Wednesdays mess up my head. For me, Medium is a long game.
Since I’ve been on Medium, Wednesday’s have become the worst day of the week. If you publish behind the paywall on Medium, you know what I mean by Medium Wednesday. It’s the day the writers on Medium lose their focus, their, mojo, and, depending on their earnings, their total confidence and sense of self.
Hating Medium Wednesday may sound ungrateful, since I’ve beaten the odds every week. I’m fortunate to be one of the 50% who even make a buck with my writing, and part of the 7–8% who hit a hunnert a month or more in earnings every month. I’m not setting anything on fire here, so you can put down your poison darts. For example, when one writer posted her disappointment at receiving only 60 views for an article, I said to myself, I’d kill for 60 views. But I haven’t been at it as long as she has, so there’s that.
So what’s my beef with Wednesdays? Why do I want to go back to good old days of just having Wednesday mean Hump Day?
And what is hump day, anyway? Somebody trying to get in on the sex articles that supposedly grab all the claps?
In case all you filthy-minded scribes didn’t know, hump day was coined back in the 1960s by some grunt pining for the weekend at the mid-point of his grind. He’d reached Wednesday and was over the hump of his mountain of work. Thus, Wednesday became Hump Day. Not to be confused with the activity he engaged in with his significant other at night to help him forget the humping he took at the office every day.
Whatever, back to my squabble with earnings day. The first week I had expectations of earning a few pennies, the earnings report came out around 5 p.m. in my time zone. I assumed that was normal, and going forward I could ignore the search for my score until late in the day.
However, the next week it showed up shortly after 9 a.m. So now on Wednesdays, I’m frantic upon waking, which I can do anywhere from 4 a.m. to 8:05 a.m., depending on when I turn out the light and if I’ve indulged in a 2 a.m. bout of internet scrolling upon returning from a visit to the bathroom.
But once I’m awake, the frenzy is on, continually refreshing the dashboard until I wear out the return key or see this week’s earning’s report on my screen. I know, you’re a better person than I am, and you only look at your report at the end of the week or whenever you think of it, but we’re not talking about you.
Now bingeing is nothing new to me, but rather a lifestyle.
But sadly, after reading the scores of my various articles and the money they’ve earned, or not, I don’t find it easy to return to my task at hand.
Obsession has me in its grip. The first week I earned $13 for two or three articles and that put me in the 50% of writers who at least earned something on Medium. By the end of that short month, since I’d started writing mid-month, I ended up with $67, sitting proudly among the 7 percenters and deciding to hire live-in help with my earnings to devote more time to Medium. Until the next week’s numbers came out, crashing my dreams of hitting the Medium jackpot.
So there I’ve stayed, though weekly the earnings can go up or down, depending on how I play the game. I write more, engage more and I earn more. If I get busy with my life and leave Medium alone for a few days, well, you all know the drill.
But on Wednesdays, after reading of my relative modest success or slump, I start scheming.
How much work do I have to do to better my stats next week? How much TV do I have to give up to get in one or two more articles next week? Why did this article get so few dollars when it had the most claps for the week, and that one end up as a dark horse with a handful of reads but the most bucks?
And there goes the rest of my Wednesday.
I’m not a data geek. I have no more insight into the mysteries of the Medium algorithm than anyone else. Rather than spend the rest of my Wednesday writing and engaging, or even cleaning my digs, which I’ve let go since I’ve added Medium to my to-do list, I pore over my stats. But at the end of the day, I’m no wiser.
Medium gave me a slap upside the head this week, and I’m going to take it.
Maybe ypu’ve figured this out, but it was a new insight to me. Going to forget about obsessing about weekly earnings and go back to my original plan. Medium is a long game for me. I’ve given myself a certain amount of time to earn a certain amount of money. If I can do that, I’ll continue spending time on Medium. If I can’t, I have to put my energy elsewhere because I have to support myself, and I have other streams of income I’m neglecting these days.
Obsessing on Wednesdays over the earnings report does me no good.
I realized this when I just looked at my stats and draft articles. I don’t have many published articles in the hopper this week. I’ve had birthday celebrations, a driving license renewal test to cram for, and editing clients to attend to. This week I have a new wrinkle.
A publication is holding one of my articles. It didn’t publish or reject it last earnings period and it may not this week. So, while it’s work completed, I can’t count it in my earnings, and that skews my stats. They don’t really reflect my productivity, which is my true measurement of my success. AmI reaching my writing goals? That’s when I realized I had to go back to my long game.
That’s another part of my long game strategy. I want to write at least an article a day. In July, that means 31 new pieces. But I’m already 4 articles behind if you just look at my stats. But that doesn’t count one in publication limbo, two almost ready to go, the few in the pipeline.By the end of next week, they’ll all get published, with others I’ll write. I’ve realized I can’t always publish an article a day. But some days I can churn out two or three.
Now, instead of making myself nutso over weekly stats, when none of my weeks are equal in terms of available time to write or engage in efforts to promote my work, looking at my stats on a monthly basis, will give me a better idea of how I’m doing.
And who knows, maybe I’ll decide to focus on my six-month stats. By the end of the month, I could still be generating enough writing to show that down the road Medium is worth my time, but it may still be too soon to tell.
It’s the long game that matters to me. Give me back my Wednesdays, and let me postpone my earnings frenzy until I can really dig deep and make changes that make sense for me.
How about you? I’d love to know how you handle your stats and your calendar?