One of my new favorite pastimes is reading other people’s work on Medium and scanning the comments afterward to see what people are thinking. I’ve always been interested in seeing what and how the world thinks.
I’ve been a serial lurker online, but only recently on Medium have I liked to jump right into the comments section to discuss things with other writers.
I’ve noticed a recurring theme with what some of the people who are new writers are commenting, as well as what those who have yet to publish their first article on Medium are saying.
People seem to be overly concerned with the kind of feedback they receive on their very first article.
Some people have asked friends and family to clap for them when they post their first article. Others don’t even have a “when” for their first post, since they’re paralyzed by the idea that no one’s going to read their work, or that their content isn’t going to be relatable.
If you think you fit in any of these pairs of shoes, here’s some food for thought that should hopefully push you over the edge to get started.
As is written in the title of this article, my advice to you to overcome these mental barriers is to write about something that matters to you.
If you care enough about a subject and you’ve got something you want to share with the world on the matter, then tell us what’s on your mind.
Let’s address some of these fears specifically:
“Nobody’s going to like or comment on my first post.”
There’s a very good chance that you’re right about that. I’m not going to lie to you. Keeping it real with my readers is my top priority.
But that’s nothing against you personally if that’s what ends up happening. It’s just that there’s also a good chance that your first article isn’t going to be great, especially if you’re brand new to writing, which explains why people might not feel inclined to clap or comment on your first piece of work.
You only get better at something once you actually get started with it. When you can wholeheartedly acknowledge this, I promise it takes a large burden off your shoulders.
“Nobody’s going to read my work.”
Maybe not, but one thing I think Medium.com, for example, does pretty well is promoting a writer’s first article.
I could be wrong about this, but I’ve seen people do decently well on the platform not long after publishing their first piece, so Medium isn't a bad place to start if you're trying to get into writing.
As a matter of fact, the first article I ever published on here is still my 5th most viewed and read article on the platform.
I promise some eyeballs are bound to fall on your own first article.
But if you never post, they’ll have nothing of yours to lay their eyes on. They’ll go find someone else’s work instead.
Capture those eyeballs.
“My content won’t be relatable.”
Ideas and experiences, as many of them exist, are still shared by people all around the world.
You might think you’re the only person in the world who’s ever thought of juggling each iPhone model to have ever existed with your feet while you pedal a unicycle upside down on the moon while you have two slices of cheddar cheese in your mouth, but you’re probably not.
Someone out there is bound to be able to understand what you’re saying and relate to it. Part of the struggle as a writer, or even a content creator, for that matter, is being able to find that someone. To find that audience.
You’re probably not going to find a loyal audience that can relate to what you’re saying in your first post, but that doesn’t mean you should give up before you try.
The Rest Comes Later
Worry about emailing your audience and selling courses down the road. Thinking about those things before you even make your first piece of content is like trying to solve calculus equations before you can even do basic addition.
Your first task, your first mission, is to create. And don’t just create material based on things you don’t care about; that’s how you end up not caring about your work. That’s how you get started with half-assed work.
Write about what matters to you. Everyone has a message they want to share. Find yours and broadcast it to the world. There are eyes and ears who’d want to know more about what you have to say.
Do that first. The rest comes later.