Medium Is Not Social Media, and Other Reminders for the Aspiring Writer
I just hit the 100 followers mark, and now I’m notification-crazy. This is how I am re-centering.
Yesterday, I hit the 100 follower mark. It’s exciting, and it’s messing with my head and my ego. I want more, I need more!, the anxious voice cries for attention. I caught myself checking Medium notification the same way I have with Facebook. No more of this.
When I started on Medium, the goal was to write for 25 minutes, and post something, anything. Now I am two months and 60-something posts in, and my attitude and goals are starting to shift.
This is where I stand now, in the good ways and the bad, and here are my intentions going forward.
I care more about what I write.
- I’m editing more often, and I’m thinking more about what I write and who it’s for.
- I’m learning a lot, about how to write for Medium and produce content online. I’m reading other people’s work and applying their advice.
- I’m experimenting with content and what it might look like to self-brand or have a niche. I’m noticing my resistance to the words ‘content-creation,’ ‘branding,’ ‘niche,’ and things related to business or marketing.
- I’m slowly getting over my intellectual-academia-literary snobbery that says what ‘real’ writing is, in a way that’s both judgmental, and self-limiting. In letting of the judgment, I’m connecting to other writers and to writing communities. We got to support each other! And there are so many opportunities to connect.
- I’m starting to believe that I can support myself as a writer through different paths. I believe I’m on that path.
I care more about what other people think of what I write.
This is a good thing (see above)— we should write for what people want to read. But especially for a new writer, the overthinking and self-doubt can be paralyzing.
- I’m getting stuck while I write, the perfectionism and anxiety rising. I want to write well, and I want to be read (and I want to be ‘followed,’ ‘liked,’ and ‘clapped.’
- I’m checking the notifications and stats, in an addictive way. Medium is not social media. Stop seeking validation. (Stop seeking validation, period. This is true for anywhere online and in person. Trust yourself.)
- I’m comparing myself to other writers. Stop this.
- I’m comparing myself to where I think I should be according to idealized and unrealistic standards. (Did I mention perfectionism already?)
- I’m putting too much time into reading about things that I’m not ready to act on, like learning SEO. It’s stressing me out. One step at a time!
The intention going forward:
For 25 minutes a day:
- Show up, follow through. This could mean editing something that I wrote in the past, or drafting a post for the future. It could be writing and posting a free-write response. Remember the goal: set the timer, write, click ‘publish.’ Again and again.
- Write into the void. Get used to the void. Embrace the void. Hello void! Love the void.
- Done is better than perfect. Perfection is an illusion, illusive and unrealizable. Focus on the next actionable step you can take. Do that.
- Celebrate your progress. And man, there is progress! *Do a little dance*
- It’s all Practice. It’s all practice. (Practice practice).
And that, my friends, was more than 25 minutes. Hitting ‘Publish,’ and I’m off!