Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.
I’ve learned a lot from spending time on Medium.com over the past eight months of being a member. Medium is a platform where writers can post and members can read stories, reflections, thoughts, essays, give feedback and create community. In terms of learning how to write and finding online community, it’s the best $50/year I’ve ever spent.
At first, I was captivated by the seemingly endless stream of articles about writing, especially the stories in The Writing Cooperative. I was convinced that they couldn’t all be useful, but as I dove in, I found that there was something in each article which taught me something or inspired me to learn something new.
More recently, I have taken the plunge and started writing “stories” on the Medium platform. For almost a month I’ve been doing daily reflections and enthusiastically commenting on the stories of others. This is teaching me to be consistent, how to write relatively fast, and how to develop an idea.
But now I find myself moving into a new way of learning through Medium: community building. I’m starting to recognize that there are flesh-and-blood people behind each story, each comment, each clap. They have lives and personalities as well as stories to tell, and through the Medium platform they are accessible and, largely, willing to be accessed.
As I have been making more connections with people whose writing or perspective or self-presentation seem interesting to me, I realize the great opportunity I have stumbled upon in a variety of ways.
First, I find that Medium is a community of teachers and nurturers. It seems to be populated largely by people who want to reach other people, who want to connect, and who want to leave the people they connect with a little better than they found them.
Another thing that I find in Medium is a community of people who are hungry for connection and dialogue. At first, I thought I was commenting on articles and clapping just to be heard, to make my voice known. But what I find is that my comments have often been received as invitations to dialogue. This was a pleasant surprise, and I feel I have made connections with people who care about my writing and my story.
Finally, having followers encourages me to be consistent and coherent. Knowing that there are people watching me make promises to at least show up every day is a great motivator. The fact that the time and attention of these followers are precious to me motivates me to pick an idea and present it as clearly and evocatively as I can.
All that to say that I am grateful for my experiences as a member of the Medium community. I am grateful to those writers and storytellers from whom I have learned so much and have encouraged me in my own writing. I am grateful to each person who clicks on one of my stories, reads to the end, claps or comments or highlights. I am grateful for the connection to peers who are working to make the world a better place, at least online.
Thank you. Thank you all.
May your New Year be blessed, and your stories continue to resonate with hearts around the world.
Thank you for your time and attention.
I’d love to know your thoughts on what you’ve read.
Please comment, below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God richly bless you on your journey.