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November Update From the Partner Program

Profile tips, story spotlights from the editors, and writing advice

A computer futuristic-y colorful rendering of a crystallized statue, croquet hoops, a couple croquet balls, and a mallet.
Photo: Yaroslav Kushta/Getty Images

It’s starting to get colder, the night hours longer. Now is a beautiful time to nurture your creative pursuits. Let your mind wander a bit, jot down those ideas, and pick the one that is most energizing.

As we move into the holiday season and toward the end of the year, I hope you’re able to make time for connection with others as well as make time for yourself. Take some time to rest as the year comes to a close, reflect on how things went this past year, and consider what you’re looking to this next year. How has your writing practice been over the last year? Where were you at the start, and where are you now? What would you like to see in the upcoming year? There’s no need to have answers for all of these — let the questions be a start, an opportunity to explore. And no matter where you hoped to be, take a moment to recognize where you’re at and the possibilities of what’s next.

Your best profile

One way you can grow your relationship with your readers is through your author profile. We’ve just published a quick guide on best practices for your profile: “Think of your profile more as a bio on the back jacket of a book than as a social media profile.” They might sound pretty simple, but these small improvements can make a big difference. After a reader finds one of your stories, an established profile will make it more likely for them to look into stories you have previously published.

Earnings model update

Last month, Medium released an updated earnings model for writers in the Partner Program. There is more information in the FAQ about these changes. This new model more accurately reflects the true engagement that Members are having with the stories on Medium, and it better rewards the authors who are creating captivating, valuable content. The team has been gathering and analyzing the data and feedback received in order to improve the earnings system for the benefit of all our Partner Program writers.

A reminder on duplicate stories

As a reminder, the Medium Rules have always included a policy against duplicate content. This rule has recently been clarified to specifically indicate this applies to your own content, in both public and unlisted forms. Please review your account, pick a single instance of each post, and delete the other versions, including the unlisted ones.

Note that if you make substantial improvements to a story, then this does not apply. Efforts to improve the quality of your stories are supported. However, if you republish an old story without making substantial improvements and unlist or delete the old version, this policy does apply. Reposting the same story is not allowed.

See the Help Center article here for more information.

Advice from The Draft

Last newsletter, we introduced The Draft, a biweekly column in Human Parts where former MFA director Eileen Pollack answers your questions about writing. Pollack recently answered a question around finding your voice. The trick is to get past the conformed voice, which habit has formed and which we see all around us, to the voice that conveys how we really feel. “The secret to finding your voice is to focus on the details only you would use to convey what only you have experienced,” Pollack advises. “Close your eyes and relive the sights and sounds and smells of the kitchen in which those disasters occurred.”

You can submit your questions on creative writing here.

Story spotlights

Medium editors are always on the lookout for great stories published on the platform. Just like last month, we’ll spotlight a few stories that Medium editors found and brought into their publications. They’ve worked with the authors to edit and produce the stories. Read more to learn what the editors found compelling in these stories.

In “The Myth of Resiliency After Assault,” mental health worker Gabriel Nathan reflects on what it’s like to be assaulted on the job and the stories we choose to tell (or repress) about who we are. “It’s a powerful, revealing perspective on the thin line between mental health and mental illness,” says Harris Sockel, deputy editor at Human Parts. “Gabe’s immersive style makes it all the more worth reading.”

Jean-Luc Bouchard, senior platform editor at Marker, spotlights “The Dark Side of Work Perks” by Byrne Hobart. “Byrne Hobart’s commentary on companies that provide employees with free lunch is a hilarious, insightful, and honest look at what compels businesses to offer lavish perks (hint: it’s probably not altruism) and how it shapes the social and family lives of their employees by encouraging single, office-centric lifestyles.” Bouchard highlights the following excerpt from the story: “Given how much wealth is generated by companies that comp or subsidize employees’ food, and given that for each of those companies, getting smart people to work a little longer is a core competency, free food arguably belongs on the list of important technologies that have a visible impact on GDP growth.”

Spotlight on data visualization

This month, we have a spotlight on a data viz story from Nightingale, the journal of the Data Visualization Society, which covers data visualization in all its breadth and expansiveness. In “Power to the Powerless,” Noëlle Rakotondravony and Elijah Meeks interview star designer Mona Chalabi about her data viz origin story, her unique illustrative style, and what she hopes to accomplish with her work. From Isaac Levy-Rubinett, managing editor at Nightingale: “Mona’s thoughtful answers (and incredible work!) are a testament to the potency and power of visual communication and a resource for practitioners who want to incorporate data visualization into their activism.”

November earnings payouts

In the month of November, we completed our first month using the new earnings model. By the 8th of each month (so in this case December 8), we initiate the payments for the prior month’s earnings. Please allow 3–7 business days to receive it in your Stripe account. Based on member engagement from this period:

  • 69% of writers or publications who wrote at least one story for members earned money.
  • 8.0% of active writers earned over $100.
  • $22,658.57 was the most earned by a writer, and $7,384.22 was the most earned for a single story.

Words to write by

In “Medium Writers: There’s no excuse for not making your stories more inclusive,” E.B. Johnson offers a few simple tips to make stories in the space of personal growth more inclusive. Start with the header images and the pronouns used in your stories. “When you’re creating something that carries the intention of helping — it should be accessible to everyone,” writes Johnson.

Start making your stories more inclusive simply by being more considerate about the title images you post and the pronouns that you use. We all just want to be seen, and we each know what it feels like to be invisible.

I’ll highlight one more advice story in this newsletter. Luke Trayser offers some tips — or, rather, his bot offers some tips for writing on Medium in “I Forced A Bot To Read 1,500 ‘How To Get Rich’ Medium Stories.” Remember, yoga and protein at 4 a.m. And also meditate.

For more writing inspiration, check out the stories in the Writing topic.

Keep at it,

~ Kawandeep Virdee, Writer Advocate

This monthly newsletter is emailed to all writers enrolled in the Partner Program. Learn more about earning money for your best work on Medium here.

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