LETTERS FROM HAVEN
My Letter to the Community
A letter from me, about me, to you, loyal skimmer
Dear Medium Community,
I’m new to Medium, and I look forward to writing to you.
First, I want to acknowledge just how awesome it is to be here. We share many things in common you and me.
You value solid writing, pragmatic prose, and fresh posts. I value solid writing, pragmatic prose, and professional cropping.
Let me just apologize right now before going any further. Initially, I thought Medium was just another WordPress webpage where any old hack with a swipe keyboard can post their crazy. But when I saw President Barack Obama and Former VP and 2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, post, I was both taken and, quite frankly, scared.
I was scared and for a good reason. Wouldn’t you be if you were about to expose yourself to a community of greatness? Wouldn’t you question just how you’ll keep up? Wouldn’t you wonder whether Medium really needs another article about how to make money by on Medium?
Think of it. Biden. Obama. $100,000 earners. In 3 months?
But those people lit a fire right under my ass. I figured I better get my act together. Start fresh at 8 a.m. with my cup of coffee, legal pad, and MacBookAir. I mean, time to get serious. No more of those 2 p.m. slipper and robe writing sessions.
Going forward, no laptop shall open until I’ll shave, slip on a polo shirt, plaid shorts, and penny loafers — no socks!
And it’s not to say I’ve never been published. I have. In 2016, I wrote about fatherhood for The Boston Globe Magazine. I’ve also inked columns in those free real estate rags you find in 7–11.
But it’s been awhile.
Like many writers in pursuit of a public page, punditry, and panels, my road to Medium was long, winding, and dark. I struggled with Google searches trying to find the perfect place for my writing. Every one would up like a peeled onion. I didn’t give up. What choice was there? Bing? Ahahahahahahahaha!
I started a blog ten years ago. And I had followers. I was in bloggers’ bliss every time I saw a “Tom Tom is now following you”. Those prompts kept me going. That is until I asked, “Gee, who is Tom Tom?”
I come to learn Tom Tom is a “Dude of Dudes. Neuvo Hispter. Dog Lover. Photographer. Manscaper”. That was okay. It’s the internet. Hey Tom Tom, you be you.
That said, Tom Tom wasn’t into following anyone. How can he when he’s following not 50, but 50K?! That isn’t honest. That is kind of bottish if you ask me. And many of my followers did that.
I began to wonder where are the people? The real people! Where are the writers who support other writers through personal diatribes, bad grammar, and too much bold?
I was so frustrated. I was so mad. And after six months, I was fed up. No more writing for bots. I deleted my page. I threw it into the web’s worldwide landfill full of dead blogs, broken links, and broken dreams.
I realize freelance writing is a marathon, not a sprint. But I have no patience. I started a blog because I cannot write the editor of the The Paris Review and wait for them to tell me they will publish my piece on shower caddies — or not.
Mind you, there is nothing wrong with the Paris Review, but we both know the truth: They are not a reliable source for regular dopamine hits.
Now the question is what will provide such hits? What is my niche? Good question?
All I know is I’m a hyperbolic person. I find humorous observational situations that create nervous tensions. Like, states are opening up, right? What happens at the office if you sip water and it “goes down the wrong pipe”? How’s that going to play out? I write about that kind of thing.
There is nothing wrong with the Paris Review, but we both know the truth. They are not a reliable source for regular dopamine hits.
No matter what I write about, I beg of you; please be patient. Medium is new to me and I am not technical. I can write just fine. However, I worry about what to bold, what to italicize, and what to highlight.
I worry whether my stock image is “close enough”?
I am worried that you’ll treat my headlines like a waiter at a wedding cocktail hour?
I wonder if I can use the keyword “life lesson” for 92% of my responses.
In closing, James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, what you do is who you become. Pitchers pitch. Programmers program. And writers write.
I’m a writer and I look forward to writing for you. And even Tom Tom.
Thank you for reading this letter. I look forward to following you too.
Anthony C. Fireman, Writer on Medium