Hello, New Medium Writer

Some advice from a nobody to the newest writers of the platform

 · 4 min read

Medium Feed.
Source: Author

Here you are. You are going to let others read your writing, and, after several experiments with WordPress, WIX, and others, you have arrived at Medium.

Look at its beautiful design, its cleanliness, the perfection of many pieces published here! This is by far the best place to publish your first stories. And I am not by any means trying to grab Ev Williams’ attention; It’s just that I have seen other places and I have compared them. Most suck and I am very vocal about it. However, there are some things that you need to learn.

As you discover the platform, you are going to notice one kind of article. The one that promises you to get rich and famous if you follow its advice.

Medium clickbait article.
This kind of article is not worth your time. Screenshot of Medium’s feed modified by the author

Congratulations! You have found one of the many clickbait pieces that are published here. Because Medium being a great place to publish and read interesting pieces does not mean that you will not also find a ton of trash.

You will feel tempted to read them, and after reading them, you will start doing useless things like checking your headline millions of times because some moron promised to have found the secret headline formula that leads to curation every time.

Or worse. You will do as I did, and you will add useless emphasis tricks that will distract your reader from the story that you are telling.

Emphasis tricks, such as bold letters, should be used to emphasize something. Italics are for mentioning works like Harry Potter, and pictures should be related to your piece.

A picture of a writer for an article about writing. However, it could be a better one. Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash

You must learn this quick, because nothing is more annoying than a piece full of useless effects.

Other writers will try to convince you of writing pieces using celebrity names on the headline. It not only doesn’t work, but it also will attract the type of reader that usually reads crap and moves on, and it will be more difficult for you to create a solid audience.

Also, this tactic is clickbait, and Medium has a strong anti-clickbait policy, so dismiss it if you aim towards curation unless you want to make fun of it.

Some authors will tell you to write only about certain topics where the number of reads is high. This is useful if you care about money, but have in mind that those fields are crowded with writers, and even if you excel at them, it will be almost impossible to thrive in them. There is a better chance of being read when you talk about what you know.

Writing about trending topics grabs some attention, but writing about your true interests gives you better engagement, because you will post content that will attract your target reader and will keep him interested in your work.

There will eventually come a day where you will read someone saying that you must publish every day, no matter what. Please don’t do that.

It is different writing every day from publishing every day. We don’t always have something to tell; And that’s okay. Our goal here is to communicate, to deliver something useful to our audience. If you publish crap, they will know you as the one who posts crap. And like crap, a poor reputation is hard to clean.

It is better if you write when you feel like it. The best creations come to live when you are in the middle of the creative flow, and to do that, you must feel like writing something. You must feel the creative spark. This is Medium, a place to learn and find your own style.

You won’t get rich. So, enjoy!

Some Extra Resources

Thank you for reaching the end of my article. Here I have selected some articles by more experienced writers than me that will help you. And one final advice. When you are going to add some cool extras, do not tell it at the beginning. It is also considered clickbait because it forces your readers to scroll to the bottom of the page.

1. Casey Boticello’s Medium Blogging Guide.

The Best Medium Article Formatting GuideA comprehensive guide to formatting Medium stories like a top writermedium.com

2. Entertaining advice by David B. Clear. Medium’s best cartoonist.

Dear Writer — You’re an Entertainer FirstOr why your utmost priority should be to entertain your readerswritingcooperative.com

3. Tim Denning’s advice on running out of ideas.

Your Creative Genius Can Run Out of Energy (It’s Normal)Here’s how to get it back, based on my recent experience.medium.com

4. The Writing Cooperative’s Publication

The Writing CooperativeA global community of people helping each other write better.writingcooperative.com

Abstracts Are Not Perfect

They leave outside a lot of information

Man holding a book by Machael Lewis.
Photo by Trần Toàn on Unsplash

I was researching for a paid article I am going to write on cognitive bias, when I remembered that I really dislike abstracts for researching my articles.

I get bored the same second I open an abstract. I just see an enumeration of concepts, empty of reasoning and content, and then I scroll, hoping to find something interesting.

I never do.

The reason is that it simply bores me to death, and I end scrolling to the end of the summary without reading a single word.

