Stop Focusing on Getting Curated and Just Write

It’s about loving the process, not trying to manipulate it

My writing journey began when I was young. I remember getting a Harry Potter themed journal when I was maybe seven years old. I only wrote in 3 or 4 times at most, but doing so sparked my interest in writing.

In fourth grade, I wrote a 3 or 4-page poem for book report after reading Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. I continued to enjoy writing in school, whether it was creative or technical and found that I was pretty good at it.

One Christmas, my Dad began the tradition of getting me a nice journal every year. He’s written in his journals nearly every day for decades, following after his own Father. I began writing at about sixteen, and have kept a journal almost every year since.

Although now I don’t get a journal every year, instead I record life events on a Google Doc to make it easier to remain consistent.

Not long after getting my first journal from my Dad, I learned about blogging from my Mom when she started her blog. As an English major, she has a deep love of reading and writing and did a great job of passing that down to me.

I would read all of her posts and thought it might be fun to be able to share my thoughts on my experiences and the life lessons I gained from them. So I created my first blog.

I just did some digging and found out that it still exists if you want to check it out. I’ll warn you; it’s pretty cringy to read. Keep in mind that I was only a teenager when I wrote this.

Now, before I panic about how awful that old blog was, I have improved.

In comparison, I write here on Medium, and I also created my own website from scratch:

I didn’t write much on that original blog but realized that I did love writing just for fun. I spent much of my teenage years building the habit of not only journaling about life events but life lessons as well.

Around this same time my cousin, Shae Jackson came to my city for college. We would spend hours having deep conversations about all sorts of topics. It was around then that Shae helped spark my love for psychology, life lessons, and self-improvement.

I enjoyed writing about principles far more than I liked writing in my journal. It didn’t take long for me to start writing more about the principles I was learning as I wrote in my journal as well.

At heart, I am a talker. I love sharing life lessons, ideas, and principles with anyone who will listen. That’s why I write so much. It’s not so much that I even want to write, some days I feel like I have to write. Like I couldn’t ever not write.

I get it from my Mom and Grandma. It helps too that my Dad is a teacher and a great public speaker and has a way with words as well.

A lot of the time my wife will patiently endure my nearly 20-minute discourses on life, the universe, and everything. As I finish, I usually have the audacity to ask her something like “so what do you think about that?” and she’ll respond with “about which part? You talked for like 20 minutes!”

I don’t blame her for it though, We just laugh at my longwindedness.

About a year ago I was only consuming content on Medium, waiting to begin writing. I had wanted to start from the moment I learned about Medium but was afraid for many reasons.

Finally, and with the advice of Niklas Göke, I just began.

And now I don’t know how I could ever be happier with where I’m at in my writing journey right now.

At the end of the day, I write on Medium because I love the process. As much as I now have to write to support my Family, I will always keep writing simply because I enjoy it.

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of writers asking about curation.

How do you get curated?

What did you do to get curated?

What kind of articles do the curators want to see?

Nobody really knows the secret. And there probably isn’t any secret to it anyway. There aren’t any set rules for why one piece will get curated and another won’t, other than Medium’s Curation Guidelines:

Can we stop worrying about it so much already and get back to writing for the sake of writing?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy getting curated. I try to write high-quality content, and I follow Medium’s guidelines because I do want more eyes on my work. I know that more views will help me become a better writer. Studying and trying to get curated does have its place.

But be careful not to let your desire to be curated replace your desire to write.

Getting curated is like falling asleep. The more you think of it as “trying to fall asleep,” the less likely you are to do so. But when you open your mind and forget about trying to sleep, it just seems to happen on its own.

The more you write only to get curated, the harder it will be to grow as a writer.

But the more you write out of a love for the craft, continually practicing and desiring to learn along the way, the better you will become. Look at writing an article like performing a science experiment.

With each new article, form your hypothesis of what will work well, test it, then gather results after publishing. Adjust your next article based on the outcome. Repeat again and again until you become the best writer you can be.

But whatever you do, don’t forget to write because you love it.

The more you write because you love it, the more likely you will be to make great things happen with your writing.

If you’re so concerned about curation that you can’t even remember why you’re writing, then you’re going to have a bad time.

Let’s all get back to the real reasons we’re writing and enjoy the process.

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