How Many Posts Are Enough?
To me a key question pertains to the frequency of submissions on Medium and I am yet to find an answer that is convincing
At the beginning of last December I set myself a target. I pledged to publish a minimum of seven posts a month on Medium for at least half a year. That is one new post every four to five days, and at least 42 posts in total.
It wasn’t easy by any means. At the beginning of each and every there were varying degrees of doubt, and all kinds of questions in the mind as regards the execution aspect. I made it a point to do go ahead no matter what. It required not only a strong desire but also a cohesive approach.
Six months later I’m happy to have achieved the target and fulfill the promise that I made to myself. In the final analysis it was all about a combination of diligence, perseverance and prudence.
The actual number may seem a trivial target to many. Not without reason though. On this platform I have been reading all kind of writers. Quite a few of them write daily while some make regular contributions. They continue doing so without any mental exhaustion. I cannot fathom how. I don’t think I ever will. So joining these brethren is completely out of question.
Then there are many others who are frequent as well, albeit to varying degrees. I would like to believe they are more serious about making writing as a primary source of income vis-à-vis a side hustle. I appreciate and envy this lot by turns but there is still some time before I can contemplate writing as a full time career option.
As such, my trajectory on Medium has been a tad different. Like I mentioned at the very outset for the last six months, from the beginning of last December till the end of May, I have been posting on this platform at least seven times on a monthly basis.
In the five months prior to that it was an average of five stories, something that made me revise the target and set a higher benchmark in the first place. If one looks at it from a broader perspective I have been posting an average of six stories per month for a year now. I believe that is quite a significant number, if not a lot. It indicates consistency as well as a clarity of purpose.
In fact it is hard for me to believe that I have managed to be this consistent. When I set myself the goal of at least seven pieces per month I never believed it was practically possible. The time factor was palpably the biggest concern, a bulk of it being devoted personal life and professional requirements. It is by no means an exaggeration to say that finding time for a side hustle is quite the task. It is a lot more convenient to defer a half written draft as opposed to going ahead and completing it.
Besides, writing is always about being in the right frame of mind, and there is no yardstick to measure the mental state accurately. Motivation is also an issue. If a particular post doesn’t get the expected response it is difficult to gather yourself and restart with renewed vigor. Am I right or am I right?
Long before I began setting myself targets I used to post three to four times a month. This was possible only if everything else happened as expected.
Earlier it was limited to one post per month. In fact there have been months where I have failed to post even once. There was no particular reason behind this negligence. Of course there were professional commitments, but that is certainly no excuse for failing to make even a single post. It’s entirely my fault, something that I am not proud of but do not shy away from accepting either.
That said, I believe there has to be honesty of purpose every time you sit down to write. The desire should come from within. It cannot be mechanical. It has to be human.
I am not interested in writing just for the heck of writing, submitting another post on this platform or making further additions to the list of published stories. I write only when I am convinced about a particular subject, accidentally stumble upon one or when I am able to do adequate research as regards another. As such, I am not entirely convinced as regards a certain number when it comes to making posts on Medium. The focus is on quality, not quantity.
I firmly believe writing should either involve a thought process from deep within the heart (and the mind) — in which case words simply flow and the narrative is built sans any additional effort, or it has to be a research-based essay with all the necessary trappings — data, examples, facts, figures, information et cetera.
Besides, it should be easy on the readers’ eyes. At no stage should it seemed forced. It is these few simple mantras that I have stuck to diligently in my time as a writer. While I am happy to have achieved the target of making at least seven posts a month for half a year, it is also a fact that the background work for quite a few of them had been done well in advance. It is not that I had to come up with multiple ideas every month. There were some drafts that needed to be completed and this target worked as a motivation to ensure their completion.
Now that the target has been achieved I have no idea as regards what I am going to do next. The road ahead is the one less travelled. I am neither certain if I will continue setting targets in future nor am I sure as regards what my course of action will be. What I am certain about is the fact that I will continue contributing on this platform on a regular basis. Some months will have more offerings, others will have less but my engagement with Medium will continue regardless.
That said, it will be nice to have a conversation on this topic and know different perspectives. Let’s begin with a few related questions then.
How many posts are enough?
How often should a writer publish on Medium?
What do you think?