Those abstracts are empty of all emotion, they do not sound human, and when you want to deliver information to the public, you need to make it in a way that makes your reader resonate with it. It must be easy to read, not a technical manual. Anyone who looks for technical manuals will never look for an abstract. Trust me, I used to read those.

However, the main issue with abstracts is how to define what is filler content. You should be able to reduce everything you write to the minimum, but this does not mean that you should cut a text into little meaningless pieces, not only because you will lose some small nuances after the trimming. But also because we do not see the same parts as important and what might interest who reads the book in the first place might be irrelevant for the person reading the abstract.

Full books deliver you all the information unfiltered; They include every piece of information that the original author wanted to give you, delivered the way the author intended it to be, so the reader understands its meaning; and once you read it, it is up to you to decide what is useful and what is not, while they still allow you to scan them. Nowadays, with digital books, you even can type what you are looking for to jump there. And for the rest of the searches, there is Google.

If you have the time, and you like to read, you will profit more from reading the full book from start to finish to find later your own conclusions on the matter.


To me, there is no simple way to learn things. Summaries are useful to learn a few random facts to spew at parties, but do not deliver beyond that because they do not dive deep into the topic.

It is always better to read the full text on everything, even if some books could be shorter, it is still better to have available every minor detail to understand the topic you are reading about.

Kanye West writing a blog

I Like to Write Too

I do not only translate texts or fix cars. I also enjoy writing about several topics, ranging from comedy to philosophy or even society. It is something that makes my brain work on new ideas and keeps it exercised. But you have already seen this in some of my previous posts.

Writing is exercise for the brain, as solving math exercises or playing music can be as well. With the advantage of allowing us to release on those sentences whatever we have in our heads. To me, my primary worry lately has been my inertia. Inertia matters, because it is what makes us focus on a single task. It helps us to excel at it, but I have lost it for some weeks. Now I am ready to write again.

I started this section to prove my English speaking and writing skills, but writing has proven to be a great way to keep being constant and productive. It takes most of those absurd thoughts out of the brain. Sometimes as absurd as a chicken playing piano, but way less futile.

My upcoming plans are to monetize this place. I have been writing on Medium for some time, and I have tried Vocal, but the best way to monetize my writing will be to add some advertisements on this blog section and keep the stories free to read for anyone interested in them.

I want to create a personal blog that makes enough money to pay its own hosting, so soon you will start seeing more original content in this section of my website.

Kanye West writing a blog

Formatting Like Crazy Will Not Save Your Story

Why you should not abuse of aesthetical resources when writing

I have been writing on Medium for some months now, enough to know that because I have mentioned them, they will not choose this story for further distribution — curation, for the newbies.

And I have been writing enough time to have learned from my mistakes in previous stories through experience, and through the advice of some people who have helped me.

When I arrived here, I read a lot of stories about how to be curated, and how to increase the number of reads. Most of their advice promised to provide lots of reads, and so, lots of money.

This is the worst advice I read ever. It does not work on any platform, not even in Vocal or Substack. If you expect to make obscene amounts of money with generic writing advice, you are wrong.

Format Like Kanye West

I cannot remember if that was the actual title, but this story advised its readers to use bold letters whenever they could, add lots of pictures, italics, and whatever could be added.

As an amateur writer, that surprised me, but at that point, I did not know what I know about writing on the internet. So, I took the advice seriously and implemented that advice.

I added lots of formatting and lots of pictures to everything. I had to spend hours looking for pictures in Unsplash. And it was a massive loss of time because placing many unrelated pictures distracts the reader, and it is even worse when those pictures are generic stock photos that everyone can easily use.

A picture must always be related to the story you are writing and be the most original possible. It must add value, not make the reader look away. In my personal case, I like to edit my own pictures to deliver the information in a funny way. They help the reader to understand better my content.

Image for post
Image by Anastasia Gepp. Modified by the author

Also, publications dislike seeing a ton of unrelated generic pictures, and if they see this, they will reject your pieces without reading them. It happened to me many times.

Then we have the bold letter abuse. I’m quitting on that right now, thanks to the advice of Amy J. Wall, and my recent experience writing on Vocal, where formatting has more limitations.

