Tortoise Wins the Race, But Not If It’s Lazy
I believe you can get where you want to get. That is, if you work at it regularly, with intention, over a prolonged period of time. It doesn’t necessarily need to be every waking moment of your day. Of course, you’ll get there faster when you do. At the least, there needs to be some regularity.
Think of the same number of times you’d need to hit the gym to notice a difference in your body and mind. Once per week will be a great start. Less often won’t cut it. You’ll be nothing more than a casual practitioner. You’ll start to feel demotivated as you’ve been at it for ages, but “still” see no difference. You don’t say.
Heads up, this is a short rant.
I’m a member of a Facebook writing group or two. We love to exchange how well our articles performed, share our wins, progress, and brag about increased earnings.
Thus far, I’ve been more of a silent lurker, hiding around the corner, binoculars out, aiming to get a glimpse of who sent that letter the neighbor just pulled out of their mailbox. Okay, that sounds creepy. I promise you it’s not that bad. What I’m saying is: I do pay attention to what’s being said. I read the posts, the comments, and even drop the occasional like.
One reason I haven’t been actively responding to posts is due to the nature of the questions that often get asked. Many of them can be resolved by a simple Google Search. Or a search in the Facebook group. I wonder why these questions keep appearing. I ask myself, is the questioner looking for moral support? Does this person feel overwhelmed, and need someone else to help them out, even though a quick search is all it takes?
If we want to go down the path of an independent creator, we need to learn to be self-sufficient and solve our own problems. Together you get farther, but it doesn’t mean letting others do work for you when you are capable of doing it yourself. Only when we’re unable to see the wood for the trees should we ask for help. But that’s just my opinion.
A brief dive into coding taught me how to Google better. That’s a skill on its own. I guarantee you, if your question is simple, someone else will already have searched for it. The information will be out there. You just need to type the right search terms into the search bar, hit enter, and Mother Google will reveal her secrets to you.
Secondly. I get an instant allergic reaction when I read questions such as: “I posted one article, why did it only earn 3 cents?” or “I posted 3 articles last month and none in the past half-year. Yet I didn’t earn anything. Why?”
The answer is simple and straightforward: You didn’t do the work yet. There is nothing more to it.
I started writing on Medium more seriously last summer. The pandemic made me do it. In the month with my highest output, I published 23 articles. Nope, I didn’t hit the $100 jackpot. So what? This is a long game.
Medium doesn’t owe you anything. Medium certainly doesn’t owe you any money. You just got here and published a few times. It’s unrealistic to expect greatness after testing the waters once or twice.
No matter how long you’ve been on the platform, it takes time to earn your readership. If you consistently show up and offer your audience new content, they’ll learn that they can rely on you. They’ll know you’ll be there, and have something fresh to read.
Do this long enough, and you’ll also learn what you like to write about, what your audience likes to hear from you, and what type of content supports your personal goals. Maybe you’ll increase your follower base, and get closer to hitting that multiple-digit number in earnings you dream about.
All new things take time to learn. The time spent asking google-able questions in Facebook groups or elsewhere on the internet could be transferred into developing your skills. So do the work.
My writing has been inconsistent lately.
The stats don’t lie. Is it Medium’s fault? Nope. It’s 100% mine.
Without going into the root cause of my slacking off, it’s still all on me.
I can go into any online group, write quick one-liners, hit post and cross my fingers that someone will come rescue me. It might feel relieved for a second, but I won’t build up my article library here on the platform with that. Working on the article library, writing, publishing, learning, repeating. That’s what’s going to get me ahead, over time.
Don’t expect miracles when your work output cannot back your desires. Do the work. No one will do it for you.