I Made $10k On My First Medium Article & It Sucked All The Joy Out Of Writing
My first ever article on Medium went viral. It got 220k views and I made $10k AUD (my home currency). My first thought was, ‘Wow, it’s so easy to make money on Medium.’ I literally thought I could stop working and just start writing and make $10k on each article. LOL. Writers on Medium will understand just how naive I was.
The article in question was about the worst date I ever went on. Well, actually it’s now the best date I ever went on. It was a very profitable date, indeed.
Here it is:
A Man In His 30s Explains To Me What’s Wrong With Women In Their 30s
Those bloody women over 35… They’re all tick-tock, tick-tock.
There was nothing special about the article. I got home from the date and thought, ‘That was actually pretty funny.’ So I sat down at my computer and smashed out the entire thing in about 30 minutes. I did a quick Google search, found out that Slackjaw was the biggest humour publication on Medium and submitted it to them.
I kept writing on Medium after that. I became obsessed with going viral again. I only had one other semi-successful article. It got 14k views and made about $700 AUD, which wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t viral. Since then, I’ve had other articles in the 1000s of views, which for a casual, non-committed writer, should feel like an achievement.
But no. I chased the dopamine hit of going viral like a drug addict. Writing became a chore. It became one disappointment after another. And so, I just stopped writing. I have only written one Medium article in 2022. And it was a fucking slog to get those 1000 words out of me. It took 7 hours and got 200 views. Depressing.
When you’re only concerned with virality, you stop writing about the things that make you laugh. The words no longer flow out of you. When I think back to that viral article, I simply sat down and wrote about something that made me laugh. And there was something about that absurd date that resonated with people and made them laugh too.
The thing is, I love writing. I really love it. But that one viral article sucked all the love out of it. I started to hate it. It felt like I was trying to make magic where there was none.
So it’s time to change my relationship with writing. I just need to write. Even if no one reads it. Hence this article. I opened my laptop today and said to myself, ‘I’m letting the words just flow today.’ And that’s what I’m going to do for the next 30 days: I’m going to make myself write every single day.
Do I still want to go viral? Of course. I mean, look at the title of this article, lol. Old habits, clearly, die hard.