I’ve now read more than a dozen articles by folks publishing on Medium calling the Partner Program “easy” money.

I’m finding this point of view a bit of an affront.

This is not an attack on Medium’s Partner Program. I’m happy that it exists and am reading quality writing at least 90% of the time. As the only platform online devoted to writers and seeking to pay writers for their contributions for a mere $5 a month membership fee, they’re innovative. You build a following by being a follower of writers whose articles you enjoy, that you find inspiration or instruction from. I love that Medium is providing this opportunity to writers worldwide it’s an incredible networking opportunity.

One fellow advises following 125 people at day, but I’m pickier than that. I don’t want to random follow you on Medium any more than I do on Twitter or Facebook. That’s an impersonal approach to an art medium that I love to take personally. So I’ll take my time to read a couple of your articles, see if you’re on Twitter and are our posts of a similar ilk. Then I’ll choose to follow you. Hopefully, you will reciprocate.

I’m steadily increasing my contributions and figuring which of my topics work best for the partner program versus those available for anyone to read. Seems my musings do better on Medium than my travel stories. Okay, so travel is open (writers do not earn money for these posts) and musings are locked (content we writers earn income for). I find it quite humorous that my, well, humorous article about growing up the sole redhead in a sea of brunettes and blondes, Snotnose 38 and Other Childhood Traumas, was a smash hit on the business network, LinkedIn, but bombed on Medium.

Like with anything, a writer has to figure out their niche and what’s going to succeed for them whether it’s their own blog or submitting to an online magazine.

But easy? Nothing about this is easy. Writing is hard work. Good writing is very hard work. My mind is boggled by those who admit to whipping off a blog in half an hour and hitting the publish button. Those results would be in the 10% of articles that I’m unlikely to read. 

My posts take hours to write. I might write a first draft in fifteen minutes, but that is not the version to ever see the light of day. First drafts are for the writers—they’re the edition we spew out needing to get the words onto the pages. Revised posts are what take that spillage of words and turn it into something for the reader to enjoy, to get something out of.

Burt Borrows my Mac

Even Burt thinks writing is hard

There is no “easy” money in writing.

We are surrounded by words all day every day & yet writers are the last artists to receive enough credit for what we do. Click To Tweet

Writers are responsible for billboards, directions, cook book instructions, menus, textbooks, tour books, news articles, marketing for companies—including our own—instruction manuals, policy manuals, handbooks … writers are involved in these and so much more.

Writers are a large part of every day of your life and yet we each experience the business person who approaches us and says, “So, I’m making money selling my XYZ product and I’d like some new copywriting done. How about you do it for me for free and I’ll make sure you get some exposure for your work?” How about no, I won’t work for free. I need to eat and live the same as you. My time is worth as much as yours. My talent contributes to the world the same as yours.

Saying no isn’t easy when we do need exposure for our work and we do need references so new people find us.

But giving away our skills for free is not the solution to the problem.

I’ve had a blog since 2011, when I had a full-time day job. It began as a discipline to ensure I could follow a schedule and as a way to hone my writing skills. I started out with little knowledge of what to do with a blog and admittedly, thankfully, continue to learn on a regular basis. Joining the LinkedIn group, Bloggers Helping Bloggers, put me in touch with other writers learning the blogging world as they worked hard at each of their chosen writing projects—some earning money with their work and some still in day jobs to pay the bills.

In 2016, I started to write full-time—for the blog, for contests, short stories, pursuing multiple venues for writing. In 2017, I published two distinct travel journals for sale, (blank—feel free to fill one or two with your words of adventure), and worked with an editor to finalize and start querying the first of a mystery series set in Pittsburgh. All of this writing takes time and all of this is without pay until journals are purchased, stories win contests or get published, and an agent is found and sells the mystery.

It is not easy to work this hard without earning a wage.