Afternoon glow in Lisbon; photo by Maria Garcia, “The Infinite Shades of Saudade Blue

It happened on Medium: February roundup

Last month’s most-read stories, most-highlighted sentences, and stories by writers new to Medium


How many drafts in Medium do you have (if you’re logged in, you can check here)? And if you don’t mind reflecting, why haven’t you published them?

Look, the mere idea of publishing drafts terrifies me. I glance at the germs of ideas gone by that populate my drafts and feel my inner critic stand up and shake her head. How could I have ever thought that that might be a good idea to spend time thinking about?

I’m an elder millennial, meaning I became an adult in the dawn of social media — Facebook arrived at my college’s campus during my sophomore year in 2004. But it also means that I grew up writing in the before times, when wanting to write for an audience still meant needing approval from a higher power. For me, sharing words beyond my notebook required luck, or school-sponsored newspapers, or access to a copy machine for the creation and distribution of a personal ‘zine. Because of that, I’ve internalized a need for permission, a personal requirement of external validation.

So despite having access to — and actually working at! — a platform that shares words with one of the best communities on these here interwebs, I often find myself afraid to hit publish.

In February, Carl Georg Solberg, PhD published “The Power of Plain Old Thinking It Through,” where he wrote:

Like children who once bloomed with overconfident advice, as adults we may find ourselves filled with doubt, hesitant to share our current threshold of understanding. We feel dwarfed, like Socrates proclaiming the only thing he knows is that he knows nothing. Of course, the irony is that this very self-consciousness is just another step on the ladder. The pendulum of confidence inevitably swings back, subtle shifts occur, and old ways of seeing crumble unnoticed.

I really like how, in simplifying mindfulness and meditation down to the core act of “just plain old thinking,” Solberg encourages us to “simply surrender to our brain’s greatest strength — its innate ability to link and ponder.” That joy in thinking and expressing thought is what I’ve always used writing for in the first place. And isn’t sharing what we “link and ponder” one of the true joys of living in an interconnected world where we all can have access to an audience?

So, if you need it, consider this permission to write and share. Publish that Medium draft, y’all! Get that first sentence out of your head. Noodle on that idea that you’ve been nurturing for awhile. Join Medium’s Writing Hour and spend some time with a blank page. And if mine isn’t enough permission, go submit to that Medium publication you’ve been reading and join a community of like-minded readers and writers — here’s a big ol’ list of pubs accepting submissions now!

You’ve got this.

Amy Widdowson, VP of Communications, and the team at Medium

Medium by the numbers

In February 2024…

  • You published 2.4 million new stories.
  • 1,633 stories were Boosted this month, based on 2,374 nominations from the 106 editors in the Boost nomination pilot.
  • You started 770,000 new unpublished drafts. (Looking for a sign to publish that draft? This is it!)

A few of February’s most-highlighted passages

“People with high levels of trait self-control are good at avoiding temptation — not resisting it.” — Riikka Iivanainen, “The secret life of people with high self-control (it’s easier than you think)

“The truth is that men stay with women they don’t like because they like what women do for them.” — Ossiana Tepfenhart, “Here’s the Real Reason Why Men Stay With Women They Hate” in Sexography

“When you’re lacking motivation, remind yourself: discipline now, freedom later. The labor will pass, and the rewards will last.” — Ryan Holiday, “37 Pieces of Career Advice I Wish I’d Known Earlier

“In simple terms, good onboarding doesn’t end until the user forms a habit of using your product.” — Ben, “Designing user onboarding: lessons from Figma, Duolingo, and more” in UX Collective

Medium Pub Crawl: Connecting editors, writers, and publications

Find a home for your writing next Tuesday, March 19, at our Pub Crawl — a virtual meetup where you can network with fellow writers and editors who share your interests. Writers register to attend here. Editors register to host a booth here. Thousands of writers and editors have signed up so far! We’ll see you there 🍻

