Zulie’s Writing Challenge

Trying Something Different: Following Medium Article Guidelines

Appearance is EVERYTHING, or so they say.

Crack in the wall with a hole and peeling paint.
Photo by ASSY on Pixabay

Day 10 of a writing challenge during National Novel Writing Month in November 2021.

Creating a Kicker

I used to know how to create a kicker on an article in Medium. I believe at least one of my articles has one.
I wrote that last sentence and immediately went to check my already published articles.
I had written one article with a kicker.
That was it. This article will make my second.

Where kickers even important?

Personally, I like the look of it, plus it gives a bit more context into the article that is about to be read. For example, this article is written for a writing challenge. The kicker is located on the very first line. This article’s kicker has the name of the challenge.

I attempted to try and add a kicker from memory, and failed. I guess that one time I followed directions and created a kicker did not stick with me. My next step was googling. I came across a good amount of articles written on Medium and clicked on one. The one that I chose was called The Best Medium Article Formatting Guide | by Casey Botticello.

That article helped me out in adding a kicker. It explained adding the title and even the subtitle and going back to the title, tapping enter then adding a kicker.
My brain works differently, so this is what I did:

  1. I clicked on write to begin writing a new story in Medium.
  2. The curser blinked at me on the line that says Tell your story…
  3. My next move was clicking on the line that said Title.
  4. Once I clicked on the title line, I typed a title.

I tried a few different ways, and it seems like the title has to be written before a kicker can even exist.

5. Then, I placed the curser at the BEGINNING of the title I just typed.

6. I pressed Enter leaving an empty line right above the title.

That Empty Line above my newly typed title was home for the kicker.

7. I typed three words for this kicker and the formatting started to switch up on me.

I trusted the process and continued typing.

8. After that, I highlighted my newly written kicker and options immediately popped up above the words I highlighted.

Here’s the Kicker.

9. In the middle of the options box that pop up, are two ‘T’s.
At this point, clicking the little ‘T’ will result in the highlighted words to become the kicker.

Also, the formatting will adjust and it will label that very first line as Kicker.


November Writing Challenge

I joined a writing challenge in November, and my kickers went out the window. Maybe it’s because I was writing in more of a journal format. Or maybe, I was attempting to rush through posting to meet my quota by the end of November.

Spoiler Alert

I did write every day, mostly in a journal, YAY.
I didn’t post the article’s daily like I originally planned. Also, I became sick along with the rest of my family for about a total of 2 weeks.
How’s that for a setback?

At this point, it was November 30, I had nine articles written and about twenty waiting patiently in my drafts. I was about to just stop and not post the remaining articles because I figured that the challenge was basically over.

Getting outside my comfort zone.

Getting out of my comfort zone is very difficult for anyone to do. Perhaps its because of pride or because I’d have to admit to myself that I did not finish yet another task that set out for myself. That disappointment in self hurts greatly. UGH!

My drive to post all these articles was greater than my drive to feel “comfortable”.

I decided I would email the creator of the November writing challenge in hopes of maybe getting another week to edit and post the twenty something drafts I had. The fan girl within me activated because Zulie Rane was the one who wrote the very first article I read about Medium.

In all honesty, I did not expect an answer back and that stemmed from whatever still needed healing within myself. Imagine my shock and the size of my smile when I seen a response in my emails with her pen name along with it.

I was able to continue sending my articles in for all of November! She also asked to let her know when I had finished my run of November articles!
I began googling on how to improve each of my developing articles.
There was information on kickers, horizontal photos, and formatting.

I just interacted with a known and respected writer on Medium with articles that actually pop up on a google search.

I took the time to learn.

A couple of days were dedicated to learning at this point. Zulie was ready and willing to put my November Writing Challenge articles in a publication of hers, and I do not set out to disappoint. There are ways that Medium articles become the first few things that pop up in Google search and I was looking towards being one of those articles one day.

I had to leave the journal entries behind me, for now, and shift my focus on what other humans were actually googling for.
This is right up my alley, since I fully enjoy researching and can get lost in it.

Time for a shift.

Write topics that people are actively searching for and write articles about that. Give meaningful information that people can use in their daily lives. Research facts and even attach the links I have found in the article. I am confident I can manage this mischief.

Last but not least, learn about SEO. This is how the articles have a chance to be on the first page when googling about certain topics.

Time to dive in!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Zoe Odyssey

Zoe Odyssey

Mother to 3 and a wife to 1. Preschool Teaching Behavior Therapist turned writer in the pursuit of happiness. True Stories, Spiritual Fantasy, Poetry & more.