What a newbie has learned in 30 days

Photo by AndriyKo Podilnyk on Unsplash

February, 2020 is coming to and end and so is my first full month writing on Medium. What an experience!

Medium might just as well be called Motivator. There is something about the ability which Medium gives to all writers, newbies and experts, that seems to break down barriers and encourage confidence, from the very first post.

With that said, there are certain technical aspects to publishing on Medium and its other associated publications that can be confusing at first, especially to a technologically-challenged person like me. It took me a while to understand what was meant by publishing something in draft form, as opposed to simply requesting “publish”. I struggled for a couple of weeks to understand this, especially when I wanted to publish some poems in Scribe.

The editor of Scribe, Thomas Gaudex, displayed what I can only describe as other-worldly patience with me as I bombarded him with emails, trying to understand how to submit something correctly to Scribe. I know to the average person, my ignorance would have been laughable, but Thomas never laughed (at least not so I could hear it!), and patiently guided me through the correct process. As a result, the poems I have published on Scribe have garnered me the most reads, claps, and highlights. Here’s a link to “Autobiography of a Leaf” https://medium.com/scribe/autobiography-of-a-leaf-38f32a86b5a5

Thank you ,Thomas!

Being a writer on Medium has given me a sense of belonging to a community of writers who truly do care about and want to support each other. How I love the highlights and the comments that other writers/readers have shared with me. Although in the past I have published some poetry and essays and won a few writing contests, I have never felt such a true sense of belonging to a writing community before.

I love that I can find some really excellent images on Unsplash which Medium makes so easily accessible for its contributors. I now want to learn how I can use some of my own photographs or those of my friends because sometimes I find it a little hard to search Unsplash for the image I want. For example, when I published a recent article entitled The Invincible Joy of Winter Birds, https://medium.com/@824drb/the-invincible-joy-of-winter-birds-b9d05828d8a3 I found it difficult to find images of specific types of birds I wanted to feature. Some of my friends are excellent photographers, so I hope to become comfortable using their photos, following the correct form for acknowledgements.

There is a plethora of sound advice about writing and publishing available on Medium. I have learned so much in less than a month about how to write better articles that could connect to a wide range of readers. It is very tempting to spend hours reading about writing on Medium, but of course, in the end it becomes time to stop researching and reading and time to write something that interests, delights, or moves you so much that you want to share it with others.

So what is the takeaway from my first month on Medium? Just this: I am so grateful to be part of this writing community. For most of my adult life I have thought and wished and dreamed and dithered about writing, with very little to show for it. Now, I really enjoy sitting down at my computer to write and share. Now that’s what I call a change worth crowing about!

Photo by Dušan Smetana on Unsplash

Deborah Barchi has recently retired from her career as a librarian and now has time to read, explore nature, and write poetry and essays. 824drb@gmail.com

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