I was feeling lazy today. Add to that the fact that I had a lot of work to take care of — both on a personal as well as a professional level — I really did not think I would be able to write today. And then I looked at the date on my phone, and it hit me — 2 months.
I started writing — religiously — on April 9. So as soon as I hit publish on this story, I would have been writing for 2 months now. Whew! We are
CONTEXTI started writing to imbibe some discipline in my life. 1 Quora answer and a story on medium. Every single day. Before the clock reads 9:30am. It started as an experiment, with a timeframe of 16 weeks. Since today marks completion of 2 months → let’s call it 8 weeks.
So what all has happened in this time:
- I don’t think I have taken a break. There have been days when I have just winged it, but yeah — haven’t taken breaks.
- Have written more than the set target a couple of times.
- Have written some crazy shit (read worthless) once or twice (including this one).
- There have been a few pieces that I felt happy about. One on chatbot, another one on advice on sending me a LinkedIn message, then the most recent — diversity in (tech) companies.
- Sometimes the content doesn’t get published when I would like it to. Publications do have their own massive inflow to deal with.
- Have been waking up at 6:00am every day. Like clockwork.
I count this one as a huge win. For someone who used to wake up between 10:00am — 11:00am, I would have never thought I would be able to stick with this routine. There have actually been more than a couple of days when I have woken up between 5:00 — 5:30am (without the aid of an alarm clock). A couple of times I have missed it and woke up around 7:00am as well. Today, I woke up at 4:00am. Now that’s just disturbing!
- I am able to get a lot of work done by the time its 11am. Feels both strange/weird and good at the same time.
- I started with around 50 followers on Medium. Today, I have close to 950. And this is purely organic.
I did not start writing to amass a follower base. As I have mentioned earlier, this was an exercise purely selfish in nature, and being done just for myself. The reason I highlight this is to show how powerful Medium’s own discovery engine is. I haven’t been promoting my content — not even on social media. So every single view or follower that I have been getting has been primarily because of two things — (1) Medium’s tag based discovery engine, (2) My stories on various publications. Most noteworthy being Hackernoon by David Smooke (I think I have been submitting at least 1 story on Hackernoon every week). Few points to clarify:
- I have posted two full articles on LinkedIn — with links to those stories on Medium (citing originally published on….).
- I can’t be sure, but I think I may have posted the link for the first couple of stories on my twitter handle. If I did, I stopped in the first week itself
- I did use to retweet any tweets about my stories. Stopped that as well. Now I just send a personal response thanking them for the share.
- I have been a top writer for 7 different tags, and in the process identified a limitation that Medium imposes on its writers. I’ll explain below. (Someone else may have discovered it ages back, it was new to me)
TOP-WRITER RESTRICTION ON MEDIUM
Just the way you can add up to 5 different tags for your story, your profile will show up to 5 different tags ONLY, for which you are in the top-writer list.
At one point or the other, I have been a top writer for 7 different tags — Finance, Ideas, Venture Capital, Business, Advice, Startup, Entrepreneurship. Right now, my profile shows 5 of them, and that is how I came across the restriction of Medium’s system.
Entrepreneurship’ got taken off my profile, I could understand that. I wasn’t high up enough in that list. So, all good! But when I ‘
Startup’ got taken off, that was a surprise. I was quite high up in that list. Granted, I may not have written quite a lot on that topic recently, but from there to out of the top-50? That seemed a stretch. So I decided to look up the top-writers list for Startup. And there I was. Bumped down by quite a few layers, but still very much in the list.
And once I saw that, I decided to check up on Entrepreneurship as well. And there I was, looking all pretty.
To be honest, I do think it is probably a good thing. Your profile remains clean — just like the way Medium has always kept it everywhere else on their interface. But it was new, and I am lazy today, so sharing this tidbit helps me pad up this story.
TIME FOR SOME STATS
Bottom line? Content rules!
So, go ahead. Create some content!
Relevant. Contextual. Engaging. Entertaining. Informative.
NEXT TWO WEEKSThe next two weeks are going to be tough. I have some family affairs and functions to tend to, and I can't be sure of how my schedule is going to look like. There are promises of having enough on my plate to keep me on my feet the whole time. I don't know if that is just a scare tactic or an indication of how it is going to be.As much as possible, I will try adhering to the schedule. If not, I do have a cache of 8 cheat days that I can encash. (When starting this endeavour, I had allowed myself 1 cheat day each week. Wasn't really sure if I will be able to stick to the routine or not, so had decided to give myself some wiggle room.)So far I haven't used any cheat days, so I am sitting on a cache full of them. But. As much as possible, I would like to see it remain unused. We'll see. :-)