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My Top 4 Medium Pieces of 2020

Yes, I stole this concept from Roz Warren. Thanks, Roz. 👍

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve been having an amazing (and healthy) holiday season filled with fun new rituals, such as garage gift exchanges and candy cane-printed face masks. I read Roz Warren’s article on her top Four Most Popular Medium Stories of 2020 and found the concept appealing. Copying her idea saves me from having to overexert myself. I’m too full of cherry pie and pfeffernusse to even crawl off the sofa, let alone prod my brain into generating original concepts.

Like Roz, I’m going to go by read count, because that seems like the fairest metric. I’ll also attempt to determine what made these stories stand out to readers, so you can apply that information to your own writing. One of them had the word “poo” in the title, so everyone go write articles about poo immediately after reading this.

I was lucky enough to have this piece picked up by Human Parts and, because of that, it was my most read article of the year (by a lot). If I could get 90% of my writing picked up by Human Parts I could make a decent living on Medium, however that seems an unrealistic goal so long as I’m writing articles with titles like 2019 Movies That Would Be Better with Farts In Them. If Medium ever decides to start a fart-themed in house publication, I’m pretty sure I’ll be the first person they call and I’ll finally get a taste of that sweet, sweet cash.

My second most popular piece was published in Jane Austen’s Wastebasket and seemed to take off fairly quickly. You might have thought I was joking about that poop in the title thing, but I was not. Readers see the word “poop” and they immediately know something interesting is about to happen. Please release all your poop-centric articles into the Mediumsphere by next week. Don’t hold onto them for too long! That is unhealthy.

Sometimes you write a story on Medium and you kinda hope no one reads it, because you’re more comfortable with frivolity than the *deep voice* serious shit. This concept was on my mind for a while and I almost didn’t publish it, but in the end I did. I figured it would get buried the way much of my writing does. And now it’s one of my most read pieces for the year. Awesome.

This one is a poem, which is super weird, because I don’t consider myself a poet AT ALL. I like poetry, but I do not understand it. I need way more words to avoid being obvious. But every once in a while I get a terrible night of sleep and I start writing random poetry about how tired I am. Think I’m joking? I. Am. Not. It’s kinda a pattern at this point. A month ago this poem started getting some decent traction and I have no idea why. Let’s call it the magic of the algorithm.

And that’s what it comes down to, isn’t it? Sure, a catchy title helps. Having your work in a publication definitely helps. But there’s something about all of this that feels like fate or chaos. Were these my best pieces of the year? Is such a thing quantifiable?

I’m not going to lie and say I couldn’t use the money that comes from cracking the robot code, but I’m also aware that my stubborn insistence on writing what I want to write isn’t going to lead to stardom on this website. When I’m not here I write marketing copy for tech and ecommerce. I need a place where I can go a bit wild. That’s what I ask of Medium and that’s what Medium delivers.

If you’re one of these reads, thank you. If you’ve commented, highlighted, followed, or just laughed, it means a lot to me. It makes me feel a little less weird and lonely. I try to be good about responding to comments, but I know I’m slow and I miss some. But I really appreciate your support.

Except for the commenter who called me an “empty-headed floozy with nothing to offer.” That is not my preferred method of support. 😝

Everyone else. Thank you.


Engaged in inadvisable wordsmitheries and other creative acts.

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