Bold letters are used to emphasize, they make your readers’ attention go directly towards a point in the page, but if you abuse them, you will make your readers lose their focus, and chances are they will close your story before finishing it, and the abuse of bold letters is another thing that will make a lot of good pieces be rejected.

Abusing cosmetics will never make-up for a poorly written story where there is no obvious outcome for the reader, so it is pointless to attempt to do that with serious publications.

Publish Something New Every Day

This one is another useless tip given by poor writers. It is repeated everywhere, and it does not work, because if your potential readers see invaluable content every time they visit your blog, they will eventually stop reading it.

When you write, you must deliver valuable content to your reader because that is what they expect, but creating decent content takes its time. You can finish a day having nothing good to publish, and that is perfectly fine too. You are a writer, not an AI writing machine.

Try instead to write a bit every day to keep practicing. It will relieve you from the pressure of the need for publishing, and when you liberate yourself from it, creativity flows better than when you spend your days typing without intention. And best-selling articles take time to be crafted.

Bonus Poor Advice: Just Hit Publish and Forget About It

Image for post
Image by ashish choudhary from Pixabay. Modified by the author

This one is the worst advice I have read to date.

Right today, I had to revise one of my old pieces here in Medium because it had some typos and mistakes. Why? Because when I wrote it, I hit Publish and forgot about it.

Here we are not only writers, but we also are editors. It is on us to deliver the final product to the reader, and that means it must meet quality standards. It is never enough to write the piece, it must also be edited carefully for it to be readable. This applies to every platform, specially, if you run your own independent blog.


Writing something takes time. Your work needs to be well written and formatted to keep a high-quality standard and an excellent reputation as a writer. Do not abuse visual effects to compensate a terrible story and focus on properly delivering your ideas.

And now, I’m going to wait two days, then I will edit this piece, and only then I will hit Publish.

Keanu Reeves and The Weirdtrix

Absurdism, philosophy, and explosions

Keanu Reeves
Source: Wikimedia. Edited by the author

Keanu Reeves Told Me To Write About Him

The other day I was having some drinks with my friend Keanu Reeves, it had been some time since the last time we had seen each other and we had to catch up.

At some point, I told him about how I had started writing in Medium, and how difficult it was to catch people’s attention, and also, how difficult it was, some days, to create original content for my stories.

Then, Keanu gave me the obvious answer.

“Write about me,” he said. “Everyone loves a story where some famous name appears, and everyone knows my name”.

“But that would be cheating,” I said, “There are already a ton of bad stories on Medium that use famous names just to get undeserved reads”

“It is not cheating if you deliver something valuable, like a story about me and some absurd ending, now excuse me, my planet needs me.”

And having said that, he began levitating and disappeared into the sky.

“Hey, normal people don’t fly, not even Keanu,” I said moments before regaining my consciousness.

“I HAVE BEEN IN THE MATRIX,” I yelled when I came back.

“No, you have been three days in a coma after slamming your head against the wall yelling that you needed new ideas to write. Jesus, I had never seen a writer so desperate for creativity” said some hot doctor who looked like Claudia Schiffer when she was young.

“I don’t care, bring me my laptop, woman, I must write about Keanu.”

Keanu Reeves Helped Me Get Out of The Hospital

Keanu Reeves, motorbikes, explosion
Source: The author, who clearly was not high on drugs

Those were dark days.

I was interned at the Hospital while they checked my head for injuries. The doctors said that apparently, I was perfectly okay, but they would need to run some more scans, because, they said, resisting so many hits was not normal either.

In the meantime, I had made a friendship with one of the nurses who was about my age — 30 years old here. Her name was Audrey; she was skinny and very smart; she spoke five languages, but above all, was a good listener.

I talked endlessly to her about my incident smashing my head into the wall out of desperation to come with new ideas, and she usually knew exactly what to say.

“It is okay to not have anything good to say sometimes, you the writers have been forced by The Media to come with ideas endlessly, but you’re not machines, not even you with the metal plate they had to put in your head.” She once told me.

And I felt she was telling the truth, I had been trying to write too much lately, so I decided to rest a bit for a few days, let my brain cool down.

And so, the days passed by, and I felt better, saner — I had a lot of weird dreams about spoons though. And the extensive talks with Audrey helped me a lot, She had become a good friend.

