It may sound naive, but the thought had never crossed my mind. I’d been so focused on getting better at writing — on Medium — that I wore blinders
This is how I know the kind of writers I’d love to be friends with: they make me think and see the world in ways I wouldn’t be able to by myself.
I really enjoyed reading this, Angely.
You had me opening tabs and searching for submission guidelines on The Atlantic,The New Yorker, et al.
Since I immigrated to the U.S. last month, my take on writing has gradually evolved into something more serious.
I’m more conscious of my effort on Medium: attending (free) webinars, making handwritten notes, classifying tags, capturing story ideas. I have two drafts I work on every day — I know it will take me over a month for them to be ready for …Medium.
It’s a novel feeling, I kid you not.
Not that our writing here should not be taken seriously. I feel I’ve reached a cruising altitude where I churn out small, interesting, non-memorable pieces.
That’s not the kind of writer I want to be. I don’t want to write about writing.
I want to tell stories.
Shannon Ashley was speaking to me when she said:
I write every day. There are endless ideas. And each day, I realize how hard it is to write well. Talent is almost irrelevant.
After months of consuming articles, I understand why I need to find a niche, or rather, my zone of personal interests — no matter how unrelated each individual item in the zone may be.
I am the common denominator.
These stories in me: my daily life as an immigrant from Cameroon, getting engaged to my high-school crush, loving a med student, being the first born son, being a creative twenty something — these stories, no matter how amazing they are in my mind, they have to be told.
I have to write them. And…
Which is why Medium is great platform for writers. It helps with practice, growing an audience, measuring progress, and connecting with a tribe that makes us feel we belong.
One thing that your post shows is that it’s not enough. Submitting to publications, working with editors, collaboration on pieces, pitching, the way these occur out of Medium have a way of making us get better as writers.
Maybe even as humans.
What I enjoy with writers like you — many of whom are now on Medium — is how you document this journey and allow the possibility for others to learn from your story and get inspired.
Or at least, not feel like we’re alone on our backlit keyboards snapping sadly at Pringles during each return key stroke.
The words of one of my mentors resound clearly with your piece:
Building something of value, significance takes time. It’s not the result of growth hacks and tactics. It’s the result of making something that people actually would miss if it was gone — Srinivas Rao
Sounds to me like that’s exactly what you’re doing with your career.
Thank you for documenting your progress and inspiring others.