With Great Change Comes Great Opportunity
Reading all the “Top Stories of 2018” and “New Year’s Resolutions” and “My ‘Word’ for 2019” articles has left me both reflective and bemused. I wasn’t going to write one of those “What I Learned Writing on Medium” or “My Year in Review” articles. But then I read a few that left me thinking perhaps I do have a little something to say after all.
Medium has given me some wonderful gifts along with the stress, anxiety, and sore behind from writing constantly — in all fairness though, I brought those negatives with me. They’re just part of creating anything online.
Medium is a wonderful place to create, for many reasons:
- The great pubs (publications) — you don’t have to set your work free and watch it float away alone in the great ether-world. You can submit your articles to some pretty awesome pubs and you will get lots of friendly eyes and readers. Some are easier to get into than others, but check out their individual publication guidelines. I submit articles to Publishous, Lit Up, The Creative Cafe, P.S. I Love You, The Startup, The Writing Cooperative, Pickle Fork, The Weekly Knob, The Ascent, Struggling Forward, Be Yourself, and the newly created Women Writing Memoir, among others. Some get more eyes on them than others. Many offer weekly writing prompts. You may not be featured every time, but participating in the prompts is a great way to jump-start your creativity.
- Like-minded souls abound here. Medium is a hotbed of creative types — you can find everyone here from cartoonists, illustrators and multi-media artists to medical doctors, PhDs, coders, wanna-be writers, published authors and agents, life hackers, poets, journalists, inspirational speakers and social media gurus — and more. There’s something here for just about everyone. And we all love to read — BONUS!
- The opportunity to hone your craft. Even a decent writer can improve with practice and feedback. And Medium gives us a platform to write our butts off. So write — write lots.
- You’ll gain confidence and grow as a writer. When I stumbled onto Medium, following the footsteps of a published author, Erica Verrillo, who writes amazing and brilliant short stories, and who kindly and freely shares her experience and practical tips. I was so impressed with the caliber of her articles and so intimidated, it took a month for me to create my first article. And another month before I submitted it to a pub. Then came a whole lot of writing, rewriting, and a lot of editing.
- You’ll find your voice. I’d never written a decent short story before. They’re hard work. I constantly over-wrote, and hated to edit. My work was always too long for a short story and too short for a novel. But now, I’ve completed two novels, started a third, and I can look with confidence at the 38+ short stories I’ve published on Medium and honestly say, “They’re all decent. Some are very good. And a few are awesome.”
- The opportunity to earn through their partner program. If you’re undecided, check it out — read up and decide if that’s for you. But by establishing your “brand” — your subject areas and how you approach them — and networking with the other writers here (reading, commenting and applauding), will help raise your online profile.
If I had to pick a phrase for 2018, I’d pick — Change Brings Opportunity
With Great Change Comes Great Opportunity
There have been some major changes in my life: leaving a well-paid but soul-sucking job, working from home while trying to find my feet as a writer (and earn a living at it), and welcoming a new member into the family.
But each of these changes has been an opportunity —
- An opportunity to re-establish myself as a person doing what I love, pursuing my own goals, and making my own way in life
- An opportunity to test myself, to hone my skills and see if I have the “write” stuff to make it (and the jury’s still out on that one)
- An opportunity to find my “quiet center” of strength and serenity, to focus on what I need and become my own shelter from the storm
- An opportunity to reconnect with family in meaningful ways, and to spend time building new relationships
Change isn’t easy. It can be challenging, uncomfortable and downright terrifying. People are fond of saying “the only things for sure in this world are death and taxes.” I would add the only constant in life is change. And I look forward to many more such life-altering changes.
So here’s hoping your life in the coming year is filled with opportunities — and all the best to you and yours in 2019!