Then one day, while I was watching Greta Thunberg playing a brutal guitar solo with her Green Metal band on TV, Ms. Schiffer came in, you know, I introduced her at the end of the last part, but to be honest, back then I was high on sedatives and I didn’t see her well. Actually, Ms. Schiffer looked more like Lindsay Lohan after a DUI.

She brought my laptop with her.

“Mr. Miana, it’s time to start typing again, you have a lot of work to do,” She told me.

“Okay, but after the show, I don’t feel like writing yet. I’m recovering.”

She did not look amused.


“Okay, immediately after Greta’s concert.”

The Schiffer then grabbed my arm. It felt like an eagle’s talon around it and pulled me closer. I could see a giant reptile eye on her forehead, but I did not remember it being there before. Could it be real? Or maybe I was having an attack because of my injuries?


Definitely, something was going on with my head.

“What did you say?”


“No, the other thing”




Right then, the door exploded and Keanu appeared between the cloud of dust that formed afterward. The Schiffer laid unconscious on the floor, and she looked human now.

“Come with me if you want to live,” Keanu said.

“Shit! You have killed Lindsay Lohan!” I remember yelling.

“That’s not Lindsay Lohan, for starters, it’s not even human. Now, let’s go!” he ordered.

I did not know what was happening, but if some celebrity appears blowing the door and half of the wall it’s not a good idea to get him mad. So I followed him down the hall. It was crowded with Schiffer clones, but those had black hair and seemed less powerful because they lacked the third eye.

We made our way to the garage way fighting them, Keanu shot them Matrix-style. And I had a broken broom I had found in the hall. Then, we heard a terrifying scream behind us; the Schiffer queen was on her feet again and was running towards us, and destroying every clone on her way. I almost shat my pants, but I managed to run faster. Nothing motivates you better to run faster than a monster chasing you.

After some minutes, I found out that I could not see Keanu Reeves anymore. I was near the entrance of that place, and the good news was that Schiffer seemed to have followed Keanu instead of me. Too bad two of her clones were with me.

Use the force, JM, suddenly said a voice in my head.

“What?” I asked as if hearing voices was completely normal.

The broom, use the broom.

Maybe I was able to do some kung-fu? By now, I believed anything. After all, the day was getting weirder and weirder. So I tried to make the broom spin in my hands like in those old kung-fu movies, then I hit my leg with it; I tripped over it and ended up stabbing both in my fall.

Both clones lied dead on the ground where a puddle of blood began to form.

Never underestimate the Belic power of a broom.

I got out of the building just in time to hear a motorbike really close, then someone grabbed me by my jacket and I thought I was flying until I saw Keanu driving the bike. The Original Schiffer was trying to catch us as we sped up and escaped the place.

Then, the entire building exploded and debris fell all around, trapping the Schiffer under a pink bathtub while we escaped.

“We have to turn back! I have a friend in there!” I yelled.

“If you’re talking about Audrey, she works with us, she’s the one who set the bomb,” Keanu replied.

“Why did she set a bomb?” I asked.

“Creative purposes.” He replied shrugging. “Now let’s go to the base, We’ll answer your questions there,” he continued.

Will continue soon.

Did you like this piece? Leave a little tip here and share it with your friends.

JM is a Spanish writer who endlessly talks about cars, philosophy, and revolution when he’s not playing guitar or annoying his friends with bad jokes. You can follow him on Twitter to see more content: @jm_miana.

Burning car

We’re Headed to a Disaster

Our politicians’ lack of contact with reality is fuelling a growing global anger

Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

The difference between rich and poor is becoming more extreme, and as income inequality widens the wealth gap in major nations, education, health and social mobility are all threatened.

Helene D. Gayle

There’s a global issue that must be addressed, and it’s the fact that our political leaders are out of touch with their people’s realities, they stick to the formulas they know and forget about everything else, which is leading us in general to a difficult situation.

When I look at the United States’ news I see the same awful situation as in my homeland, I see the rise of the far-right, and I see a growing distrust in democracy.

In the last decades, there’s been a growing gap between social classes, which has worsened in the last ten years, the middle class has almost been erased after so many years of liberal politics (sometimes disguised as left-wing politics, ironically).

