GOODBYE MEDIUM PARTNER PROGRAM
I’m making all my stories free again, here’s why
In a nutshell, I’m dropping out of the Medium Partner Program because I don’t see much benefit for a writer like me. To understand, take a look at the latest reports from Medium, my readership report and my earnings for the month.
Yeah, I know it’s a little hard to read so let me summarize it for you, $4.64 … that’s four dollars and sixty four cents for the month. And that’s for all the stories I’ve got up on the site. To earn that much I added new stories, sent out notices to my mailing list, posted links on social media, had 700+ people stop by to read and btw, got quite a few nice emails and comments about the work I’m doing. But here’s what else I got. “I’m not going to sign up and pay five bucks a month to read the stories”, “It was asking for my information. I don’t want to give that”, and a host of other remarks about how being in the program was making it too hard for casual or first time readers to get to my stories. This has finally led me to reexamine why I write here.
First, I write to remember, I write a lot of memoir. I’ve had an adventuresome and busy life, filled with troubles as a young man and success as an older one. You can probably tell that by some of my titles, Blind Desire, Blood Feast, Nick Ray at the Chateau Marmont, My First Stolen Car, … I did a lot and along the way I did a lot of drugs, so sometimes the details are vague. Part of my writing process is to hunt down others who were there, find old photos and letters that remind me of the events and to slowly develop the story over time and to help things come back into focus. The people who read my stories here seem to like them a lot and that makes me happy. But what does that have to do with money?
Then I write about pictures. I write regularly for a French online journal called L’oeil de la Photographie about photographers and galleries and shows. Here on Medium I write about the pictures I’m making now and the experience of that and the stories they evoke, but again, what does that have to do with money?
Sometimes I write about the lives of my friends, usually remembrances of people I was lucky enough to know while they were here. Unless you knew them why should you care enough to get over the hurdles and why should the people who did know them have to pay or face hurdles to reading about them?
Finally, I write for you. Especially if you’re a stranger I write for you. I love telling these stories and finding the right images to help bring them to life. I work and rework them to make them real, to connect with you, to stir your emotions, to awaken your own memories, to have a conversation even if your side of it is just to read and remember. I want every one of you I can get. Making my stories free seems like the best way to make that happen.
I was very excited when Medium first announced the partner program. I like money as much as the next person and I was already here anyway, why not earn something for all the hours I spend. But a year in the program has taught me that I’m never going to make more than a few bucks here and that doesn’t matter because that’s not why I came here. I’m here to find the widest possible audience for my writing. It looks to me like the partner program doesn’t help me do that, so … let’s kiss it goodbye.
Bottom line, I’ve just made all my stories free again in the hopes they will find more readers. Maybe you or a friend for a start? Here’s a few suggestions;
A story about love and lust and loss, Blind Desire
Working on the very first gore film, Blood Feast
Adventures with the great film director Nicholas Ray, Nick Ray at the Chateau Marmont
A picture of mine and some thoughts about it: Perfect
My life with Nitrous Oxide; Captain Gas from Ken Kesey to Steven Spielberg
Going to the Hog Farm’s (a 60s commune) 50th reunion; The Roads you take…
About some of the variety of pain you can experience; A Few Things That Pain Has Taught Me