Long-Haul Writing and The Art of Patience

Are you a long-haul writer, or does low engagement scare you into immediate action? Writing requires dicipline and willpower to stick around.

Long-Haul Writing and The Art of Patience
Photo by Philippe Gauthier / Unsplash

Last weekend my wife and I planted a bunch of vegetables in the backyard. We plan peppers and tomatoes in the fall here in Florida, and they’re ready by spring. Planting fruits and vegetables requires being committed for the long haul — our avocado tree can take at least seven years to fruit! We can’t plant something and enjoy the fruit right away.

I come across far too many writers who think success is immediate. They begin posting on a platform like Medium but give up after their first month of low engagement. Writing doesn’t work that way. Ok, maybe it does for a few very select people, but most of us need to commit to the long haul.

Medium pays writers based on views and engagement. My most successful stories are rarely new. The stories that pay me the most are old and continue to provide value and engagement many months (and years) after publication. That’s why I don’t understand people who give up so quickly.

What’s great about being a long-haul writer is our older content requires no attention. Unlike the fruit and vegetable plants in my backyard that need consistent watering and weeding, older writing requires no attention. If the quality is there, people will find the content. Some of my older stories are updated periodically with new information, but most are left the same as the day they were published.

Are you a long-haul writer, or does low engagement scare you into immediate action? Hit reply and let me know.

A version of this article also appeared on Medium.