What 21 Curations Taught Me About Writing
Hint: It’s not an easy lesson.
I’ve been writing on Medium for about four months now. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet amazing writers, read incredible stories, and get published in both large and small publications. It’s an incredible ride so far. But, being the perfectionist over-ambitious writer that I am, Once I experienced curation once — I wanted to experience it more and more until it consumed everything.
As of writing this article, I’ve been curated 21 times on Medium. I have no words to describe what it means to me that words I wrote continue to be read every day by different people around the world. Instead, I say thank you to the curators. Their job is an enormous undertaking. Reviewing thousands of articles every day is intense. They are more often rejecting articles than curating them — articles just like mine.
Somewhere along the way, curation became the holy grail for me as a Medium writer. I wanted to be featured and read, and yes, I also wanted to earn a few dollars. Anyone who reads my articles knows I’m dealing with debt and I can’t be picky about the financial opportunities that arise along the way.
I wrote about my writing being affected by not being curated or getting bad reviews a few days ago. I think my biggest fear is that I saw somewhere that the curators would lower the chance of curation if the writer is consistently not being curated. I think one great thing that Medium can do is split the decision to send articles for curator review from the decision to put a piece behind the paywall.
That will immediately lower the workload for curators and resolve for us writers the dilemma of putting an article behind the paywall or not. Sometimes I write about my experiences here which will not get curated anyway. Sometimes I write articles that reflect some personal experience like a blog and do not convey some great idea but rather a way to vent. Those articles shouldn’t get curated. I think that the writer should have a way not to send everything to curator review while still be able to put things behind the paywall.
During the last few weeks, I was worried that not getting curated will hamper my chance at curation. But then I was curated again — my 21st time. Lately, I’ve learned that it’s okay not to get curated 100% of the time. It’s even necessary. I need to write what I feel I must and sometimes that is not up to par with curation guidelines. Sometimes I want to vent or share some thoughts which I don’t expect to reach the front page of the site.
I wrote more than a million words in English in the last two years. For someone who only speaks English, this might not be a feat at all. But for me, who speaks Hebrew and live my life in Israel, that is quite the feat.
Although Medium’s curators do not provide feedback on why they reject an article (they don’t have enough time to do that for thousands of articles every day) they are expected to perfect their system in the future.
For the time being, I decided to shed my fear of losing what I gained so far. I’ve been curated before. I’m not doing anything different. It’s time for me to accept that my writing is good enough, and it only improves over time.
I can only go forward. I will keep going forward and trust in my writing.