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Museum in Athens. PHOTO: Sarah Lofgren

Everything I’ve Learned in My First Month on Medium

Have I learned more than you?

It’s now been a month since I created a profile and wrote my first post. I’ve learned a few things since then about creating content on Medium and I thought I’d share them with you, since that seems like the thing people are supposed to do.

It worked for you, didn’t it?

Has anyone clapped for my last story? Oh, it’s been an hour since I checked? Let’s check again. Refresh the page. Maybe it didn’t work. Refresh again. No notifications. OH MY GOD NO ONE LOVES ME. Refresh.

Hey, husband? Could you like my story? No one has liked it yet. 😒

Maybe I should buy a food truck and start selling vegan tacos, because I clearly can’t write good content.

Refresh.

Refresh.

Refresh.

Initially I was irritated by all the content centered around these topics. “Who is reading this stuff?” I wondered.

Turns out, future me was the one reading all that stuff.

What is so addicting about all these self improvement-related articles? Let’s be honest, I’m not going to wake up at 5am, I’m not going to work out every day and I’m not going to be a billionaire, no matter how many kale smoothies I drink. Yet, this fantasy world where I can imagine being a badass bitch with a row of strategies to help me succeed beyond anyone’s wildest dreams is so enthralling.

Maybe I’ll do it. Maybe I’ll wake up at 5am tomorrow.

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“A pug wrapped in a blanket on a bed” by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

I’ve written a lot of stuff. Some of my writing has been professional — content refreshes for eCommerce sites, articles, SEO-related stuff, etc. Some of my writing has been personal projects — novels, screenplays, short stories, and blogs.

Generally, rather serious. Some very serious.

My first novel murdered a whole town of (fictional) people.

So why, when I log into Medium, do I immediately become incapable of taking anything seriously? Why does bullshit flow from my keyboard at an alarming rate? Why do none of my articles make sense, unless you imagine the author wearing a silly hat while she wrote them?

WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING TO ME?

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Photo by Gabriel Matula on Unsplash

This wasn’t the plan. I was going to write helpful, serious content. I was going to build a copywriting empire of tips and useful personal anecdotes. Then I could point to it and say, “Look. This is the work of a competent, experienced human with lots of important things to say.”

Guess that ship sailed and is halfway around the globe, sharing grown-up advice with other like-minded ships. Sorry folks. 😑

You’ll have to learn about the kale smoothies from other writers.

I’ve learned that publications really are sort of awesome

If I hadn’t joined up here, I wouldn’t have even known about them, but they’ve introduced me to voices that are a little more… punk rock? than what’s available on many of the sites I was reading BM (before Medium).

Watching folks shape the internet and decide what it can be on so many different levels is pretty exciting.

I was also super psyched to get published in Lady Pieces and Pickle Fork during my first month, which is way more validation than is healthy for me. I became a Top Writer in Satire, through some mysterious process that should probably be reevaluated.

You might not want to interact with me until my head goes back down to its normal size (which is still too large for most hats).

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Photo by Wells Baum on Unsplash

So, yeah. That was my first month. Tada. In all seriousness, it’s been a lot of fun and has helped me build some good writing habits. Plus, now I get to wear this “Top Writer” sash everywhere I go and it’s been a HUGE conversation starter at my local pub.

Thanks for reading! Sarah is a freelancer living in Seattle. She has a twitter and an instagram.

Written by

Engaged in inadvisable wordsmitheries and other creative acts. http://sarahlofgren.com

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