Showing up is half the battle.
(I was initially going to include an image of money in the form of dollar bills, but honestly, my monthly earnings lately have been hardly more than cents)
I looked over my Medium earnings for this month as opposed to the past few months, and I found something out.
The more I engage with other writers on the platform, the more comments I leave on people’s posts after reading, and the more I churn out content with different themes, the more likely I am to draw readers in.
When I framed writing as a zero-sum game where writers compete for readers’ attention, I felt this deep sense of despair.
When I thought of writing on Medium as my primary mode of expression, however, everything changed.
It does matter if you want to make a living off writing. But I’m not here for that.
I’m here to show up and see if I can provide value to the people around me.
And even if I don’t, I know I can keep moving on.
I can never accurately predict how well a post will go for people.
Ones I write with the deepest passions can result in no views while ones I churn out in the space of ten minutes can yield several dollars’ worth.
So what I’ve learned from my earnings is that showing up, writing more, and engaging more can boost what I earn, and it’s more than just the dollar value: it’s the feeling of human connection.
Ever since I was very young, I’ve been haunted by this everlasting sense of loneliness. I could be in a room full of people and still feel lonely. I didn’t feel like people understood me.
But here, I feel like I’m accepted for who I am. There are people who disagree with some of my ideas, surely, but they don’t personally attack me like some people have on Facebook. They attack the idea, not the person.
So here, I’ve found a community. I’ve found writers who I support and who support me back. I’ve found a place where I can be myself and hope others can feel encouraged to be themselves, too.
Here, I can be (extra)ordinary because of how ordinary I am. The extra is almost relishing in my mediocrity. I’ve started to accept that instead of striving for excellence. Because that doesn’t yield happy results; what does is focusing on connection. That primal human need to connect with someone on a deeper level. And I think I’ve found that here at last.