3 min read

Daydreaming and Rest Will Strengthen Your Writing Practice

Medium Writers Newsletter: Writing tips, spotlights, and events

The case for rest and daydreaming

Where is there time for rest? Where is there time to intentionally space out and relax? There are demands on the current project. There are future projects on the horizon to start planning. As challenging as it can be, making this kind of space is valuable.

How to write a headline

Your headline is the first impression of your story. Writing a great headline can be the difference between a handful of reads or orders of magnitude more. It can mean the difference between reliably growing an audience or losing integrity. Your job is to convince the reader to dive into your story, and then you must deliver. “When someone is trying to decide if they want to read a story, you don’t want them asking themselves: What does this headline mean? What is this story about? Why is this relevant? What will I learn?” shares Nadia Rawls, editorial director of growth at Medium. “You want the headline itself to be so clear that the only thing they need to ask themselves is: Am I interested in this story?” Read on to learn more in “How to Write a Headline.”

Medium writers meetup in N.Y.

Update (3/10): The writers meetup on 3/18 is postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. We will assess the situation in a few weeks to determine a rescheduled date.

The Draft on starting a writing group

The Draft is a biweekly column in Human Parts where former MFA director Eileen Pollack answers your questions about writing. You can submit your questions on creative writing here.

An Elemental success story

This month we have an in-depth spotlight from Elemental Senior Platform Editor Kate Green Tripp. What happened after the story was amplified is stunning.

Introducing Medium Rare

Amanda Sakuma, platform editor at GEN, has launched a new weekly digest of the weird and wonderful stories across Medium. “Here at GEN, it’s my job to scour Medium each day for fresh voices with compelling stories and unmatched expertise,” shares Sakuma. “Still, it’s a constant struggle to not get distracted, and sometimes you just have to go down that rabbit hole. Each week on Medium Rare, I’ll be sharing stories you might have missed that are definitely worth a second look.”

Story spotlights

Medium editors are on the lookout for great stories published on the platform and work with the authors to edit and produce the stories. Just like last month, we’ll spotlight a few stories that Medium editors found and brought into their publications. What makes a story resonate? There’s a variety of reasons — read more to learn what the platform editors found compelling about these stories in particular.

We Asked Tinder, Grindr, and OkCupid How They Support Trans Users. Here’s What They Said.” by Kristen Pizzo

At OneZero, we love to publish personal stories about people’s relationships with technology, but we also love original reporting. When I saw that journalist Kristen Pizzo had spoken to the makers of the most popular dating apps to find out how they’re dealing with transphobia, I knew I wanted to share her story with the OneZero audience. Pizzo explores the current problems with dating apps and offers potential tech solutions. Plus, she has a good list of tips and advice for trans, nonbinary, and cisgender allies. — Megan Morrone, senior platform editor at OneZero.

Wow, Dogs Really Don’t Like Black People” by Kismet

Man’s best friend is more of an enemy to some people of color who have frequently found that normally friendly pups turn pretty fierce around them. Medium writer Kismet was tired of being barked at, growled at, snapped at, and even chased by her white friends’ dogs, and she found herself asking: Can dogs actually be racist? Or, worse yet, are they picking up on racist cues from their owners? This funny yet fact-filled article explores the many ways dogs have historically and presently perpetuated racism against people of color and how we can teach beloved pets to be good pups to everyone. — Jolie A. Doggett, platform editor at ZORA.

The Day My Mother Yelled ‘Don’t Shoot’” by Miguel Machado

Machado pitched LEVEL this story about the time he was held at gunpoint by police simply because he was locked out of his mother’s home. With so much talk about stop and frisk with Mike Bloomberg having run for president, we’re proud to share a story that truly shows the dangerous effects of that policy on a human level. As a native New Yorker with many friends who have similar experiences with stop and frisk in the city, it was an honor that Machado trusted me to edit his experience. — Jada Gomez, senior platform editor at LEVEL.

Gen X Will Not Go Quietly” by Amber Fraley

I am here for generational power ballads, and this one by Fraley delivers on every note. She’s giving an unapologetic voice to a cohort that’s used to feeling undervalued or invisible. And I appreciate how much solidarity she’s bringing together with her voice and prose. This is an example of a story where it’s just as fun to wade through the responses and see the dozens and dozens of people who are saying “hell yeah!!!” — Amanda Sakuma, platform editor at GEN.

No One Gets You Like the People Back Home” by Will Leitch

“Denny has been there from the very beginning, and he’ll be there at the very end,” writes Leitch in this touching tribute to his cousin and childhood number two (who happens to be a professional motocross racer in Mattoon, Illinois). It’s an understated but surprisingly moving story: When Will was laid off from his media job, he left New York City for Illinois to spend a few months getting his sh*t together. His family let him waste time, let him screw up, let him be a 25-year-old burnout until he figured out how to reassemble his life. This essay made me appreciate the friends I grew up with, people I rarely see in-person though they make me who I am. — Harris Sockel, deputy editor at Human Parts.

Working better together: Spotlight on Serious Scrum

This month we’re spotlighting the publication Serious Scrum. There are numerous publications on Medium focused on professional development within a specific industry or discipline. Here’s a great example of a publication that not only provides learning resources but also cultivates a community of professionals learning and sharing together.

February earnings payouts

By the eighth of each month (so in this case March 8), we initiate the payments for the prior month’s earnings. Please allow 3–7 business days to receive the February earnings payouts in your Stripe account. Based on member engagement from this period:

  • 8.3% of active writers earned over $100.
  • $17,914.66 was the most earned by a writer, and $7,732.85 was the most earned for a single story.

Words to write by

This month’s writing inspo comes from Sam H Arnold in “The Writers Who Effortlessly Support Other Writers.” This story highlights writers on Medium across a range of subjects. These writers not only contribute their stories, they generously help cultivate the creativity of other writers.

Tips, tricks, and tools for Medium creators