Why Am I Celebrating $0.97?
- Well, it is $0.97 more than I had yesterday.
- You’ve got to start somewhere.
- It is earned money for my writing.
- It is motivating me to try and double it, and then perhaps double that.
- I am learning. I am growing. I am having fun.
But $0.97 Isn’t Much Money
Yes, I realize that.
I come from a background in writing. Salaried speech/grant writing. Freelance copywriting (props to all you copywriters out there, that gig is HARD). Ghostwriting. Mom blogging.
I’ve even written a Maid-of-Honor speech for a stage-fright/tongue-tied/writer’s block stricken acquaintance.
Let’s just say, I’ve earned way more 7 cents a day.
But, in all those jobs, I was told what to write. I was told how to write.
Here? Here, I own the work. I own the style. I own the voice. Love it or hate it, it’s all me.
There is value in that freedom. So today, I celebrate.
What I’ve Noticed
Writers on Medium seem very hung up on income. I get it, we want to be paid. Money is validation. Money pays the bills.
And, it’s deflating when only one reader clicks on your story.
But, let me ask you this: How many people read your stories before you joined Medium? Let me guess? You hadn’t even written them yet.
As far as I know, nobody asked us to be here. Nobody from Medium reached out and said, “Please post stories on this platform!”
We are here willingly, just with slightly different motivations.
We’re all here:
In the end, we are all here to write. The possibility to earn money is just a perk.
If you are here solely to generate income, good luck. Maybe you’ll succeed. I’m sure there are some writers here who only chase dollar signs and do generate revenue.
From what I’ve seen, success here cannot only be financially driven. There must be a deeper, creative spark inside of you itching to spread.
Celebrate the Small and You Won’t Be Let Down
I joined Medium because it intrigued me. I liked the community aspect and the endless opportunities to make it your own.
I was clueless — absolutely clueless — when I first created my Medium account. As evident in my first story.
Stories. Publications. Curation. Topics. Drafts. Claps. Highlights.
Huh. . . ?
But, I learned. Day by day. Every day I read Top Writer’s posts. I followed. I commented. I clapped. I took notes.
I didn’t know where it would take me, but I knew that I wanted to try.
Then One Day. . .
Without even publishing a story yet, people started following me. What exactly are these people following from an unpublished author? My highlights? My claps? My profile picture? I look like a delinquent who just stole a laptop! How did they even find me?
I decided to stop questioning and to just celebrate the victory. I had followers lined up before writing a single word. Cheers!
I had an audience in their seats before the tickets went on sale.
Small Victory Mentality
I keep a book of only victories. It is the last thing I do before I close my laptop at night. I record all my tiny victories. Because, after all, they are accomplishments.
Each accomplishment — no matter how tiny — propels me forward.
For example, my entry yesterday:
- Applied to write for two new publications
- Free wrote for 25 minutes (accumulated 489 words)
- Accepted to write for the publication, Fearless She Wrote
- Submitted query to Real Simple (yes, I still pitch and query outside of Medium)
- Generated (10) ten ideas for possible articles, with headlines
- Edited draft for a humor piece
I also record (if applicable) positive comments left by readers on my stories. Yesterday, I recorded a comment from Carol Burt.
She wrote, “Hahahaha. You go, girl. I like the way you think.”
Simple, and it made me smile. Thank you, Carol.
Other comments in my brag book:
About my article, Why Do People Attack Mommy Bloggers?
- from Suzanne V. Tanner: “This article is excellent. It needed to be said and you said it super well.” Thank you, Suzanne.
- from Jody McAlister: “Loved this!!! I almost spit my coffee out from laughing at the first paragraph.” Thank you, Jody.
- from Gillian Sisley: “This is such an important piece.” Thank you, Gillian.
About my article, 14 Tips on How to Succeed on Medium: A Beginner’s Guide
- from Jennifer Geer: “This is great. I loved this!” Thank you, Jennifer.
- from Sherrye Richardson: “Loved it!!!” Thank you, Sherrye.
About my article, Your SuperBowl Party will Be Sh***y: But Thank You for the Invite
- from Brian Berbucket: “This was hilarious. Also, get the hell away from my dog.” Thank you, Brian.
About my article, Have I Failed as a Mother?
- from Eli Pacheco: “. . . Love the humanity and brilliance in this one, Emme.” Thank you, Eli.
About my poem (what?!?), Wedding Day
- from Xavier Van Holde: “Absolutely lovely.” Thank you, Xavier.
About my article, My Husband Pays Me for Sex
- from G. Charles: “This is funny. . . Really enjoyed reading.” Thank you, G
Thank you, every one of you. Your words have encouraged me to sit at the keyboard and keep at it. Day after day. Your words are my tiny victories.
And I never decline a reason to celebrate ;).
Okay, Maybe It’s Not a Full-Time Income, But. . .
Stop feeling defeated and saying, “This isn’t enough money to. . . ”
Think of all the scenarios when it is enough money.
Last month, did you make enough money to. . .
- Buy a movie ticket? Celebrate that.
- Buy a pack of gum? Celebrate that.
- Buy a cup of lemonade at a kid’s neighborhood stand? Celebrate that.
- Buy a round of drinks? Celebrate that.
- Buy a tank of gas? Celebrate that.
- Buy groceries? Celebrate that.
- Pay your phone bill? Celebrate that.
At the end of the day, whether you are earning $1 or $100, you are a paid writer. Celebrate that.
I am $.03 away from a dollar. One day I might be $3 away from $100. Nothing happens overnight, so every step, every penny, matters.
Start seeing pennies as victories and suddenly you’ll start seeing victories in everything.
**Disclaimer: This has been saved in drafts for one week. At the time of publication, my cumulative earnings are now at $5.02. Tiny victories, baby, tiny victories.
Hey, I’m Emme L. Beckett, a former speech/grant writer turned mommy blogger turned essayist, and an occasional humorist. I can be reached at email@example.com.
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