiero Agency.