There’s been a growing discomfort in the lower classes fueled by their poverty and the lack of understanding of the governments, who have preferred to center themselves on things that were more appealing to them, like the global economy, or social politics, just not in a way neither of them would benefit the working class, which has fallen from middle to low class.

On the positive side, subjects as racism and some other much-needed fights have been put on the spotlight, but matters like poverty, the lack of education and homelessness have been widely ignored, invisibilizing people from several backgrounds, not only white American men have been affected by this, as I say, this should be treated as a global issue.

But what our society has sadly decided instead of facing this matter is to create a narrative where anyone complaining about this extreme capitalistic system is automatically labelled as “alt-right”, “just white men”, “uneducated”, “lazy”, “intolerant” or worse, ignoring that those who they are treating dismissively are in fact the biggest part of this world’s population, the working class.

A part of the population that is in fact of every race, of every age, of every gender, or even transgender, but with two things in common: they’re poor, and they’re not being represented at all.

One just has to take a walk at night in my hometown to see that there’s been a rise in crime, prostitution, and drug dealing, issues that arise with the rise of poverty.

Because, let’s be honest, right now it looks as if the governments of developed countries were just procrastinating on their duties towards people, they’re focused on gaining votes and looking good, not on solving any actual problem, rather, they prefer to create sides and then radicalize them.

This is Dangerous

We saw this in 2016 in the USA, and even before in 2012, the Golden Dawn in Greece.

It doesn’t really matter who wins these next elections in the USA, as long as politicians don’t change their ways, as long as they neglect the working class, the discomfort will grow to a point where we’ll risk an explosion, turning either into a civil war in any of the countries that we currently see as above those events, or even worse, another global conflict.

We Must Look at History

From the French Revolution to the ascent of the Nazi Party we can find examples of how the discomfort of the general population, when left unaddressed has led us to the most violent events in human history.

We Must Act Now

Now more than ever we need our political class to get their job done. We need them to take seriously issues related to the lower classes, we need them to be unpopular, we need them to take measures that make easier for their people to have a decent living in general.

And we must stop blaming the lower classes for their poverty, by doing that we’re only fuelling a rage that can destroy everything and turn us sixty years backwards.

Instead, we must listen to them, learn why actually they feel like they do, they’re not bad, they’re not racist, the media tells us that but it isn’t true, they’re just misrepresented, they don’t have where to choose, and if we don’t build bridges with them, if we don’t get them out of their hole, we risk heading into war.

We’re still on time to change history.

Originally published on Medium: https://medium.com/@jmmiana/were-headed-to-a-disaster-ac5edcb56a4d

4 Things that we have learned from this lockdown

The Covid-19 has hit humanity hard like a tsunami.

But although it may seem a misfortune or a setback, it is also a valuable life lesson that we can take advantage of now when the waters calm down.

The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.


These are four valuable lessons we have learned:

  1. That we can live slower.
Cities were deserted
Almost every city on Earth looked like this

Each of us has faced lockdown differently, but there has been one common element: The world has moved slower than it used to, we have found that in fact, our quality of life has increased during the lockdown, giving us time to develop skills, practice hobbies or simply spend more time with family. In short: We discovered that we can live without being immersed in a constant frenzy.

  1. The importance of exercise and healthy living.
Girl preparing for exercising
We started some new habits

Some of us discovered the value of activities such as running, biking, or simply going for a walk. We even started exercising at home and made it a habit, which benefited us physically and psychologically.

Another trend that could be noticed was learning to cook; which in the long run will be beneficial to the environment since according to Greenpeace, 10.5% of the waste generated in each garbage bag are plastic containers.

So by reducing the number of ultra-processed foods that we consume, we would not only be taking care of our health but of the environment as well.

At the end of the confinement, the differences between those of us who opted for a healthy life and those who spent it in a sedentary way could be noticed.

We also discovered that taking the car or the motorcycle is only useful when we have to cover long distances or carry weight and that by avoiding its use we save an important amount of fuel each month.

  1. That we have an excessive impact on our environment.
A fox roaming Prypiat, the best example of a world without us.
Pripyat is the best example of nature regaining its place

During the lockdown, we saw videos on YouTube of animals camping in the middle of cities, roe deer, deer, wild boar and even cougars.

