What I learned after publishing 829 articles on Medium

Reflecting on my writing journey since 2017

Xine Way

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Lessons

  1. I can never predict how an article will do. Some fail, some flop, some are massive hits. It’s hard to tell what people are looking for.
  2. Creating value is key. This can be achieved through sharing an experience, a feeling, or contributing to an overarching goal. Mindless drivel often lowers your content readability and doesn’t result in high readership.
  3. A unique perspective will often get you boosted. If you say the same thing as everyone else, it’s likely that no one will find it as meaningful.
  4. It doesn’t matter how you’re performing as long as you’re enjoying what you do. Literally, you can do what you love for as long as you want, and it doesn’t really matter if you don’t care about building an audience, crafting a persona or personal brand, or trying to monetize your passion for writing. Claps, reads, subscribes, and follows are all secondary to the sheer process of creation. If you love what you do, all the other perks and statistics rank after. The only time your priorities might shift is if writing is your sole source of income. Which, for most people, I don’t believe is the case.
  5. Length doesn’t matter. Some people prefer long, well-thought-out pieces. Some people like short bursts of emotion. Varying it up from time to time is a good idea.
  6. No one likes AI-produced writing. It’s formulaic, drab, and far lower quality creatively than anything an actual person could come up with.
  7. Be honest, but not too honest. There’s always a risk of having spillover into work. So you definitely want to be aware of what you’re putting out there.
  8. Chances are, someone out there feels the same way. One of my highest-grossing posts recently was about wanting to take a break from Medium because I was honing in on my stats. I was obsessively checking them instead of creating for the sheer joy of creation. (Still working on that today.) Apparently, a lot of people could relate to my frustrations.
  9. When in doubt, publish. I’ve had hundreds of drafts that I didn’t publish. But some of the ones that were in the backlog, that I later fleshed…

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Xine Way

Aspiring librarian who writes, games, and walks on the side. Always happy to connect with writers on Medium!