What I Learned From Publishing 300 Blog Posts (280,000 Words) In 3 Years On Medium
For the past 3 years, I’ve noticed that I’ve been in three different stages creatively with my writing.
- The ‘What The F*ck Do I Write About’ Stage?
- The ‘I Guess I’m Just Writing for Myself’ Stage.
- The ‘I Guess I’m Not Just Writing for Myself’ Stage.
- The ‘I Want to Write Less’ Stage
Here’s how I’ve gotten through all of them and how I feel at this present moment (Stage 4).
1. The ‘What The F*ck Do I Write About’ Stage?
My first blog post published on Medium was right after my trip to Montreal on July 7th in 2017.
Because this was my first blog, a lot of my friends encouraged me. It was also very uncontroversial, so there was little reason to be hurt by it.
People liked it.
This then turned into me writing about stuff I am actually interested in: Religion.
People didn’t like that all too much. 30 blog posts in, I wrote an Article that was my biggest hit (150 views) up until I wrote a piece about Marketing for the Year You Live In (received 5 times more views).
I didn’t know exactly how to write blogs. I wrote long paragraphs. Later on, I’d realize that long paragraphs are a turn off for people. Especially for me. I like when people learn how to be succinct and to the point. Especially with blogs.
And then my first official publication happened.
The Publication Becoming Human: Artificial Intelligence Magazine contacted me saying that they want to include my blog post on their blog. My blog post was in the form of a response article to a Fox News Article. You can read it here.
I remember being very happy about that.
2. The ‘I Guess I’m Just Writing for Myself’ Stage
I have to say — I did have readers in this stage. But it was mainly friends.
I received very positive responses to a blog post I wrote on the reasons I’m going to study philosophy. People started messaging me about my posts.
Which was very nice. Every encouraging word mattered a lot to me.
I was still publishing very regularly at this point. I published twice a week every week. So a lot of blog posts went without notice.
I guess I was making too much content that was difficult to read. Life is very busy and people don’t have enough time, especially not to read a novice.
I wrote articles that barely had any views: one or two max. And there were a lot of them.
It was as if I was writing for myself most of the time.
The Christian audience that I once had, was turned off after I published a very critical and slightly sarcastic article on the Absurdity of Hell.
I felt a little bit guilty after that, so I revisited the topic again. I spent a considerable amount of time on this blog post — more than an entire month.
It barely had any views and was 2,500 words. I spent a lot of time editing and researching that topic.
I MEAN . . . A LOT OF TIME.
I kept writing about Religion after that, writing other articles that were barely read and highly researched. I quickly understood that there is no fruit from criticizing Christianity.
I needed to write about other things more often than I did about Christianity.
The hypocrisy was obvious. My Christian friends would complain because of poorly written articles (my mistake with The Concept of Hell is Absurd article). Yet they wouldn’t take the time to read & comment on the well reaserched ones.
These very critical Christians also never responded to my criticism of Christian critique of Atheism. I think that Christians misrepresent Atheism very often. It happened on numerous occasions here and here (where I wrote about it).
As I’ve said previously in different posts. If you really want to question a worldview, you have to completely leave the bubble.
I started realizing that as a philosophy student my obligation is to focus on things that really matter. This was probably mainly because of the influence of the secular humanist Peter Singer, whom I was reading at the time.
And then I kind of started understanding Medium a little bit better.
3. The ‘I Guess I’m Not Just Writing for Myself’ Stage
Being a part of the community on Medium is very important.
If you don’t take the time to read other people’s blogs and comment thoughtful comments on them — from the heart — then you’re not going to make it far on this platform.
It takes a lot of time. You need to build the habit of writing. I was reading and writing all the time.
I have been writing for the past 8 months. I write after work. I write before work. I write in between classes. I spent my Christmas break writing 8 hours a day, publishing a blog post every day, sometimes two a day.
Arguably because of this heart-felt devotion to the community here, I started getting mentions and followers.
Zak Slayback (I recommend — incredible blogger) retweeted my blog post that was in the form of a response to him.
Zachary Forget mentioned me in a blog post, which was extremely nice of him, since he is a Christian (and was commending my blog that was critical of his belief, all within reason). I still believe that we have an unspoken friendship over Medium due to the civil disagreement that we engaged in.
I connected with a fabulous activist, James Finn and have been in touch of and on ever since. I am a big fan of his work and believe he is among the most important writers on Medium.
And I connected with a lot more. Some contacts have dwindled. Some have remained.
It is also important to write for different Medium publications.
Here’s a list of some I write for:
- Creating Value
- The Startup
- Becoming Human: Artificial Intelligence Magazine
- What It Takes
- All About Writing
4. The ‘I Want to Write Less’ Stage — The Now
I want to write less.
I want to read more.
Thus, I have been spending a lot more time in the past year or so reading and studying.
I am a double major (Philosophy and Political Science) at the University of British Columbia in the Okanagan (Kelowna, BC). Therefore, my study requires a lot of attention from me. I never wanted the blog to get in the way of my studies. So, I’ve spent more time there. Nonetheless, I’ve always kept this as a sort of refuge for being able to express myself.
I do plenty of that on my two Instagram pages as well, if you want to follow them:
Where I Play Guitar:
Where I Write Book Reviews:
My dream is to build a community. I want to know writers on Medium. I want to know the people that comment on my articles. I don’t simply want a follow, I want the best writers and hardest workers to make it on this platform.
I want to try publishing 5 days a week for the rest of the semester and see how I feel after that. My biggest concern is for quality. And I don’t want to undermine that, so I’ll stop publishing if the quality is difficult to uphold.
As much as I love writing blog posts — and I do — my dream is to finish a treatise of Christianity. I have already started working on the ebook, I have 12 chapters on the go, all of which have been started, some of which have been finished.
I want to get that done by the end of the year 2018.
I realize that everything takes longer than we expect. That has especially been true for me. I tend to expect way too much from myself. I am starting to learn how to set realistic goals.
Let’s build this community and make articles that are crucial for our moral and pragmatic development.
Let’s go. It’s our time. The age of right-wing populists is over. It’s time for the thinkers.
(I also kind of want to get into Oxford … )
Before you go…
I’d love if you’d share the article on Facebook/TWITTER if you want your friends to benefit from it in some way at all.
I write to keep you thinking and to keep me thankful and reflective. Cheers and until next time,