This is not a success story, or maybe it is. Depends on one’s perspective I suppose.
I’ve been a Medium member since 2017, but I want to make certain I level set you all with some facts. Regardless of the length of time I’ve been on this lovely platform, I’ve not adopted a strategy of writing pieces daily until the last five months.
Before that, I didn’t even understand the concept of the paywall. Maybe if I’d spent more time actually writing on the platform I would have figured it out.
But alas, I ain’t the sharpest tool in the tool shed.
As I’ve told you before at first I wrote for curation, tried everything to get that vaulted distribution notice and…
Even to this day I haven’t “lost my curation virginity” as another writer so eloquently put it.
That in and of itself may not be such a big deal. It’s all about the content they say. How much your writing resonates with the reader. It’s all about engagement right?
And right there may be the fundamental problem with what I write.
The fact is, I’m a simple old country boy who’s so far led a great life, has a wonderful family, and has pretty much been left unscathed by impoverishment, addiction, physical abuse and mental or physical health issues.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had some moments in my past life where my primary decision was to either put food on the table or pay the rent and forestall eviction. But for the most part, life has treated me with a modicum of respect.
Oh, my knees they do creak from time to time, but hell so does my house. I don’t think either of us is going to fall anytime soon.
And my past life is probably part of the issue as well.
I’ve no experiences on which to draw from which might resonate with anyone who needs a tiny glimmer of hope. Someone who’s reached the end of the line and is desperately searching for a way to soldier through it and survive.
Reading about country living, rounding up cattle and hauling hay in the summertime won’t offer someone a workable solution for drug or alcohol addiction, PTSD, or anxiety brought about by rape and abuse.
Stories about me tending to a garden sitting atop a Farm All M series tractor isn’t about to help someone suffering from constant and debilitating throes of mental illness.
It’s just not.
So how with my mundane, almost boring, life experiences can I write relatable content which can help anybody cope or do anything constructive with their lives?
I’m sensing maybe I can’t.
It’s like me offering suggestions on how to drive a NASCAR racer although I’ve never sat my ass in one, much less gone around a track in a pace car.
Yes I used to watch NASCAR.
Stay on point here folks.
I’ve never had the desire to write about what I know. Because when it gets right down to it, I don’t think I know much about things which can help people endure the plethora of issues we suffer from these days.
I’ve never experienced them for myself.
All my experience with the pain, anguish and suffering has been gained vicariously by reading about what you all are going through.
And on any given day I want to reach out to every single one of you and offer my ears to listen, my shoulder to cry on. I want to pray with you, console you. Even keep my mouth shut while you talk through your fears and helplessness.
In a way, I do that by reading what you write.
It’s kind of like me as a reader being there for you right?
But I’m pretty certain I will never write anything you will ever take away as being hope inspiring, constructive or pertaining to the problems you experience each day.
But I love to write and so I write what I want to write.
I write stories. I write conjured up fictional situations about a crotchety writer who works for a magazine and get’s himself into some pretty madcap situations at times.
And it sure ain’t easy.
Writing fiction on this platform is a hard way to make a living folks.
Not just this platform but anywhere.
But it’s the only thing I know, and I think it’s the only thing I do well.
About the money made, I may as well be fully transparent. I ain’t making enough change to fill a small piggy bank. At this rate I probably won’t make enough to pay the exorbitant costs on my coffin, or an urn to hold my ashes.
Anybody got some old Tupperware they’re not using?
So does the fact I’m not making any money tell me I’m not a success? Depends on one’s perspective I suppose.
Every time I post another Henry James story I think I am successful. Each time another writer reads one and drops me a few claps and a comment I think I am a success.
Maybe I measure my success a bit different than most.
Maybe success for me is when I’ve written something which helps people forget about all the tough stuff for a bit; takes their minds off crap we’re forced to deal with on a day to day basis. If only for five or six minutes at a time, maybe I can help someone forget about the tribulations we all endure in this mixed up and turbulent world of ours.
If someone reads one of my Henry James stories and it transports them to another place or rids thoughts of worry if even for a brief while, then I consider my work to be a success.
Regardless of whether or not I ever make any serious money here on Medium.
For all of you who read Henry James stories and like them enough to clap and comment, thank you for reading.
I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do writing them.
Let’s keep in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org