Why I’m Not a Full-Time Medium Writer Anymore

As some of you have surely noticed by now, I have been quiet on Medium for the last few months.

For nearly five years, I have been posting 15–20 articles a month. But in March this year, I only posted 2. In April, only 3. And this article is my first (and probably my last) for May.

I want to explain why.

In the fall of last year, I started experimenting with banning myself from checking my Medium statsI wasn’t thrilled with the quality of what I was writing, and I suspected my habit of checking my stats page several times a day wasn’t doing me any favors.

My suspicion was correct. From the moment I banned myself from checking my stats, I found it extremely difficult to resist the urge, which is a red flag if I’ve ever seen one. And soon enough, I returned to obsessively checking my stats page two or three times a day as if I’d never taken the break in the first place.

…until January, when I finally decided I had enough. I downloaded a content blocker that is difficult to override once active and blocked my stats page, my Partner Program Page, my Medium profile, and any other page which could possibly give me a clue as to how my stories perform.

I thought blocking my stats page would free me from the constant pressure I felt to write “clickable” headlines on “popular” topics. That did happen, which was a relief.

But not only did I stop feeling pressured to write about popular topics, I stopped wanting to write at all.

Becoming a writer has been my dream for a few years now, but a cut-rate productivity blogger was not the kind of writer I ever dreamed of being. When I first began writing on Medium, I knew it was a stepping stone.

But then 2019 happened, and I started making six-figure MPP payments for a few months, and I thought, “Maybe this is the platform I can use to take my writing career to bigger places.”

But, I never could quite make it work. I wrote Kindle books, sold online courses, and did what self-help bloggers are supposed to do, but it never resulted in a waterfall of money the way it did for Kuegler, Denning, Awosika, or the other cool kids.

Some will say that it’s because I didn’t work hard enough or smart enough. That’s true, but it’s not the whole truth. I worked hard, but not as hard as I could, and I worked smart, but not as smart as I could, and I knew it. But when I asked myself, “Why aren’t I working as hard or as smart as I could?” I drew a blank every time.

still draw a blank. I’ve read every book, tried every motivational strategy, gone to therapy, and pursued every angle. Something about this whole six-figure-productivity-blogger thing simply isn’t clicking for me.

You might be thinking this is proof that pro blogging is an unachievable dream, a dream only for privileged people, or even that I simply wasn’t up to the task. None of these things are true. Pro blogging, while grueling and poorly paid, is an eminently achievable dream, and I know I could do it if I wanted to. But I think, somewhere in my subconscious, I don’t actually want to do it for some reason.

And you know what? That’s okay. Sometimes romantic partners seem like a perfect fit on paper, only for you to discover that you don’t clickAnd of course, other times, we fall for people who don’t check any of our boxes only to find they’re the love of our lives. I picked Pro Blogger as a career aspiration because it checked a lot of boxes, but it isn’t clicking, and the best thing I can do now is to admit that and try something else.

Now I’m a professional content designer. I help businesses design content (articles, videos, PowerPoints, you name it) for use in marketing, client deliverables, and internal communications tools. This job allows me to produce stuff and make money without yoking my entire self to my work.

In other words, I just work here. What a relief.

Having a day job has really freed me up, psychologically speaking. Now that my creative spirit isn’t chained to my income, I’ve started hobby writing again. I’ve been churning out new chapters for my fanfiction for the first time in years. I’m writing longer and more comprehensive journal entries than I used to. I even write original fiction from time to time.

I still have article ideas for Medium, but I don’t draft them. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from years of waking up early to churn out yet another post. Maybe I’ll start posting to this blog again, or maybe I won’t. The future is a mystery.

As a Full-Time Medium Writer, I never ended articles on a cringey cliche. I had a career to build, you see. A reputation to maintain. But now I can do whatever I want, so I will end this post with a cringey cliche.

Thank you for reading. You certainly didn’t have to, but you did anyway, which baffles me just as much now as it did when I started posting in 2016. Much like the heat-death of the universe and the existence of self-aware consciousness, the fact that anyone is interested in what I have to say about anything will always astonish me.

To everyone that read my articles over the last five years, thank you for being part of my own little miracle.