Not every Medium writer is permitted to board this gravy-train.
Sometimes the writing life can feel like one big hustle. I’ve got the tattoo on my left leg and the garter on my right. I’m wheelin’, dealin’, writing. I’m holding a wild deuce one day and the next, I’m folding, ready to walk away.
The Jack is my all-time favorite AC/DC track but I don’t always know how to play them fast, I’ve never actually contracted the Clap and I’m definitely not always holding a Royal Flush.
But that’s life. You get to play the full house. Count your money. Then, life plays a card that’ll bring you down. A lot like writing, really.
I’ve played cards on Medium that have earned 37k+ reads and over $2,800 per/article. These pieces continue to create revenue in the long-tail. But they’re the wild cards, and frankly, like many writers here on Medium, I’m feeling the pinch since the platform implemented those changes back in late 2020.
So, what does a writer do?
Flip it or double down?
I read about the News Break hype back when the news began to spread across the Medium community like a wildfire. Who could miss that? I checked it out but the idea fell to the wayside until one of my more successful Medium writer friends emailed me. He was heading over to News Break and thought I should too.
So, I applied to be a part of their Creator Program, but it turned out that I couldn’t even get formally rejected by News Break. They ghosted me. Twice.
That was a wild deuce without the wild part.
I don’t know if it is because they think that my writing is crappy, my topics off-beat, or if it’s that I’m too Australian for an American based platform. Not to offend, but the rest of the world is starkly aware that a good portion of America believes that the sun rises and sets just for them. And I don’t possess the Medium Star power the likes of fellow talented Aussie writer, Tim Denning.
Ghosting is a real thing in the writing world as much as it exists within our interpersonal relations. It’s so real that it’s almost tangible. I have encountered phantoms, ghouls, and doppelganger spooks in this word-slinging landscape. I’ve even bumped into the Ghost-of-Rejection-Past revisited.
Whatever that means.
Whether you’re dealing with other writers, submitting to an agent, a magazine, or a publisher, or even writing platforms like News Break, you have got to be prepared for the ghost-rejection.
It happens to the best of us.
So, how do you handle the ghost-rejection?
We can either let the ghost-rejections haunt us or we can grab a stick of Palo Santo and ghost-bust them the fuck out. Life isn’t just a one-round Poker game, it’s a continual shuffle at Earth Casino. The decks, dealers and your hand may vary, but the table is always in front of you.
You can either play your cards or you can let them play you (and oh, haven’t we all been played at some point).
In a recent blog post written by Seth Godin titled, I’m Just Doing My Job, he asks the question: What if you replaced “doing” with “improving” or “reinventing” or “transforming”?
Repeat: Improving. Reinventing. Transforming.
Three of a Kind in my face.
Right away, it connected. I knew he was right. Godin strikes me as a man with much wisdom and life experience. And even though there has been an occasional instance where I might question his generously imparted life-lesson titbits, I knew that he was onto something here.
Thinking about how to apply those qualities offer us the double-down key. Especially when we’re looking Down the Barrel of a ghost-rejection, or feel as if we’re about ready to give up.
Those three characteristics make for a shift in mindset that is both positive and affirmative in reconnecting with your creative fire, remembering in your heart why you chose the writing life in the first place — your Kicker cards.
The game is endless. You’re not always going to be on an Upswing, but you can think about getting All-in with the above-mentioned Three of a Kind.
A while back, I asked another wise man to take a look at an article I had written about the link between creativity and sexuality titled, The Truth About Love, Sexuality & Creativity. It was around the same time that I first started out writing posts and I had been worried about offending readers.
A wise man told me:
“As far as offending and unsettling, you should be trying to do that. People you “offend” are not your readers anyway. Write from your heart and don’t worry about being polite.”
So, I did.
Eventually, that advice paid off and continues to do so. This, despite almost drowning in the wake of the Medium changes and News Break ghost-rejecting me.
Doubling down looks different to everyone but for me, it means playing the Card of Hearts. Ideally, our heart should be evolving — improving, reinventing, and transforming each time we are called to throw the cards down. So when we get up and dust off our pants, our words remember why we started writing back when.
Get back in the game and do your part in making a difference somehow. That’s what a writer does.
We keep writing with heart and taking risks in pursuit of our dreams.
I’ve got the tattoo on my left leg and the garter on my right. I’m wheelin’, dealin’, writing…