I’m super bummed out again. I don’t know why I thought Medium would be a good place for my writing ~ not only am I never going to make money there (beyond pocket change), but there’s almost no camaraderie. There can’t be when you need to read as much as possible, react briefly, and move on… hoping others see you and add you to their following list. I’ll never get as many hits as a tech writer or someone who goes on (and on) about politics or making money or whatever the hell people can’t resist clicking. Barely anyone cares about poetry or fiction or personal essays. It makes me so annoyed I refuse to click on the “trending” articles ~ why is the Medium algorithm helping the popular writers, those who jabber on about tech and money, instead of assisting others in becoming visible? Welp, I’m thinking of canceling my membership ~ why should my $5/month help support someone writing about writing for money instead of engaging in ACTUAL WRITING? Eff that!
And it’s not just me. I see great writing there, really excellent poetry, funny rants, solid flash stories… all with minimal recognition from other readers because the site pushes articles about bitcoin, Trump, or having a colonoscopy (the first three trending stories in my feed today). It’s super discouraging. 😢
I know we’ve talked a lot about the “hit & run” in Blogland, but the difference is that here I feel like I “know” some people and have valuable interactions with them… Sadje, Fandango, Angie, Melanie, Rory, Di, Barbara, Jim, Ashley, et al, plus the people I knew already from other venues, such as Keera, Roy, and AD. There are more in both groups, so please don’t be upset if I didn’t mention you ~ those are some of the people I saw in my latest notifs. Point is, interacting with these folks makes the “hit & run” bloggers tolerable. I understand that the majority of likes here are from bloggers who don’t know me, won’t ever care about my writing or buy one of my books, and only pay attention to me (for the nanosecond they do) in hopes I’ll follow them down a link-strewn path to some garbage video where I’ll be assaulted with ads. However! The small community of kind and fun folks who continually interact make WP a happy place to hang out.
I have spent so much time writing online for the past 20+ years. Usenet, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, yada, and now Medium. Not to mention that I’ve written actual books! And… nothing. Minimal book sales. Scant interaction on the other sites. Why do I keep wasting my time? I just don’t even know. I really don’t. Maybe I’m just not good enough or funny enough or poetic enough. I AM NOT FISHING FOR COMPLIMENTS. Please don’t. It’s actually worse for people to keep saying they like my writing (I know you mean well, so thank you) when the evidence is in that I can’t make it as a fiction or poetry writer, not even as a small side hustle. I do earn money via business writing, but I’m not talking about that now. I’m talking about the writing I love to do. Fiction and poetry. 💖
If I’m only writing for the love of writing, then I’ll do it here on my blog exclusively where I’ve enjoyed writing and interacting all along and where there’s no money to be made in the first place, so I don’t have to obsess over the lack of it flowing my way. It’s not like I’ve neglected my blog or anything, but I’ve spent almost all my other free time the last couple months on Medium, and it’s just depressing to me now. I can’t help but see the parallels to dating. It took me many years to acknowledge that I hate dating sites, dislike meeting new men who are going to judge me as a romantic prospect, and don’t even want a relationship at all under these crummy conditions. Since I’ve quit trying, that area of my life is calm and peaceful because I’ve filled it with more family time, friends, reading, movies, and painting. Why shouldn’t I do the same with the writing venues that are causing me distress? (I’m not dumping Twitter because it’s a good source for info, but I haven’t written poetry there lately.) That includes putting out more books for Amazon Kindle, where they’ll just sit on a virtual shelf growing mold like old banana bread no one wants.
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