The 10 most-read stories in February

  1. Introducing SafeTest: A Novel Approach to Front End Testing” by senior fullstack engineer Moshe Kolodny in Netflix Technology Blog
  2. My own personal hell: Thoughts on Hazbin Hotel” by indie game developer Bobby Schroeder
  3. You should stop writing Dockerfiles today — Do this instead” by DevOps engineer Akhilesh Mishra in KPMG UK Engineering
  4. The Infinite Shades of Saudade Blue” by Maria Garcia in A-Culturated
  5. So Long, and Thanks for All the Bytes” by Chet Haase, former software developer at Google
  6. Key takeaways from Airbnb’s winter redesign” by design consultant Daniel de Mello in UX Collective
  7. To All the Women in Their 40s Who Are Saying Goodbye to Their Fertility” by Y.L. Wolfe in Liberty
  8. I tasted the future of EV charging and it was delicious” by community management strategist Carter Gibson
  9. 5 Things I Learned About Leadership From the Death and Rebirth of Microsoft” by software developer Dare Obasanjo
  10. The View From Here” by essayist Margaret Dean in Ellemeno

Most popular stories from the Medium archive

Day after day, month after month, and year after year, you return to these timeless Medium posts (many of them originally published years or nearly decades ago) to read, share, learn, and grow. Here are a few evergreen hits that are still sparking conversations on Medium and off:

Call of the Void: Seven years on, what do we know about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370?” by Admiral Cloudberg, veteran plane crash analyst. Originally published in March 2021.

Seven years have now gone since this last fateful transmission, so laden with the dark shadow of premonition, that marked the passing of MH370 into the realm of legend. Exactly one minute and forty-three seconds later, a dramatic and mysterious sequence of events would begin to unfold, the opening chapter in a story that transfixed the world.

The Future of Healing: Shifting From Trauma Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement” by @ginwright, Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education and book author. Originally published in May 2018.

Trauma-informed care requires that we treat trauma in people but provides very little insight into how we might address the root causes of trauma in neighborhoods, families, and schools. If trauma is collectively experienced, this means that we also have to consider the environmental context that caused the harm in the first place. By only treating the individual we only address part of the equation leaving the toxic systems, policies and practices neatly intact.

I Am a Transwoman. I Am in the Closet. I Am Not Coming Out.” by Jennifer Coates. Originally published in March 2016.

It is interesting to see where people insist proximity to a subject makes one informed, and where they insist it makes them biased. It is interesting that they think it’s their call to make.

Stories by new writers

Just like last month, we’re sharing a few stories by writers with under 1,000 followers on Medium. Many of these writers are publishing on Medium for the very first time. Let’s give them a warm welcome!

Caught Up in the Rapture of L.A.: The confusing deviation of Tupac Shakur” by Hamed Hazel

“I wont deny it, I’m a straight ridah”

Shakur hums before Daz Dillinger’s symphonic-like keys introduces the first track to arguably the greatest rap album of all time, to us, but to the author, it’s a pledge.

It’s the sound of a newly traded all-star player enjoying the fabric of his new jersey, Death Row Records.

The Hardest Part of Being a Game Master” by Jerald Mathieus AKA King Know-Nothing

When I get together with my friends to play this game, I want to give them the best experience I can. I could easily just fuck around and have just as good of a time, but there is a part of me that loves to understand whatever medium I am playing with. I like to know how it all works and why it affects people the way it does. Plus, I’ve had some great game masters who have managed to really pull me into the world and make me feel like I was a part of this huge story. I want to be able to do that for my players, and due to a bit of a competitive streak in me, maybe even try to do more, be better. Part of me wants to try and master this medium; be in its top 10% if possible.

Celebrating Black history — and a few of your favorite love stories

Last month, we asked the editors of a handful of personal essay, fiction, and poetry-focused Medium publications to share their favorite stories focusing on love and relationships. In Heart Affairs, Crystal Jackson pens a lyrical essay about not falling, but rising in love. And, for Human Parts, novelist Nicole Peeler examines her so-called “slut gene.” Browse the Relationships topic page to read more perspectives.

And, throughout February, we featured overlooked moments in Black History via the Daily Edition. Writer and editor Allison Wiltz got people talking on X when she asked: “What piece of black history do you wish more people knew?” Over 300 responses later, Wiltz recapped all of them on Medium.

For more notable stories, writers, and publications, head over to “What We’re Reading” and Staff Picks. Then consider subscribing to our daily newsletter: The Daily Edition.

What have you been reading lately? What would you like to see in next month’s roundup? Let us know in the responses.