30 Prompts for 30 Days
It’s been an interesting few days. I fell back in love with writing three weeks ago, when I opened up Medium again and published my first story in years. Friends and family raved, moms of childhood friends gave me glowing Facebook reviews. It was small, but a joy to remember I’m a writer, and that I can affect people with my words and the thing I love most: stories.
Two weeks later, I’ve finished 5 more articles. At first I went on a publishing spree, overjoyed to write and share my work again. I read about the Medium Partnership Program and realized WAIT. I can even make money from this passion?! This is the best!! I would be making money writing, inspiring people, and sharing my words with the world. After losing my job in March with the pandemic, and endlessly searching for purpose, this was the DREAM.
And then… crickets.
No one was seeing my work. 38 followers, $0.57 earned, and *literally* one view later (after that initial article), I decided to take down those 6 new articles. I wanted to figure out a way to share my words with actual people, not just the blackhole of the interwebs. For the last week I’ve researched how to be successful on Medium- how to garner views, find the right tags, and get into the largest publications. It’s been mind numbing, but important I realize if I want anyone to actually read my words.
And of course, views and followers aren’t everything. I could just write my heart out and send my words into the Medium void forever. But at a certain point it just begins to feel like a diary on a public forum, and that’s not what I want. So in this last week I’ve relentlessly studied what works both on Medium and in various publications I want to write for, reworked several of my pieces, and pitched/submitted them to 16 different publications.
I feel proud and…burnt out.
After this morning’s work of this nature, my eyes began to glaze over. I tried to take a nap. Turns out that morning cappuccino really worked. I tried to watch my favorite show. I couldn’t concentrate. I tried to make more coffee. The dog peed on me and I spent my “writing time” mopping up dog pee and washing my feet.
So I’m going back to what got me excited in the first place: Writing.
I have 16 pitches in the air, and even if none of them come back affirmative, I know what to do and how to do it. In the meantime, I’m going to write. I’ve had “300 Writing Prompts” sitting on my book shelf for years, and this week I’m finally going to start using it. Every morning will be a new prompt. My rules?
I have 1 hour to write and I have to publish by the end of the hour. It doesn’t matter if it feels like it’s going into a void or garners zero views.
I’m a writer and I’m going to write.
In the meantime, I’ll see what happens with the pitches and follow the advice on being seen. But I’m finding I just don’t want to wait on that. If I spend my next two weeks worrying about claps, curation changes, and hoping writers I like will me follow back, I’m certain I’ll loose the mojo I have going. It begins to feel like a social media contest, and I know I’ll lose interest in Medium all together.
I don’t want that. That’s not why I joined Medium. So I’m going back to the reason all of us are on here: To enjoy a platform of great content! And personally, to write every day and see what happens!
I’m excited to document my next 30 days. This prompt book has the coolest questions and I can’t wait to write about all sorts of things. Stay tuned.