You Are Not A Writer

To grow on Medium, a different mindset is needed — now more than ever.

Omar Sharaki

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Much has been going on at Medium. A lot has changed. Strategies that were once surefire ways of reaching readers and finding an audience have been greatly debuffed by the powers that be. The transition to a more relational Medium means curation is not the silver bullet it used to be. The threshold for curation is now both lower and its effects less pronounced. Stories of mine that would have previously, in all likelihood, completely flown under a curator’s radar are now being given the green light by Medium’s editorial team. But the effects of what used to be a significant boost in terms of distribution and exposure are now practically unfelt. It’s like curation has become an inflated currency.

So what can we writers do in the wake of this paradigm shift?

Well, for starters, keep on writing. That much should go without saying. But do so not as a writer. While the act of writing for its own sake can and should be continued, if your goal is to establish any sort of readership on Medium, the approach of write and flight (a.k.a post and ghost) is no longer viable. Medium shouldn’t just be a place you come to only when the muses are singing, only to disappear again when the work is done.

Nay. For you are no longer a writer. You are, in fact, a gardener. And in gardening, the work is never “done”.

Just as any gardener worth their soil will tell you, having a flourishing garden is not just a matter of digging holes and planting seeds — that, and “Get off my Lilies!”

A garden, like most worthwhile things in life, needs to be tended. You will need to make sure the plants get enough water and sunlight, that the temperature isn’t too high or too low, and that the soil is healthy. You’ll need to prune branches, remove suckers, and fend off the occasional intruder. While one task will call for a spade, another may call for shears, and yet another perhaps for a rake. And the list of tasks and tools goes on.

Some tasks may even call for sunflower seeds. Like, say, when you need to divert slugs from your mint.

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Omar Sharaki

Software developer, standup comedian, and guy you wouldn’t mind sitting next to on a plane.