The Catch 22 of Writing on Medium

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

I am going to be really candid and raw for a moment, and I hope that you will bear with me.

I am a new-ish Medium writer, and so far, I LOVE THE CONCEPT. I enjoy the platform, and probably spend more time reading and writing on Medium, than I do scrolling through any other social app.

Much like all of you, my hope is to one day, get paid to write. I don’t care if its blog writing, poetry writing, writing fiction or nonfiction. Damn it I just want to be a successful writer, in ANY context.

MOST of the articles I find myself reading are “How to Be a Good Writer and Succeed on Medium”. My email floods with these daily.

I “get” that everyone wants to share how they have achieved success on this platform, and that they have found ways to spread their knowledge and share their tips and successes with all of us. However, we are all on here to WRITE. (Am I right?) We all want success, yes, but I feel like monetizing your skill by inundating everyone with articles about how you earned money by teaching everyone else how to earn money, is like an MLM company. Please correct me if I am wrong.

My regular 9–5 job,( the one that pays my bills), is Regulation Based (Government). The way I look at Medium for some members is that they are Making Money, by teaching someone to do the same job that they are ALREADY doing.

With that said, this would be just like me mentoring a new hire, as a senior coworker, and getting PAID to show them how I have been earning money, ON TOP of what I already earn. I WISH THIS WAS THE CASE.

Now, before you take offense to this, remember it’s just an observation….

I don’t understand how, as a writer, it’s fair to CAPITALIZE on new writers to demonstrate to them how you gained success doing the same work as they are already doing. And, while the writers capitalize on the “training” they still gain more money? It’s both genius and a touch evil.

In my honest opinion, it seems as though Medium writers who make the most money, earn it by showing everyone else HOW THEY MADE MONEY. Ergo, CATCH 22.

So, as a new Medium writer, it has become intimidating, as I put in time, just like everyone else, and I write and write…looking for the right material, the right audience and the right timing. But, now, it seems like in order to succeed in this group, I either need to follow all of the “Instructors” and try to adhere to their advice, OR try to become an Expert of Medium writing, so I can earn money by teaching everyone what they already know.

> YOU NEED TO WRITE.

> YOU NEED TO WRITE WELL.

> YOU NEED FOLLOWERS AND APPLAUSE.

> YOU NEED AN AUDIENCE

> YOU NEED EXPOSURE.

> YOU NEED TO BE OPEN AND RAW AND BE YOURSELF.

> YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT SOME PEOPLE WHO READ YOUR STUFF MAY JUDGE YOU

> YOU NEED TO BE OKAY WITH BEING VULNERABLE

And, from what I understand, you need to be able to TEACH others how to do all of the above.

I recently shared for my first time, a poem I had written, on Facebook and it was also shared on Linkedin. It had over 1300 views on one forum and approximately 200 on another. I chose not to share this poem as a PAID piece, as it was very emotional and I would have felt awful using it to earn money.

It is GREAT to have exposure. BUT –there’s another catch:

Once you share that you are on Medium, you have to be OKAY with what the “outside world” can see. I am a “Heart on My Sleeve” writer, in that my thoughts leave my fingertips before I can even attach a title to a blog. Some days I write for me, other days I write to see if I can get on a Publication, and some days, I just make shit up as I go along. You have to be OKAY with ANYONE reading your thoughts and your soul. Otherwise, what is the point of trying to succeed as writer? There would be no passion behind it.

I am currently working on writing someone else’s story in a novel. A part of me wants to toss it out to the universe to read, but the PRIVATE part of me is freaked out, thinking about allowing anyone to see my vulnerability and the inside of my thoughts. I was even nervous when I sent my first chapters to the OWNER of the story, who is paying me.

This is why, I feel the need to vomit out some of my thoughts on how I see MEDIUM and it’s CATCH 22.

It is a WONDERFUL forum, but I feel like you can only SUCCEED if you allow yourself to be read, like a book, OR if you are able to jump on the bandwagon, and SUCCEED as a MEDIUM “expert”.

This means you need to be able to prescribe and share how you made it as a paid writer, by making money off of teaching writers how to be a paid writer!

I guess I still don’t understand it…

Writer of relationships / early childhood and mental health . Poetry and fiction dabbler

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