My Philosophy To Make It On Medium Is Pretty Simple

It involves becoming a fan of other writers.

Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

Tiger Woods was at the top of his game, and free of the scandals that came shortly after. In 2005, he had formidable skills and worked amazingly well under pressure. In that very year, Tiger Woods was at Augusta, one of the majors of golf, and had managed to get himself in a truckload of trouble.

He’d hit his shot in what’s considered the collar. Even if you know nothing about golf — and I know nothing — Tiger was in a royal mess. At which point, Woods pulls off a miracle.

A sportswriter, who’d been to every golf event in the world, wrote about the miracle he witnessed that day.

The ball started trickling towards the cup. The enthusiasm of the crowd for that shot was unquestionably over the top. I’d never heard or seen anything like it. And as it got within inches of the hole, the audience was so loud, that everything was moving.

The ground was shaking. I could feel the vibration up to my thighs. The ball finally dropped into the cup for one reason and one reason alone. It’s because everyone on the green wanted it to go in.

It wasn’t like they could make it go in, but the vibration from the cheering crowd was so much that somehow that ball made its final revolution because of the sheer enthusiasm.

This is what fans can do for you.

Your fans can motivate you to do your best.

Your fans root for you even if you are in a pickle.

Your fans clap for you and cheer for you and bring out the best from you.

When I started writing for Medium, I didn’t know what to expect.

At the end of March when COVID just started to spread in Europe, I wrote an article As The Dread Of Coronavirus Spreads, What Can A Writer Do Make A Difference.

I didn’t expect anyone to read it.

Imagine my surprise when I found that my article had received 25 claps and 16 people started following me.

In the vast ocean of Medium where more than 10,000 articles are published a day, people read my article and liked it enough to give me claps.

This encouraged me more than anything and I started publishing more articles.

More people clapped and left encouraging notes. Some said they could relate to my stories, others said I write well. Then a miracle happened. Two of my articles got picked up by Medium for curation.

A few weeks later, three publications invited me to write for them within days of each other.

I felt the earth vibrating, the ball was heading for the cup, cheers of my followers were guiding it to go straight in.

This is when I learned the biggest lesson about motivation.

We all need the motivation to keep going and to do our best.

But everyone is not motivated by the same things.

Randall Stutman author of “Admired Leadership” explains:

Everyone is motivated by different things. Some people are motivated by money or power. Others look for recognition and praise. On the other hand, someone gets criticism and it motivates them to do more.

Yet, that very same criticism might work quite differently for another person, who feels dejected, singled out, and undermines their ability to focus.”

But there is one factor that works for everyone.

That factor is a “fan.” No one can resist an admirer.

“It’s what everyone on the planet wants. They want the people they respect, admire or look up to, to be rooting for them. They want them clapping and cheering. They want that person to prove that they’re a fan.” — Randall Stutman

We need a cheer squad behind us. We want someone to root for us. We want someone to say nice things about us.

That is the one motivating factor that works universally.

Your fans are the only ones who will cheer for you even if you are losing.

Have you ever been to a game where your team is losing? Did you abandon them and started rooting for the winning team. You didn’t. Because you are a fan. You will stick by your team even if they lose many consecutive seasons.

A real fan may express frustration, but they keep that fire of fandom going for much longer. And the person gets the chance to bask in that fandom for a longer period of time.

That is what I am finding in the form of Medium fans.

As my fanbase is growing I am basking in their praise and faith which is motivating me to do my best.

But there is another side to it too— to be a “fan of others.”

As I am following other writers on Medium, and leaving them notes on their articles, I am discovering I am having the same impact on them as they were on me.

I am making their day!

I am inspiring them by just reading their work and leaving them a simple note, such as: “I liked it, thank you for sharing. Please keep writing.”

The simple words will make them sit late at night, no matter how tired they are after a day’s works, to write another article, another story and post it hoping someone will read it and give them a pat on the back.

But a fan goes beyond just a “pat on the back”.

A fan inspires you.

Inspiring someone is not easy. Try inspiring your offsprings or your partner or even your students. They won’t respond.

But become their fan and they will break their backs to make you proud.

Being inspirational and motivational is hard work. You can offer money, praise, responsibility, or even criticism.

But one thing people respond to most is a fandom.

Rather than asking people to become your fan, become their fan. Praise their work. Leave them a note. Encourage them. Thank them for sharing. Give them your attention. Connect with them at a deeper level.

When you do that, not superficially, but from the heart, you will find they feel connected to you just the way you do. They will seek you out and read your work and leave you an encouraging note. Before you know it they become your fan.

And that my friends is my philosophy to make it on Medium.

What is yours?

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This story first appeared at www.neeramahajan.com.

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I write about writing, creativity, productivity, life and personal growth. Subscribe to my newsletter at www.neeramahajan.com.

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