I will be honest.
Shamelessly. <Feel free to add all the adverbs that Stephen King warns you against.>
I’ve been a writer on Medium for the last seven months now. While I’ve absolutely loved the journey till date, there have been moments, hours, minutes and days when I’ve felt nauseous and anxious while writing here. What causes this anxiety? The neurons in a writer’s mind. Read on.
Drafts and Respected Editors:
I write a post. I submit a draft to a publication.
How long do I need to wait for the post to go live? Is there a cosmic moment for it?
When will the Editor see it?
Has he seen it? Medium should have a way of notifying the writer when an Editor has seen a draft submitted to his/her publication.
Is he going to accept the post or not?
Why is he taking so long to accept it?
You see I’m on a different time zone than most publications here on Medium, and therefore, I often wait for it to be morning on the other side of the world. I check the time regularly to wonder if the Editors I’ve submitted drafts to have woken up.
If it is a sensible time to have woken up, haven’t they seen the drafts in queue? Oh yes, coffee time. What is on their to-do list after coffee? Medium publication maybe? Could there be anything more important than their own publication?
I rely on my Gmail Updates section to see if I get an email about the post being published.
If it crosses the twelve hour mark, I start fighting my inner demons to resist the urge of publishing it myself.
The Green Bell:
There is a bell on the top right of the Medium page. I love it. I love it more when it’s green. I can’t tell you how much I started loving green since I started writing here. Who doesn’t like a green bell? Or a bell with a green dot?
As a writer, my expectation is that since there is a bell, it should ceaselessly toll. It should be green each time I am here. When I say ‘each time,’ I mean almost half of my waking hours. I’m not exaggerating if you hear me say that I am on Medium so frequently that my six year old knows what Medium is all about and what I do here.
Each time I am here, I hope for a green dot on the bell. I secretly wish for color.
But what if there is no green bell? What if the bell is white?
Blasphemy. A white bell is blasphemy. It is a sign that I’m moving towards oblivion. How is it that no one has mentioned me, or clapped for me, or just followed me? Not one clap? Not one follower? How? Why? Why doesn’t anyone read my posts? How pathetic is my life!
In those dreadful moments, I pray to all the Gods I can conjure of to have the bell ring at least once. Otherwise, I am indifferent to the existence of divine beings.
I secretly wish for the bell to suddenly turn green. The moments get unbearably worse when despite loading the page again and again and again, and even after a quick trip to Facebook, the bell remains stubbornly white.
In those moments, while I agree to blame ‘seasonality’ for the zero notifications, I also listen to ‘Say You Won’t Let Go.’
That green is a sign of my existence.
That white gives me the heebie jeebies.
The post is live.
No claps? How long does it take to get a view?
Zip nails through chainsaw teeth.
Finally, one clap.
One clap!? Are you kidding me? A measly one clap? I never knew of people who could clap just once. Not even in real life.
I should start churning out hackneyed motivational gunk for the utterly mundane humans and get more eyeballs. I must write the Why’s of the How To of the How Tos.
I write a well-researched but heartfelt post. I’m sure it will click with my audience. Almost sure. Almost almost sure.
‘Medium should take note of my post,’ I tell myself.
After two days: What the heck? How is it that my post is not featured? Not featured at all? Not in a single category?!
Fine! Medium’s loss, not mine!
And no Medium tweet? Will I ever get the Medium tweet? How unfair!
When will the sun ever rise on my side of the horizon?’ I entreat the Gods again.
If you are a writer, and if you have felt this emotional kerfuffle even once, do clap for my story. I’m waiting for the bell to go ding ding green, and also would love more than one clap from you. From one writer to another.