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Oops, I Think I Just Published Myself

Wow… when you reach a milestone or goal that you have set for yourself and you finally climb those last few steps or rungs or handholds and reach that plateau, life feels good. It is also easier than you might guess to surprise yourself. If you had told me that this adventure would lead to me publishing my first post on a site like Medium in the upcoming months I would have thought that you were crazy. But, now, today, I just self-published my first story on the Medium Partner Program. Let’s rewind a bit and I will attempt to show you how I got to this point.


Back in August of 2019 when I finally did something about my random and scattered thoughts regarding starting a blog and putting my voice out into the wider world there was always a little voice that wondered what it would be like to create something that would be well known. Something that might provide some inspiration to people. Something that might earn me some side cheddar. You know, that side gig that gives you the ability to go buy a new graphics card every year or an extra present for the missus at Christmas. This was never about money. There are plenty of stories out there of people that did exactly what I was trying to do, started writing, and somehow ended up with enough people reading what they wrote to change careers and do it full time.

I am not one of those people.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

It isn’t that this writing gig isn’t interesting. There is an amazing sense of fulfillment and joy that I feel when crafting a message that I am proud of. It also doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t mind a little recognition both in the form of views and in a little extra cash at the end of the day – even if it is nothing more than providing enough for monthly hosting fees. However – the recognition part of writing was not my original goal and even now, months later with 30+ posts on the blog I am pleased to report that that mentality hasn’t changed. However, to build a blog and actually influence someone, which is a primary goal here, that won’t happen if nobody actually reads this stuff.

It is my pleasure to call out a blog and a writer that I greatly admire from afar. Coding Horror is one of those amazing and wonderful collections on the web and is written by a gentleman named Jeff Atwood. Over the many years since he started the blog in 2004 there have been many posts that have been very relevant and insightful to the topics and ideas that I have personally encountered in my professional career. One of the most amazing things about this blog is how often I find myself rediscovering it. Each time I would stumble upon this treasure trove of ideas and writings I would find myself distracted and devouring many, many posts. Time would move on and sometimes years would pass and then on some random day while looking up some random idea or through clicking on various links I would find myself back and the whole cycle would start all over again. In fact – it was re-discovering this site again in August of 2019 that was part of the tipping point to the creation of this site.

So I jumped in, wiped the old site at www.kevinwanke.com where I had a super out-of-date old handwritten site with pictures from a few trips that I made nearly 15 years ago and that had been horribly broken and malware infested and installed a fresh, clean, and shiny new WordPress instance. And thus the site was born. Between a few weeks setting up and writing some initial posts, the story is now into September and I found myself setting my initial goals for posts per week and collecting post ideas at a crazy clip.

Fast forward to late October and I found myself writing my 25th post on here. That had me reflecting on a number of high points that I have experienced. Creating the blog. Seeing that someone else had looked at it for some reason. Writing the first few posts that felt insightful and creative and just plain good. Writing 25 overall posts. Finding more material and ideas than I could possibly ever write about. And then around that time I happened to stumble over a really interesting post on a site very similar to mine by a gentleman named Huseyin Polat Yuruk titled Programmers: You Snooze, You Win. At the time the research was ongoing around programmers and coffee and work schedules and this little post was immediately dumped into a post idea as a research link. After that I started perusing this great little blog. I really hope that Huseyin keeps writing because while there aren’t a ton of posts, they are all very high quality and were great reads. It was also thanks to this post that I stumbled upon Medium.

Hopefully the mention of Medium is not a new site that you are going to jump away from here and start poking around on. I may lose you as a reader if that happens. I should also clarify that it wasn’t from this post that I discovered the site – any reading and research that you do these days usually turns up a Medium link or two and my Google feed throws up a couple dozen on any given day. No, what I found here was that Huseyin not only had his own blog, but he was also a writer on Medium! Not only that, but it wasn’t new content that he had posted on there, but was instead reposts that were directly from his blog. Wow – someone else must have seen the same thing I did and liked the quality of this guy’s work. It was upon further reading and digging that I found the Medium Partner Program.

Holy Cow! This looks cool. You post on Medium, maybe get some people looking at your stuff and you can even get paid for it? You can probably guess where this is going. The original intent of this post was to talk about how I set up the partner program but to be honest – the process was so quick and easy that there isn’t much to it. I am not joking, the process is as simple as:

  1. Create a Medium account
  2. Fill out some basic information for the Partner Program
  3. Provide them with a bank account for all of that sweet, sweet cheddar that is headed your way
  4. Write something
  5. Sit back and bask in the glory

That easy? Well it was definitely something along those lines. You can even find plenty of articles on Medium itself about the program, posting on it and how to get more views and feedback on your posts. There is definitely some Inception writing stuff going on here! And then one of the easiest steps. Highlight a full blog post. Control-C. Go to Medium. Control-V. Hit submit. My first submission took a while as there was some internal review, but after a week or two your work and effort and writing will be live on a second site with an ability for you to get paid for that work.

In conclusion – This blog stuff is not hard. Writing is not hard and gets easier and easier every day. And now I know that publishing yourself on a site like Medium is not hard either. So what are you waiting for – get off the couch and go do something already!

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