This is story number 205
Today is my 148th day on Medium. This is my 205th story. 203 have been published, another one has been submitted to a publication, and you’re reading this one. What have I learned?
I’ve spent the last few days thinking about this. I came up with 5 main lessons that are worth sharing.
There were also other minor lessons, but let’s stick with the big picture. I like to keep things simple. Getting bogged down in minor details tends to become a hindrance.
Lesson 1 — The more I write, the easier it gets
If you’d told me on day 1 that I’d be able to come up with ideas for 100 stories and actually write them, I would have laughed at you. Seriously.
I think this is the same for many things in life. If a challenge seems too big we may assume we can’t do it. But break it down into smaller challenges and it becomes much easier.
How do you eat a whole elephant? One bite at a time.
Not that I advocate eating elephants.
So, here’s the thing. I knew I could write one article, so I wrote it.
If I could write one, then, of course, I could write another, and so I did.
I had struggles along the way, for sure. But I pushed through those and kept writing. The more I wrote, the easier it got.
At the beginning, I’d think of a few article ideas and then procrastinate for a few hours while I ran them through my brain a few times. I couldn’t just start typing right away.
After writing over 200 posts I can now think of an idea, sit down, and just write it.
Practice is key. If you want to master a skill you need to practice.
Lesson #2 —If I don’t write I miss it
This still feels a bit weird. At first, I had many days when I had to push myself to write. Nowadays, if it’s getting late in the day and I haven’t written I get a bit antsy.
When I get that feeling I sit down at my laptop and knock out an article or two. I then feel much better.
I guess it’s the equivalent of runners needing to run so that they get that runner’s high.
I write to get a writer’s high.
It’s weird, but it’s true. Try it.
Lesson #3 — The more I learn, the more I realize there is still to learn
There is a lot more to writing than meets the eye. Write a headline, write a subtitle, write the main body of text, and publish it. Done.
If only it was that easy.
So, I took a 3-day writing course. I learned so much. I was sure I was learning all there was to learn.
Then I’d read some stories about another aspect of writing. So I’d take time to learn more about that. Then there’s be something new to learn. And another thing. And another. It never ends.
There was a time when I thought I had covered over 50% of what I needed to learn. A few months later and I think maybe I’ve only covered 25%.
As I learn more I can see more of what’s missing.
Lesson #4 — I can actually earn money from my writing
When I first joined Medium, I hoped I could earn decent money here. I had read stories of others making money, so I knew there was a chance that I could as well.
Over 200 stories later and I know I can make money here. I’ve made over $2,000 so far. This month is already my best ever, and there are still 6 days of the month left.
How awesome is that?
But I’m not stopping there. I have 3 books planned. One is almost complete, one is around 50% done, and the third is just in the planning stage. I plan to sell them on Gumroad.
Lesson #5 — I learned that writing can be fun
In some senses writing is a pure numbers game. The more we write, the better we get, the more we earn.
But it’s not just a case of churning out articles. There is another side to it.
I get many appreciative comments from other writers. I motivate some, I help some, or they started to earn money because of something I wrote. It’s such a great feeling to have my writing appreciated.
There is, however, a darker side. I’ve had a few haters leave comments. I just block them immediately these days. They aren’t worth wasting time or energy on. You can’t please all the people all the time.
So, that’s it. What lessons have you learned on your writing journey so far?
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