Update — 2 weeks in
What success looks like on medium.com
In my first week on medium.com I gave a day by day commentary on how it went to start up from scratch on the platform. Then I said that that was enough of that. I would leave that subject, and go on to other things. Then I would come back at the end of the month (ie my first month) and give an update.
Today is just halfway though my first month. So a bit early yet to revisit the subject. But I will do anyway. Why not? On medium.com there is no editor telling me what I can or can’t write about, or to write it this way or that way. I can please myself. So here I am. Pleasing myself!
Of course some might call that inconsistency. Unreliability. Having it your own way. But I don’t care. As you will see, nobody is reading it anyway!
The reason I decided to break into the month with an update is that the second week has not gone at all like I expected. So all my prognostications at the end of week 1 about where week 2 might take me are now in the bin. It’s time to look again.
Looking again is not a bad thing. Only a fool forms an opinion and then sticks to it forever irrespective of contrary indicators. The wise man reconsiders his views when the evidence changes. He does not necessarily change his views with every whiff of a breeze. But he does reconsider them. So here goes.
The facts: In a nutshell, the second week looks like a disaster. An article a day just like the first week. But more or less no results. No reads. No new fans. No nothing. A calamity perhaps. Maybe I should just shoot myself. That might save me a lot of hassle in the long run.
But wait! Let’s not be too hasty! There are lots of newbies coming on to medium.com all the time. They want to know what it’s like. To encourage them through the dark times. Or maybe to help them decide it’s not for them after all. Either way it’s a result. So I shall plough on.
Two factors help me to lift the gloom.
First, the second week has in fact been more or less what I expected the first week to be before I started. Just the wrong way round. So how’s about that? Maybe not so bad after all. Maybe I just need to get my head around it.
Maybe the first week is like the bubbles from the champagne as the bottle smashes against the newly launching ship. The froth disappears even before the ship gets to the bottom of the slipway, but the ship still sails off to many years of voyaging around the world.
In life, you have to be ready for disappointments. Not least because sometimes they aren’t really disappointments at all. They just look that way at first sight.
Surely this is how it works: You take a quick peek. It looks horrid. So you don’t want to look any further. So you disqualify yourself from picking out the gems from the mess.
If you live that way you may well find your whole life is just a whole line of disappointments. So be brave. Dig deeper. Confront the beast. It’s bark may well be worse than it’s bite.
Secondly, I like writing. That’s why I decided to get started on medium.com in the first place.
If I didn’t like writing I wouldn’t have bothered. And because I do like writing, I would have spent the last fortnight writing anyway. And if I were to thump my desk and decide to quit medium.com right now, I would still carry on writing.
So in other words: medium.com is irrelevant. Even if not a single soul ever reads my stuff, I’ll still be writing it so I may as well put it online. Just in case. You never know what might happen!
Many years ago I started a little business. Nothing to do with writing. It was very slow going to start with. So slow that I did think seriously that it was just not going to work. And not worth the effort. So maybe I should pack it in. Then one day, just when I least expected it, all of a sudden it took off: boom!
Sometimes stuff just happens. And you can peer into the belly of the beast as much as you like. But you still have no idea why. It just does. It’s best to be comfy with that.
Relax. Laugh in the face of adversity. That’s what I call success.