How a once-beloved space for writers became a waste of my time.
I have resisted writing this essay for two years. Congratulations Medium on finally breaking a writer who gave you 647 published essays since May of 2016. That works out to an average of seven essays per month. I have watched your platform evolve and iterate over the years, always keeping faith that it could be genuinely viable for independent writers hoping to earn their living. Until we did start earning our living. You didn’t like that, and you took it away. I did bring receipts.
Here are ten months worth of my earnings in 2021:
The same ten-month stretch in 2022:
And finally the same ten months of 2023:
Note the little ray of sunshine in August, right after we got that email about major changes taking place at Medium, supposedly for the better. I’d seen emails similar to it over the years, and the resulting earnings supporting what I’d been told made me optimistic indeed. And then rapidly, we went right back down to where we were. I fell for it. Again. That ends today.
For grins, here’s 2020’s earnings, a wild ride. For perspective, imagine doing work each month without ever knowing the income you’d receive on it, with this kind of discrepancy month-over-month despite fairly consistent effort. And while earnings on Medium are never guaranteed, a human “boosts” editor responsible for who knows how many pieces of published content per month should NOT be the sole determiner of whether or not you get paid. Those “boosts” stopped mattering pretty quickly anyway.