5 things I love about the writing community and 5 things that drive me to distraction
Since starting writing on Medium, a year ago, I have met some amazing people. The support I have received from everyone is amazing. None more so than my Facebook group — Blogging & Medium Support.
As I continue on my journey, I have also recognised some negatives as well as positives.
The Five Lows
Authors Who Forget Their Roots.
There are many established writers who have developed a great career blogging. The greater majority are very supportive. However, there are a couple I have come across who are not as supportive as they should be. They have forgotten their audience. When you ask them a question they fail to answer or offer support. I understand these writers may get hundreds of responses, but is that an excuse.
I am determined that no matter how many responses I get or questions, I will answer them all. If someone can take the time to read, hi-light and clap for my article the least I can do is reply to a comment. Sometimes I acknowledge with a reply, a clap, but I always show that I have read and appreciated their input.
It is important as a writer to respond to our audience whether this is a few hundred or thousands. These are the people who have given us our success.
I have discovered a handful of writers who take advantage of a good thing. For example, I have a rule in my group, post one publicity article in 24 hours. Some writers can’t follow the rule and post more than once a day, flooding the timeline with their content.
These are the same writers that drop a link to their article and don’t interact with others.
Interacting as much as you receive interaction is vital to becoming an author.
I don’t read every article on my groups, but I read those that interest me or bookmark them for later.
Follow, un-followers drive me to distraction.
Whether this is on Twitter, Instagram or other platforms it drives me to crazy. The fact that people use this technique to gain followers is awful.
They have no interest in growing a relationship, they are interested in numbers only. Those of us who write know that the numbers mean nothing. You can have thousands of followers, but if they don’t engage with your writing it means nothing.
Following people to build a relationship, rather than gaining a number is essential.
1000 View — Wow
I have seen this happen a lot and I mean no disrespect to writers who have done this. Personally though, writers who moan that their article only got 1000 views on an article, annoy me.
Many writers would be very pleased with 500 views on their articles. To moan you only got 1000 views is discouraging to new writers. I understand these writers are measuring their success on a higher scale, but remember where you started.
I have tried to join in several conversations about earning on Facebook. When people are talking about earnings in the thousands. I am embarrassed to add my views, when my earnings are in the hundreds.
Celebrate everyone’s success no matter how small.
Not Supporting Publications
This is a very personal moan, but a recent one that annoys me.
I have three publications on Medium that I run daily. I have some brilliant writers on there who contribute weekly. They are some of the most talented people I have ever worked with.
Recently I set up a Patreon page asking for a donation of $1 a month to support my work on these publications. I encourage locked posts on all my publications so $1 is a small proportion of what is earned from these stories. To date, only 5 people have contributed to my publications and pledged $1.
I have joined similar Patreon communities for publications that I contribute to.
It only seems fair, I am making money off their publication, why not give back?
It may seem I have lots of negatives on writing. Be reassured the positives that the community offer outweighs the negatives.
The Five Massive Highs.
Throughout my time on Medium, I have met some supportive writers. Some of these have a huge following, yet they still take their time to interact and answer all my questions.
These writers take time to interact with their followers. No matter how many followers they have.
The main writer that springs to mind here is Tom Kuegler I follow him on most of his social media. His content is engaging and friendly and I have learnt so much from him.
Several times I have responded across platforms to his content and 9 times out of 10 he replies. I watched a video where he was contemplating hiring someone to help reply to followers. He is reluctant to do this as it would mean readers would not get a genuine response from him. From my point of view, I’m very pleased, his genuine comments are the reason I follow him.
If you haven’t read his articles, where have you been, I urge you to check him out.
The community and friends I have found online.
My groups started out as a trial to see whether a group would bring me the same as an email list. I wrote about it here.
As it has grown I have met the most supportive, helpful group of writers.
We have become a cheerleading squad for each other. We support each other’s successes and catch each other during those bad times.
With great pride, I have watched these writers develop and gain the success they deserve.
Being the editor of three publications, makes me appreciate the work that editors do.
Compared to some of the amazing publications I write for, my three are small in comparison.
The work that editors do is free let’s start by saying that. I appreciate that such a small percentage of writers sign up to Patreon groups. The majority of the work editors do is unpaid.
They use their skills to grow followers, to read our work as well as edit and support our development.
To every single editor of a publication a big thank you.
Medium as a platform.
Every day I am grateful that I found a little site called Medium. Medium has given me a place to find my voice.
Somewhere to practice my craft and improve my skills. The great majority of readers have been supportive and complimentary.
I know some writers have been trolled, I am fortunate not to have been. In the year I have been writing on Medium I have had two negative comments. One was a troll, you know the type no profile picture. They were blocked. The other was criticism about a picture I used. I took this onboard and was delighted a month later when the same reader complimented me on a post.
No matter what your experience Medium provides a safe community for all writers.
The biggest positive I have taken from the writing community is confidence.
I have gained the confidence to write, to sell my work and hold my head high.
The confidence to put my work out into the world on many platforms.
I have the confidence to tell others I am a writer.
What are your high’s and lows of the writing community?