How I Became a Top Writer in Less Than Two Months
Thursday morning, I received an email from Medium, informing me I was now a Top Writer in the topic of Racism.
I’ve only been writing full-time on Medium since early May. Granted, I have written online for nearly 20 years, but I quit for a while and lost my name recognition. So how did I manage to gain Top Writer status in such a short period of time? I’m going to share my secret right now.
I stopped caring about clicks, shares, and views. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
In all seriousness, I stopped seeking validation from strangers on the internet. When I decided to come back to writing after a disastrous attempt last fall, my husband made me promise that if I started to focus on stats and views, and began a downward spiral, I would stop writing. He was aware of what happened to me in late 2021 and did not want me to get to that place again.
Seeking Validation From Strangers Online Nearly Destroyed Me
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It took me two weeks to gain enough followers to enter Medium’s Partnership Program. Again, my husband voiced some concern, but I assured him I wasn’t writing for money. I had discovered the joy of writing, something I lost years ago.
On Medium, I can write about anything. I don’t worry about the SEO score, I frequently ignore Grammarly, and I don’t care about clicks and shares. I write because I love to write. I write because I’m a good writer. I write for the love of writing.
I am an artist. My Twitter bio reads “I paint with words on Medium,” and I honestly believe I do. That’s not ego, it’s me believing in myself. Believing A.J. Jacobs and Anne Rice, both of whom told me I am a talented writer. Believing that Bill Maher didn’t highlight my article on a whim.
There are people on Medium trying to make a living, and I respect the hell out of them. I am not trying to make a living on Medium. I’m not writing a book, I don’t have a Substack, I just love to write.
I write about racism because as a white woman, I have white privilege. I argued with a Florida cop for half an hour about a speeding ticket when I was 20, and I wasn’t dragged out of the car, arrested, beaten, or killed. He rolled his eyes at me and gave me the ticket. That’s white privilege. White privilege saved my son’s life.
So now I am a Top Writer at Medium. And all I had to do to get there was stop obsessing about views, clicks, and shares. I had to stop seeking validation from strangers on the internet. All I had to do was write.