“M” for “Mean?”

The Medium difference.

Sherry McGuinn
· 4 min read
Jason Roberts/Unsplash

I’ve been writing on Medium for a year this November. In that time, legions of new writers have joined the platform.

A good thing? For the Medium powers that be, certainly. For the rest of us, I’m not so sure.

From what I’ve gleaned from other writers, and from what I recently experienced, myself, a Tsunami of vitriol is threatening to swallow all in its path.

There is “rude,” and then there’s “mean.” I’ve been witness to both on Medium, but “mean” is winning out.

I use to enjoy the healthy sense of competition that kept my creative fire at a constant simmer. Note the word “healthy.” Now, personally, I’m sickened and stressed by the “Mano a Mano” attitude displayed by some of the writers here. So much so, that the joy I felt sitting down at my computer every day has morphed into something akin to a low-level panic attack. Right now, in fact, my head is pounding and my heart, racing.

If not for the lovely people I’ve interacted with in our Facebook groups — people who I now consider friends — I’d be gone.

Yes. I’m sick to death.

I’m sick to death of the-every-two minute, “Hey guys, I just squirted out another draft,” alerts from the same people every damned day. I don’t want to sound like a broken record as I’ve commented on this before but shit! How do they do it? Please, will one of you publish the following: “How I Write 16 Kick-Ass Stories a Day on Medium!”

I’m sorry. I guess I should be saying, “Good for you, guys!” (Yeah, I’m a tad envious, so shoot me.)

I’m sick to death of reading about writers’ stats and claps and constant, pathetic pleas for validation.

I’m sick to death about stories telling us how to “make it” on Medium. Guess what, experts? They’re not working. Not for this writer, at least.

Sure, I’ve written stories on how to be a better writer. But, as for attaining Medium success? I haven’t figured that one out, yet.

I’m sick to death of the jealousy aimed at those writers who have made a great success of this platform. Writers like Shannon Ashley, who has dealt with her share of poisonous comments with grace and dignity. And there are other writers, as well, who have had to deflect bullshit, from bullshit people.

I’m sick to death of people like the individual who went out of her way to try to humiliate me publicly by highlighting “errors” in my story, that she also recounted in the comments section. What kind of person does this?

“Honey, I’ve been through far too much to let a bitter, vindictive stranger like you, make me feel bad. So, fuck you.”

I’m sick to death of people who follow me, only to bail because I’m not quick enough on the draw in following back.

“If you follow me, I trust it’s because you enjoy reading me. If not, get the fuck out of here and get a life.”

I’m sick to death of working my ass off here for a pittance, as are other writers. I adore writing, but it would be nice to make a few more bucks in the process, especially given the time expended on Medium. No one is forcing me to write here; I get that. Still, I would love to see how far I can go, in the process. Wouldn’t we all?

Forget curation. Curation does not equal “validation.” The end.

Now that I’ve released all this, I’m spent. I’m sorry if my negativity has brought you down. That wasn’t my intent.

I want to keep chugging along on Medium. I appreciate the opportunity that Medium affords writers. The exposure alone is invaluable. And, as previously stated, I love, and am in awe of so many of my fellow writers here.

“Thank you, my friends, for your decency and humility.”

At the end of the day, the last thing we need, on Medium and in this world, especially now, is more “mean.”

In my publication Rogues’ Gallery, my friend and editor, Kristi Keller, wrote a story entitled, “Medium is boring AF right now.” You can check it out here:

My concern is that “Medium is mean AF right now.”

Maybe the tide will turn. One can only hope.

Sherry McGuinn is a longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and numerous other publications. Sherry’s manager is currently pitching her newest screenplay, a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story.

As always, thanks for reading. Here’s something on the lighter side:

Rogues’ Gallery

This is THE place for independent thinkers and respectful rabble-rousers. Release the rogue in you, break free of the herd and let’s shake things up, together!

Sherry McGuinn

Written by

Long-time writer and big-time dreamer. Screenwriter. Cat mama. Red lip aficionado.

Rogues’ Gallery

This is THE place for independent thinkers and respectful rabble-rousers. Release the rogue in you, break free of the herd and let’s shake things up, together!

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