Posted in Medium

My 30-Day Medium Writing Challenge is Over!

Yesterday I completed my first 30-day writing challenge. The ultimate goal was to write 30 Medium stories in 30 days. Luckily, I completed 31 stories in 30 days.

TL;DR: I’m glad I did it and I’m glad it’s over.

Read all about the rules I created for this challenge here:

I learned some important lessons from this challenge:

I can’t wait to take what I learned and apply it to future Medium posts, with some much needed testing and refinement added.

Posted in Medium, Vocal (Media)

Challenge Accepted: 5 Writing Pieces Due Today!

Although I don’t consider myself a procrastinator, things just didn’t go my way leading up to today. I’ve been on vacation and juggling upcoming work, my writing side hustle, and actual vacation time with my husband.

FIVE writing pieces are due by midnight EST.

Four are personal essays for Medium’s Writing Challenge Contest. $50,000 is at stake, folks! Luckily, I got all four of my pieces submitted on time. Here they are, in case you’re curious:

  • A Place to Call Home (theme: space)
  • The Weight She Carries (theme: work)
  • Your Privilege Doesn’t Exist Here (theme: reentry)
  • How It All Ends (theme: death)
  • I read several websites to raise my personal essay game. Although I don’t think my essays are good enough to win the top prizes (let’s be real – there will be 10,000+ submissions being evaluated), I did grow and learn a lot. I think the difference in quality in the 4 pieces above compared to my previous Medium stories is palpable. And that makes me happy!

    In addition, Vocal’s summer fiction series challenges, run weekly, is now on #7 which has the title “long thaw”.

    • What He Didn’t Want to Know (keyword: frozen pond – unpublished until accepted)

    I submitted all FIVE pieces before the deadline tonight! Yay!

    I’m going to take a short break from writing now… 😂

    Posted in Medium

    One of My Medium Stories Reached 100 Views!

    Yeah, I know, big whoop considering that this is chump change to the less prolific writers on the Medium platform. And views don’t really mean anything on Medium if they’re not reads or claps.

    But you know what? I don’t care. I’m here to celebrate ALL wins, especially if they’re small.

    The great victory, which appears so simple today, was the result of a series of small victories that went unnoticed.

    -Paulo Coelho

    Cheers to the little victories. May they lead me down the path to achieving my writing goals.

    Posted in Medium, Vocal (Media)

    Are Medium and Vocal Becoming the Same Writing Platform?

    This week, some pretty big changes were announced to the Medium Partner Program. In an interesting and oddly coincidental move, Vocal and Medium announced one of the exact same changes to their paid writer programs on the exact same day. It might have even been within the same hour of each other.

    These are not coincidences.

    I just started my Vocal journey. I’ve been writing on Medium seriously for only the past few months, but in total for over a year. I think I’ve somewhat figured it out. But Medium is funny – they keep changing the rules for their writers, and I’m assuming their algorithm for paying writers also keeps changing. It makes it hard to get comfortable when your incentive is a moving target.

    I just joined Vocal this month and became a Vocal+ member to enter their challenges (i.e. writer contests). There is a promise of really good money to be made in Vocal’s challenges and it gives me an outlet to exercise my creative fiction writing muscles, which I don’t do on Medium. My strategy right now is to use both platforms, but in very different ways.

    At least, that was the case until all these changes popped up.

    Before this week, I found Vocal and Medium to be similar in their overall goal as reader platforms, but with different incentives for writers, building your following, and how to get make money. After this week, I’m scratching my head and really starting to wonder if they’ve now converged into the same basic platform. This is good news for all you writers out there who take your Medium stories and then republish them on Vocal to double your chances of payout. But this is not good news for folks like me who had an entirely different strategy planned.

    If you’re curious about the changes Medium made to their partner program, read this article written by their staff. Some of the changes are good and some are bad – but it’s all relative to your purpose and approach as a Medium writer. As someone who’s been in the business world for decades and knows a thing or two about a thing or two, I am naturally a skeptic at this age. Some of the changes raise an eyebrow.

    Regardless, these platforms keep life interesting. I will adjust once the dust settles.

    Posted in Medium

    Medium is Hosting a Writer’s Challenge Contest this month!

    And the prizes range from $100 to $50,000!

    Medium announced last week that they’re hosting a writer’s challenge contest for the month of August 2021. Personal essays only are allowed, and there are 4 categories that writers can submit to.

    Both free and paid Medium members are allowed to enter. Honorable mentions receive $100, the top winner of each category receives $10,000, and a final, all around winner receives a grand prize of $50,000.

    As notable as the cash awards are the judges. Famous writers like Roxane Gay and celebrities like Natalie Portman are judging the various categories.

    Writing prompts (and each is explained with a prompt) include: reentry, death, space, and work.

    Writers may submit one total personal essay per category. Submissions are due August 24, 2021. New material submitted as of July 28, 2021 are allowed and they may include published and/or curated works. Submitted articles to Medium must be tagged appropriately for the category in which it will be judged or else they will not be counted.

    Read more about it here:

    Good luck to all writers!

    Posted in Medium

    I Finally Got Published in My Favorite Medium Publication

    Woohoo! After 3 attempts, I finally got an article published in my favorite Medium publication The Writing Cooperative! It’s also one of the largest remaining publications since Medium. I’ve been trying for months to get accepted and I think I’ve finally cracked the code on the type of content they’re looking for.

    This Medium publication is written by writers and is intended for writers. The article accepted is called “The Paris Review Unleashed an Amazing Archive of Writer Interviews” and it’s about a treasure trove of author interviews on The Paris Review’s website.

    Progress! 🥳

    Posted in Medium

    The Frustration of Medium Publications

    I’ve lit a fire under my butt and have been dusting off medium drafts that I started last year but never polished and finished. I’ve also done more thorough research into Medium publications with the hope of getting curated. With the recent shake-up at Medium regarding publications, I figured this might be a good opportunity to find new publications.

    Luckily, I’ve gotten a couple of things right. I’m now an accepted author for 7 different publications and working on a couple more. It’s hard to say if the process of being a contributor is harder or easier than a year ago. I have several more pieces to submit as examples, plus I’ve been curated by one publication now. I’ve also gotten a better handle on the vast number of publications out there, as well as common rules that I’ve seen across multiple sets of guidelines.

    But…I’m also stumbling on curation. I understand that the larger publications are getting an insane amount of submissions every day. I also understand that there are guidelines and rules to help publication articles feel consistent. However, it’s been frustrating when I feel like I’m following the rules and am rejected for subjectivity reasons (“this doesn’t feel right for our publication”). Or, it’s stated that I’ve violated a rule that’s not very black and white, yet other recently published authors are flagrantly violating those same rules (and others).

    It’s a conundrum. But I won’t give up. I’m feeling very appreciative that the 2 latest rejections came with feedback. I can’t imagine how many times the reviewers have to send out rejections, so even a few sentences of feedback is amazing. One reviewer even took the time to point out every rule I violated, which I’m super grateful for. Last year I was rejected for curation with zero response, which sucked.

    If I’ve learned nothing else by this decade of life, persistence is key. Oh, and to keep writing. There’s always the self-publishing route, too. 😉