What I learned in my first six months on Medium

A love note to 10,000+ followers


My first Medium post was “I’ll take cheap coffee but not cheap love,” published April 19 of this year.

View story at Medium.com

It’s a 4 min read and received 116 views, 84 reads and a whopping 18 claps — which were still “recommendations” at that time. And one of them was my own, because you could still do that then and sometimes I’m like that.

Since then, I’ve published 165 posts with over 450,000 views and met over 10,000 incredible followers. And learned a lot along the way.

I started writing for two big reasons:

1. I had questions

I still have questions. A lot of what I write about is me working through — and sharing — answers to these questions. Questions about good love, healthy vs. toxic love, healthy vs. toxic people, and what it means to “love well.” And I wanted to work through that by writing about it.

2. Other people had questions

And I felt like I had answers to some of them. I kept hearing the same concerns and complaints come up over and over from girlfriends — most of them love anxious or love addict. And as someone on the other side — the love avoidant side; the side most of these dudes they date probably fall on, too — I felt like I had a lot of the answers. So I started sharing them.

Some of these answers went well. Some better than others. I’ve met tons of amazing people, and learned an incredible amount about what we’re all looking for in love — both in general, as well as with regard to my own writing.

Least popular pieces

Even though “cheap coffee” was published to an audience of exactly zero people, it wasn’t my least popular piece.

By total views and reads: that sad honor goes “The definitive ranking of acts of service,” which ranked lowest on both.

But by read ratio: the least popular pieces were the three on “cool girls,” which y’all obvs hated a little. I thought a bit about why this could be, but in the end it doesn’t matter why. What matters is: I care and stopped with them.

Most popular pieces

By views, reads, and fans, the two most popular pieces were:

View story at Medium.com
View story at Medium.com

Part of this is because these two were picked up by more publications than I even kept track of — which was unexpected and awesome.

After those two, the next three / second tier of most popular pieces were:

View story at Medium.com
View story at Medium.com
View story at Medium.com

I didn’t use “read ratio” in qualifying the most popular pieces. This is because — no surprise — it’s predominantly just the shortest ones.

My own favorite pieces

I always wonder which of their own pieces writers like most. My answer varies.

From the angle of wanting to produce what people want to read: my favorite pieces are the ones that perform well —i.e., all the ones listed above.

From the angle of a writer who is sharing my own life and thoughts: my favorite pieces are, (kind of) in order:

View story at Medium.com
View story at Medium.com
View story at Medium.com
View story at Medium.com

I feel really strongly about these and I link to them all the damn time.

Critical comments

Of course, as a writer, you’ll always get negative feedback. But negative feedback really varies in how much of an impact it makes — and how “bad” it really feels. Sometimes you care a lot. And sometimes you definitely don’t.

Like, just for instance, one person called me their “least favorite person in the world.”


And, like, honestly? I’m not even mad. That’s amazing.

Because, like— in the world? Daaaymn. 💁 Plus, what even is the interwebs without some testy discourse? That one was just funny — and definitely not the worst.

The hardest negative comments are the ones from committed readers who tell me I’ve let them down or hurt them. Those ones get my attention and affect me the most. To each one: I adore you. I hear you. I want better.

The “best” negative comments are the ones from followers who tell me, straightforwardly, that I’m dropping the ball. Like this one:


Like, thank you. That’s just downright caring. I can do something with that without any guesswork — and I did. So I appreciate it. Along these lines are also people who let me know when I have typos. 👍

And the funniest negative comment came to me via email:


That one just made me laugh.

Positive comments

My favorite comments come from followers who share. They share vulnerable things, beautiful things, open and honest things. Who add on incredibly rich and wonderful thoughts. It’s really awesome to see when someone gives their hearts and heads right back.

I can’t really paste my favorites because (a) there are so damn many of them and (b) a lot of them are long, well-crafted, well-thought-out and vulnerable comments — a mini story within a story.

But suffice it to say I have a handful of favorite commenters, all of whom have left rich comments more than once; many of them consistently. ❤ You know who you are.

Favorite Medium writers

Outside of commenters with bomb-ass, awesome comments… there are writers I dig, just for the writing they put out all on their own.

In no particular order (and I am almost certainly forgetting some, because this is off the top of my head):

Ari Eastman, Emma Lindsay, PopcornPolly, John Gorman, Luke Trayser.

And Gary Vee, but like… that’s a given.

Favorite Medium pieces by other writers

Ari’s “I Don’t Remember How to Date,” which I lit up like a Christmas tree with highlights.

Emma’s “Fish Love,” which I have re-read and referenced at least a dozen times. Each.

Pretty much anything Gary puts out, though “Why Reading This Article Won’t Help You Become a Better Entrepreneur” is the one I’ve got bookmarked as fave.

Also bookmarked is Onjuli Datta’s “The Strange Seduction of Bartending,” which is one of the best and most beautiful pieces on bartending I’ve seen— but maybe only if you’re also a bartender.

Favorite thing about Medium

Authenticity

Medium is a beautiful platform, and it fosters some really beautiful writing from people.

It encourages us to write with authenticity. To write about fear and anxiety and aspirations and frustration and heartbreak and love.

And it’s not just the writers — it’s the readers. It’s a community.

I have been blown away with the richness of responses — the vulnerability and sincerity in some of the things that we, as a close-knit unit, have shared. I came into Medium not knowing what to expect, but was braced for superficial and shallow. But I was — and continue to be — blown away with the quality of conversation and dialogue.

Everyone here has their own journey. But we’re all alike in our openness to receiving or sharing. Sometimes both. We’re all here for connection, and it shows.

And that’s the most beautiful part. The thing I learned most, and the thing I like most. The fact that we all show up with questions, and maybe some answers, and we all share a little bit of ourselves to get a whole lot more back.

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