My overnight success.
As far as I remember I was a “writing person”. Calling myself a writer was for years prevented by impostor syndrome. In 2001 I ran a nationwide poetry group, with our own website, forums, meetups and print publications. I wrote a book, and thenI wrote another more popular book.
My English Lit teacher back in Marion, Iowa said that I was “lazy, but with potential”. I wonder if that’s what they always assume — after all, all lazy people have potential to be productive. It’s just that most of them never change.
I joined Medium on August 15th 2019. It took me a very long time to write my first story, select a publication and then click submit.
84 weeks of writing
Since then I managed to write one article per week on average, amounting to a total of 84 articles. I prepared my own images, charts, illustrations etc for all of my pieces which made finishing them even more time consuming.
Now, reflecting back, it turns out that what all those successful people with millions of views are saying turned out to be true. It really takes consistency and hard work to get there.
Many of us think, that someone with a million YouTube subscribers is talking about “hard work” and “consistency” with irony. After all they’re super popular and not struggling like the rest of us.
But the truth is that they also went through a long time of NOT being popular and they never gave up.
120 nights for an overnight success
It took me 120 days (and nights) for my story to beat 10 000 views. And while people generally liked what I wrote, the engagement and views were very low. There were 114 chances for me to give up.
Why 114? Well, most people give up after 6 days of consistency. You do the math. I never did. I just kept writing every week like a machine.
And now 84 weeks after I started I’m at nearly 2 MILLION views. This is mind-blowing and it shows, that good things always take time.
If you’d like to see a bit more detail on my journey, I made a Twitter thread on it:
So don’t give up. Ok?