To date, I’ve watched approximately 6,233* YouTube videos telling me how to become a writing success. I’ve read 8,757* articles about formatting, style, topic selection, title creation, subtitle creation, SEO, and just about everything else about writing. I’ve enrolled in every free Medium training course I could find. Every day my email inbox is filled with dozens of follow-up emails offering to sell me upgrades to the free training courses I’ve taken.
I’ve scoured the web for hundreds of hours looking for the secret of making it big on Medium. And I’ve analyzed a bunch of top Medium writers like Tim Denning, Darius Foroux, Ayodeji Awosik, and dozens of others who have figured out how to be a writing success and get tens of thousands of followers. And despite all the hours I’ve spent trying to jumpstart my writing career on Medium, I’ve managed in my spare time to write 65 articles which work out to about 2 a week. …
I’m sick of the news. There’s no escaping coronavirus, politics, wars, citizens fighting on American streets, protests, businesses closing. Over and over, we hear this group is lying, and that party is cheating. These people are calling those people names. Really? Is that the best we can do?
I get it. Life is difficult. What I don’t understand is why people are embracing violence, bad news, and events beyond their control as if they are the secret to their happiness.
Life has always been hard. Way back in the 1800s Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1884) said “Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce?” …
You’ve written the perfect blog post title. The blog’s first paragraph practically drags your readers kicking and screaming into the story. According to Answer the Public, people are asking tons of questions about your idea. You checked it out on Google Trends and the topic is blazing hot.
You’re so pumped that this is the single most important topic you’ve even written about that the top of your head feels like it’s going to explode into purple smoke.
Fingers shaking in anticipation, you type the first subheading. It’s only one word, but you tell yourself it fits the narrative. You stare at the one word subheading, feeling in your gut that it should say something more. But no worries. …
A positive mantra changed Deshauna Barber’s life.
When Deshauna Barber was getting ready for work, she didn’t know that her life was about to change. At 19, she was working a summer job at Target in the women’s department. While she was working, she noticed a white woman staring her down. She tried to ignore her, but then the woman worked her way toward her. She then asked her a question that offends all people of color.
“Where you born in this country?” the woman asked.
“Yeah, I was born in this country,” Deshauna replied.
“Do you have any kids?”
“No, I don’t have any kids.” …
Standing up for the underdog by confronting a bully isn’t easy.
I know what it’s like to be an underdog.
Being an underdog, you’re the last picked, and the first picked on. People have confidence in you. They’re confident that you’ll be the worst member of the team and guaranteed to screw things up. In a crowded room, you’re invisible.
You’re called names like strange, nerd, freak, and loser.
In hallways, people walk into you. They shove you. And they act like they’re going to punch you in the face just to watch you flinch.
Girls shun you. And guys laugh at you. …
Sometimes shortcuts are the worst decision.
I had one hour to get to a meeting with a client who was an hour and a half away. I could have called him and explained that I was running late. He probably would have been fine with it.
After explaining that I had to get to another meeting but I couldn’t make it in time, the bank president that I had met with that day told me to talk to Bill who owned the only service station in town, and it was across the street from the bank.
Bill was thin, gnarly, and about 80 years old. I walked over to him, told him the bank president said I should talk to him. …
In a healthy relationship, there’s a natural ebb and flow between couples, friends, families, and business associates. There’s an understanding that everyone involved is safe to express ideas and thoughts without condemnation or abuse.
From early childhood, we learn how to express ourselves, and we learn to accept other people's opinions even if they differ from our own. Sometimes there are arguments because each side wants to be “right”. Normally, a heated conversation will settle itself and the relationship continues.
In an unhealthy relationship, there is an imbalance. A husband may manipulate his wife by making her question what is real. …
Relationships are a bank where we make deposits.
We expect a return on our savings, but what happens when we get a negative balance?
Many people are in caustic relationships. It could be with a family member, a lover, an employer, or a friend. In my case, I had a mother who had serious emotional problems most of her adult life. And in how she dealt with her problems, she overcompensated and created a caustic relationship with her siblings, husband, friends, and children.
In talking with friends, some of them described similar relationships in their lives. They talked about things they were giving up in their life to maintain some semblance of normalcy with the person they loved. …
They said, “You can’t write.”
“You can’t” are the two most destructive words in world history. These two words have destroyed countless numbers of dreams. They have wrecked people’s potential. And they have ended people’s belief in what could have been.
When you declare that you want to be a writer, family and friends will laugh and snicker, and some will say, “You can’t be a writer.” It's as if you said to them, “I want to fly like a bird to the moon,” or “I want to swim like a fish across the big blue sea.”
“It’s impossible,” some will say. “Only the gifted, can write,” others will say. But the most hurtful, soul-crushing thing some will say is simply, “You can’t.” …
Successful writers know what not to do when writing. There are thousands of articles and dozens of books about what a new writer needs to do to be successful. New and experienced writers read these articles and books to see if they can dig out a secret that will propel their writing to stardom. The authors write about talent. They write about genius. And many share tips on how they come up with “unique” ideas.
What these stories have in common is you can’t fabricate talent or genius. Either you are born with it, or you aren’t. But you can’t will it into existence. …