I’ve developed a daily writing habit. Yay! I spend an hour or two a day at a local coffee shop, living out the dream of being a stereotype.
I usually write at least 1,000 words a day, and to keep myself honest, I almost always post those words on the internet. Writing them in article form also helps me keep focused.
But where there are internet articles…there are internet comments.
90 percent of the comments I receive are great, and I think that’s a testament to the user base here on Medium. The platform is designed to encourage discussion, and I’ve had many great discussions on here.
The other 10 percent are the typical nonsense you’d expect from anonymous commenters. If you want to read more about my experiences with those, you can click here.
I have a hard time not answering a question when asked, and I’m always flattered when people take the time to leave a comment on one of my stories. So I inevitably sit down and respond. I usually start off with something small, and then it gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
Medium has this pretty brilliant design where every comment is its own article. This means that comments aren’t limited in any way. They can contain as many words and as much formatting as you can muster. You can put in images, videos…everything that a normal Medium article has, can be in a comment.
I’ve been using the word comment even though Medium calls them “replies.” I don’t have enough time to go back and edit this story to fix that.
Writing replies on Medium takes just as much time as writing regular articles.
I enjoy doing it, and I think it’s an integral part of what makes the Medium experience interesting. But there are some days where I have content planned, and I simply don’t get to it because I’m engaged in writing replies. Sometimes, those replies turn out really well and I’m glad I spent that time because my original plan wouldn’t have been as interesting. But other times, I start to feel like I’m spinning my wheels, even though I’m still enjoying the experience.
The alternative is not replying at all…but when faced with that decision I almost always go for it. Without an audience, I’d have less incentive to do this since I’m not making any money at it, and engaging with people online makes this whole exercise feel less dystopian than it would if I were just sending words out into the ether from a totally isolated cube.