Bye, Bye Medium, A Retrospective (Part 2)
Note: This is the second in a series, where I’ll look back on my four years on Medium in an attempt to understand where I succeeded and where I failed so that my next blog, which will be on Substack, will be even better. It’s also kind of a “Best of” collection, where I’ll be sharing links to and comments about some of the posts that are my favorites. You can read part one here. In it, I cover what led me to Medium and some of my mental health challenges.
My 2020 Vision
I entered 2020 on a mission. I was going to become a professional content creator, pushing English teaching, which I’d done for the previous 15 years in Japan, mostly to the side.
To accomplish that mission, I had three projects.
First, I was going to transition from WordPress completely, fully committing to Medium. In early 2020, I took an online class created by a popular Medium writer and because of my belief in myself and what I learned, I thought I’d be able to make a good portion of my living off this blog.
Second, after pondering the idea of starting a podcast for several years, I was going to start a podcast that would, by year’s end, take over Rogan and cause Neil Young to hunt me down and kill me. Ha ha — a writer must exaggerate sometimes.
In all seriousness, since 2006 I’d been listening to podcasts, often 2–3 hours per day, and felt I knew enough about what makes a good one that I could make my own which, after it got going, could be monetized.
And last, I was going to write a book. I had this whole big plan to take a cross-country trip in the US from early April to the end of August, mostly by train and never alone by car, in the hopes that I’d meet lots of different people, using both my gregarious personality and journalism skills to talk to them about where they felt America was in 2020.
My book was going to be a travelogue in the spirit of John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, which he wrote about a 1960 road trip before another consequential US election.