We should not be surprised as in recent decades we have confined animals to small corners. By 2018, it was found that wild animals had reduced their movements by 30-50%, which precisely led to a higher risk of contracting new diseases.

  1. We discovered that we can still save the planet.

In just two months of global lockdown, the planet was able to begin healing the wounds we have inflicted on it over the past few decades.

In Venice, the waters became as clear as glass, and many cities were rid of the chemical fog that covered them.

In Madrid, municipal authorities reported that greenhouse gases had been reduced by 57% between March and April, and a study by the Polytechnic University of Valencia found that Spanish skies were on average 64% cleaner.

If we achieve this in two months, what could we achieve by reducing our activity for a whole year?

4 Cosas que hemos aprendido del Covid

El Covid19 ha arremetido con fuerza contra la humanidad como un tsunami.

Pero aunque pueda parecer una desgracia o un contratiempo, también es una valiosa lección de vida que podemos aprovechar ahora cuando las aguas se calman.

La flor que crece en la adversidad, es la más hermosa de todas.


Estas son cuatro valiosas lecciones que hemos aprendido:

  1. Que podemos vivir más despacio.
Ciudades desiertas.
Casi todas las ciudades del planeta tenían este aspecto

Cada uno de nosotros ha enfrentado el confinamiento de una manera distinta, pero ha habido un elemento en común: El mundo se ha movido más despacio de lo que acostumbraba, hemos podido comprobar que de hecho, nuestra calidad de vida aumentó durante el confinamiento, nos dio tiempo a desarrollar habilidades, practicar hobbies o simplemente pasar más tiempo con la familia. En resumen: Descubrimos que podemos vivir sin estar inmersos en un frenesí constante.

  1. La importancia de hacer ejercicio y llevar una vida sana.
Chica preparándose para entrenar.
Comenzamos nuevos hábitos

Algunos descubrimos el valor que tienen actividades tales como salir a correr, a montar en bici, o simplemente a dar un paseo. Incluso comenzamos a ejercitarnos en casa y lo convertimos en un hábito, lo que nos benefició física y psicológicamente.

Otra de las tendencias que se pudo apreciar fue la de aprender a cocinar, lo cual a la larga será beneficioso para el medio ambiente, ya que según Greenpeace, el 10.5% de los residuos generados en cada bolsa de basura son envases plásticos.

De modo que al reducir el número de alimentos ultraprocesados que consumimos no solamente estaríamos cuidando nuestra salud, sino la del medio ambiente también.

Al finalizar el confinamiento se pudieron notar las diferencias entre quienes optamos por una vida sana y quienes lo pasaron de forma sedentaria.

Descubrimos también que coger el coche o la moto solamente sirve cuando hemos de cubrir largas distancias o llevar peso, y que al evitar su uso nos ahorramos una cantidad importante en combustible cada mes.

  1. Que tenemos un impacto excesivo en nuestro entorno.
Un zorro recorriendo libremente Pripyat, así sería el mundo sin nosotros.
Pripyat es el mejor ejemplo de la naturaleza retomando su lugar

Durante el confinamiento vimos vídeos en Youtube de animales campando a sus anchas en medio de las ciudades, corzos, ciervos, jabalíes e incluso pumas.

No debería de sorprendernos ya que en las últimas décadas hemos confinado a los animales en pequeños rincones, en 2018 se comprobó que los animales salvajes habían reducido sus desplazamientos entre un 30 y un 50%, lo que precisamente provocaba un mayor riesgo de contraer nuevas enfermedades.

  1. Descubrimos que todavía podemos salvar al planeta.

En solamente dos meses de confinamiento global el planeta pudo comenzar a  sanar las heridas que le infligimos durante  las últimas décadas.

En Venecia las aguas se volvieron tan claras como el cristal, y gran cantidad de ciudades se deshicieron de la niebla química que las cubría.

En Madrid, las autoridades municipales informaron que los gases de efecto invernadero se habían reducido un 57% entre marzo y abril, y un estudio de la la Universitat Politécnica de Valencia constataba que los cielos españoles estaban de media un 64% más limpios.

Si logramos esto en dos meses, ¿Qué podríamos lograr reduciendo nuestra actividad todo un año?