Medium – What Is It Good For?

I don’t know, I just don’t know. 

I thought Medium might be a place to post fiction. Fiction is one of their categories, after all. There are many ‘publications’ here that claim to host fiction. But most of them want what one member described as ‘snackable’ content. Poems, short stories, flash fiction, etc. Fiction is almost an afterthought on the site, tucked away. You have to go looking for it.

They have politics. Also current events/art/design, the whole range of topics you find on any general interest news/commentary site. But the big thing seems to be self-improvement.

There’s a lot of discussion about writing. Most of it, same-ol’-same-ol’ regurgitated. This type of post dominates the front page (you land on the front page by getting a lot of reads). The exposure encourages others to go the same route. Mind-numbing!

I’ve found very little useful in any of the following:

> Is This What It Takes To Become A Writer?

> Why You Are Losing Your Best ideas And How Not To

> Use These Three Tools To Overcome Your Scarcity Mindset

> 5 Quality Tips For Growing Your Medium Page

> What’s Stopping You From Writing?

> Writing Is Easy. Quality Writing Is Not.

‘Live Your Best Life’ is another big area. I’d better dig into this. Sly is eventually going to lecture the rats of Hameln on living their best lives. Any of the below could apply.

> You Make Or Break Your Life Between 5-7 AM

> If It Doesn’t Suck, It’s Not Worth Doing – YOUR SUCCESS MANTRA FOR 2018.

> Willpower Doesn’t Work. Here’s How to Actually Change Your Life.

> This Morning Routine will Save You 20+ Hours Per Week

> This Is How You Train Your Brain To Get What You Really Want

> UN-COMMIT Immediately to Everything You’re Not Definite About!!

> Tell Me What You Did Today, And I’ll Tell You Who You Are

I am amused by how many titles incorporate a number, as in snap-your-fingers-easy.

> This One Question Will Make Every Decision In Your Life Easier

> 3 Ways People Become Stuck, Undeveloped, and Unsuccessful

> The 2 Mental Shifts Highly Successful People Make

> 7 Ways To Make Immediate Success Your Only Option

> 8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 A.M.

> 13 Things That Will Happen When You “Level-Up” As A Person

> 21 Behaviors That Will Make You Brilliant At Creativity & Relationships

> 14 Strategies To Accelerate Your Personal Growth By 1,000%

> 50 Ways To Live On Your Own Terms

> 31 Things That Will Happen When You Finally Decide To Live Your Dreams

How and Why are (apparently) big attention-grabbers:

> Why Keeping a Daily Journal Could Change Your Life

> Why Even Ambitious People Rarely Become Successful

> How to Become the Best in the World at What You Do

> How to Increase the Volume of Your Brain and Make Optimal Decisions

> How to Create the “Moments” that Change Your Life

> How To Go From Successful To Very Successful (and why most people can’t do it)

> How to 1) Get Into Peak States, 2) Make Bold Decisions, 3) Invest In Yourself, 4) …

Here’s a How and a Why. Give this guy a cigar. 

> How to Consistently Act From Your Deepest “Why”

This begins to sound like the ‘We Can Help You Publish Your Book’ / ‘We Can Help You Market Your Invention’ spots I hear driving home from work at 1am.

I’m not ready to give up on Medium.

The best advice I’ve gotten so far is to publish a short excerpt from my book and link it to a web site. Like I didn’t know that already. Duh! 

They have a category called ‘series’. I thought that perfect for me, but was told that ‘series’ is for short pieces. I looked at two and each has only three or four pages, with a few paragraphs and a graphic. The term series is misleading. This is a special format that only takes a certain number of words per page. There may be a limit on number of pages as well. And the pages are the size of a largish cell phone.

If I publish under my own name I can do anything I want to. But the advice is, if you post within a publication you will get more exposure and more reads.

Maybe I’ll just lie, pull a chapter from Sly, call it a short story (like I’ve done with the anthology) and try to slip it past the gatekeepers at The Mad River. “Where Weird Waters Flow” is their subhead. I think I’d fit right in there.

This is like eating potato chips. I can’t stop. I just read a piece – The Brutal Solution To Writer’s Block: You do not have writer’s block. You are lazy.

Excuse me. When I have a problem to solve, I wait for an answer to strike me, an answer that makes real, emotional sense. If I push, it will be a bullshit answer. I’ll know it’s bullshit and my reader will know it’s bullshit. I work on another chapter until I have a eureka! moment.



13 thoughts on “Medium – What Is It Good For?

  1. I’d look into Inkitt or Wattpad, too. I haven’t thoroughly vetted either yet, so read the terms carefully before posting… and here I’m thinking of the recent scandalous move by a fiction site that claims your stuff as their own as soon as you post it… grrr.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. victoracquista says:

    In deference to our colleague GD, who is a scholar on Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message”. As for the subject of your post, Mimi, I have no experience with Medium and based upon what you have posted, I am in no rush to explore. It seems to me (and admittedly this is a broad brush comment) that there is a vast scaffolding to theoretically support authors that is essentially built upon a foundation of sand. What is it that we are asking or expecting all these middlemen to do for us? Get our work in front of interested readers? Sell more books? It seems to me that there is a predatory nature to much of the scaffolding I alluded to and we are the prey.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. atthysgage says:

    Last time I checked out Wattpad (admittedly, years ago) it seemed to be an absolutley unwieldy mass of fan fic — including an astonishing number of stories in the kidnapped-by-One-Direction genre. I tried browsing for just ordinary fiction and genre stuff (YA, sci fi) and just found myself swamped by mediocrity. I’m sure there was good stuff too, but how to find it? Somewhere in this endless desert there is a grain of sand of incalculable value.


    Liked by 2 people

  4. mimispeike says:

    The more I read of the self-help stuff, I begin to see that there is a treasure trove of humor here, that Sly will garble in his dealings with the rats. I just read ‘Skills to Help You Connect To Your Inner Genius.’

    I was wrong about Medium. It’s terrific.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yes, platitudinous self-help advice can be mined for laughs.  Glad it is not utterly useless.

    Footnote to last paragraph: I often find it helpful to push for a while before setting the problem aside (at the conscious level, anyway).  It’s the way I cajole my subconscious into looking at the problem and (maybe) delivering a *eureka!* moment some time later.  How do I know when to stop pushing?  I just guess.  Hmmm.  Maybe there is some self-help advice out there …

    Liked by 2 people

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