1 Important Lesson From My Exciting First Month On Medium

Jan 24, 2020
A photo of the author, created by the author.


The Lesson

Publishing Was Not That Scary!

If you just wanted the punchline, feel free to stop here!

Read on to learn more about my experiences and hopefully reduce any anxiety you have about posting.

My brain was consumed with the big green button saying ‘Publish’. I could press it anytime but subconsciously sabotaged myself.

After pressing it once, I have changed my mind. Now I think it’s exciting, not scary!

This was my first article and I can proudly call myself a writer. (Update July 2020 I’ve deleted this post sorry!)

If you are debating whether or not to start publishing, just do it. Simply publish something, anything, to get the ball rolling. Pop your cherry and now you’re a writer too!


The Build-Up

I began my Medium journey in summer last year having stumbled across it in general internet browsing.

Anyone who reads Medium often will eventually drown in “How to Make Money on Medium Easily” style articles and I was no different. Initially, I wasn’t interested at all. I did not have a burning desire to become a writer that some people have.

I began engaging with articles and found I enjoyed articulating my thoughts. I got a buzz from random strangers clapping and responding. I learned new ideas fast and often.

I believed my ideas would be valuable to other people.

Your ideas are valuable to other people.

Maybe I could do this whole Medium writer malarkey. As I got more confident in commenting, I set a target of publishing a single article by the end of the year.

It would be easy right?


The Crunch

Months passed and then the crunch month of December came.

Procrastination and fear of failure had held me up. I had confidently planned to write an article the following week for the last 3 months and it hadn’t happened.

I dithered for most of the month again. I started articles and then ran out of steam and gave up. I read every article about Medium I could find and convinced myself I was being productive.

I was crippled by decision paralysis. Maybe you are reading this and are in the same situation!

Photo by Blake Wheeler on Unsplash

The Plunge

On December 29th, I decided to take the plunge.

The UK elections had just happened and it was a heated topic of discussion with my real-world friends. This made it easy to come up with ideas and concepts yet putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard was still hard.

In a fit of confidence, I went for good enough rather than perfection and pressed submit. The article was now live for members to see!


The Aftermath

The world didn’t collapse and I didn’t fall into a black hole. I posted on a Sunday when I assume the Medium readers and curators were asleep.

Nothing much happened for those first few hours.

I got curated in politics! The email came as a shock because of articles on Medium promoting the idea of curation jail. My impression was that curation was like the holy grail to authors and that I was nowhere near good enough.

I got curated with my first ever article and one which I know I could rewrite better easily. I plan to do so once my writing becomes more natural and effortless.

I earned $0.82 in the last 3 days of the year. Not much but it means that I am now someone who has been paid for their writing.

A small amount of money and a big effect psychologically.


The Plan

I set low targets for January because I know I suffer from delusions of grandeur.

All I aim to do is to write at least 4 articles! One a week.

Most people who write these articles tend to tell you to post every single day when you start but who has time for that as a side hobby when starting!

Success on Medium is not defined by posting every single day or being a failure.

You set your criteria for what works for you. Publishing one article does not even mean you must publish anything ever again!


The Bottom Line

If you have never published an article just do it! You may be pleasantly surprised by how it is received.

I’m hoping that this isn’t my first and last month on Medium. I hope you are reading this far in the future and you have scrolled past dozens of stories to see how it all began!

Reach Your Goals Without Burning Out

Get my free Anti-burnout Toolkit and weekly tips to help you balance your work and life.