I’ve now read more than a dozen articles by folks publishing on Medium calling the Partner Program “easy” money.

I find this point of view a bit of an affront.

This is not an attack on Medium’s Partner Program. I’m happy that it exists and am reading quality writing at least 90% of the time. Medium is an online platform devoted to writers. They seeking to pay us for our contributions for a mere $5 a month membership fee. You build a following by being a follower of writers you enjoy, that you find inspiration or instruction from. I love that Medium is providing this opportunity to writers worldwide it’s an incredible networking opportunity.

One fellow advises following 125 people a day. I’m pickier than that. I don’t want to random follow you on Medium any more than I do on Instagram or Facebook. That’s an impersonal approach to an art medium that I love to take personally. I’ll read a couple of your articles, see if you’re on Twitter and are our posts of a similar ilk. Then I’ll choose to follow you. Hopefully, you will reciprocate.

I’m increasing my contributions and figuring which topics work best for the partner program. Seems my musings do better on Medium than my travel stories. Okay, so travel is open and musings are locked. My article, Snotnose 38 and Other Childhood Traumas, about being the sole redhead amid brunettes and blondes, was a hit on LinkedIn, bombing on Medium.

The Medium Platform Helps Writers Find Our Niche

Like with anything, a writer have to figure out what’s will succeed for them. It could be our own blog or submitting to an online magazine.

But writing on the Medium Platform easy?

Nothing about this is easy. Writing is hard work. Good writing is very hard work. I’m boggled by those who admit to whipping off a blog in half an hour and hitting the publish button. Those results would be in the 10% of articles that I’m unlikely to read. 

My posts take hours to write. I might write a first draft in fifteen minutes, but that version doesn’t see the light of day. First drafts are for the writers—they’re the edition we spew out needing to get the words onto the pages. Revised posts turn that spillage of words into something for the reader to enjoy, to get something out of.

There is No “Easy” Money in Writing

We’re responsible for billboards, directions, cook book instructions, menus, textbooks, tour books, news articles, and marketing for companies. Writers create instruction manuals, policy manuals, handbooks. We are involved in these and so much more.

Writers are a large part of every day of your life. Yet we experience business people who say, “I’m making money selling my XYZ product. I’d like some new copywriting done. How about you do it for me for free and I’ll make sure you get some exposure for your work?” How about no, I won’t work for free. I need to eat and live the same as you. My time is worth as much as yours. My talent contributes to the world the same as yours.

Saying no isn’t easy when our work needs exposure and we need references so new people find us.

Writers, Do Not Give Away Your Talents

But giving away our skills for free is not the solution to the problem.

I’ve had a blog since 2011, when I had a full-time day job. It began as a discipline to ensure I followed a schedule and as a way to hone my writing skills. I started out with little knowledge of blogs and admittedly, thankfully, continue to learn on a regular basis. Joining the LinkedIn group, Bloggers Helping Bloggers, put me in touch with other writers. We learned blogging together—some earning money with their work and some still in day jobs to pay the bills.

In 2016, I started to write full-time—for the blog, for contests, short stories, pursuing multiple venues for writing. In 2017, I published two distinct travel journals for sale, (blank—with your words of adventure). I worked with an editor to finalize and start querying the first of a mystery series set in Pittsburgh. Writing takes time and is without pay until journals are purchased, stories win contests, and an agent reps me.

It is not easy to work this hard without earning a wage.

Read: Writers Read, a lot