YouTube made me do it.
It’s now 5 days since I decided to make a YouTube video about writing 7 medium articles within one week.
What started as a glorious idea turned out to be harder than all the experiments I did before.
It took 5 intense working days to finalize my writings. Especially the beginning has been tough. As I not that skilled of a writer nor a natural talent, finding the right 7000 words took way longer than expected.
The struggle was real!
On average, I have spent 10 h in front of the medium editor every single day. Around noon my brain was so burned out that I even reintroduced naps into my daily routine.
Now that things start to smoothen out, I have to acknowledge that this week taught me more about writing than the 50 articles I wrote in the past year.
More even, for the first time ever, I felt real joy during the process.
With just three little changes, things finally started to make sense.
1. Write about the things you truly enjoy
In the past, I have seen Medium as a way to make money. That isn’t that surprising on a platform where half the content is about earning money online or how to make your articles go viral. Choosing Medium to publish stories pretty much implies the intention to earn money in the first place.
Exactly that killed my joy of sharing my thoughts. It isn’t easy to be creative when money and success are the driving force.
After this existential mid-week realization, I tossed my idea list and started to think about what I would truly enjoy writing about.
For me, that was my experience in the past. Stories that I lived through and had a deep emotional connection to.
It was during the writing process of I saved up 24 K $ during my post-grad studies with three very simple tricks… that I felt how much fun writing can be for the first time since my Instagram captions in 2013.
Writing should inspire and not only pay the gas bill. If it doesn't spark joy, why even starting in the first place. Being cashier in the next Walmart to get food on the table would be less of a hassle…
2. Don’t wait for publications
If you have read at least half as many stories as I did on how to do well medium, you must have noticed nearly everybody names submitting to publications as the key to success.
It might even be true. So far, I have never made it into any of the bigger publications. Being published in less known ones didn’t make a difference in terms of the reach of my articles.
What I do know after this week is that the bigger publications receive endless requests around the clock and every single day!
Human Parts even stopped accepting new pitches due to the overwhelming amount of submissions.
Overloaded editors need quite a while to go through all draft links, and more often than not, they won’t give any feedback at all.
Three of my articles are still hanging in the feedback loop and that is frustrating. No matter how much of a boost being published can be, submitting drafts doesn’t feel like the answer.
Instead of waiting for weeks to publish my work, I decided to go without prior submission to publications.
As the editors of Human Parts said,
Self-publish your story on Medium, and if it’s a fit for us, trust that we’ll find it.
3. Map out your main arguments on paper beforehand
Even tho, the first two stories I wrote in the past week were pretty straight forward tech How-to’s, I found myself getting lost in the writing process.
Whatever I tried, I always ended up not knowing where my thoughts would actually lead me. That takes time. Two 800-word articles took 4 hours to write rather than the anticipated 60 minutes.
It wasn’t until I was three articles, that I started to write down my key message, main arguments, and article structure before even opening the medium editor.
That worked wonders. Once you have your little paper, on the side of your desktop, it’s easy to write along with your main points without ever losing track.
With that little note, my slightly longer articles took around 2h each! A huge improvement. Not only took it less time to write, from a personal (very subjective) point of view, my writing got way more coherent.
And in the end, coherent writing might be what decides if your reader sticks or heads back to their Instagram explore page without ever getting anything from your words.
Let’s connect, grow, and work together. It’s easier that way Click here :)