Bonnie, curation is just as befuddling to me as every other part of Medium. It often makes no sense at all. I have had stories curated in multiple topics (comics, fiction, humor, music, poetry.) Which makes sense, as those are the topics I write most often. I have never had a story on the Medium homepage or in one of Medium’s publications. I rarely write essays, so that is no surprise. My comics have been curated far more often than any other category. I am guessing because there is less “competition.” And many of those were actually doodles!
Oddly, the curators often choose stories I would not have picked for curation myself. I recently had a few doodles I knocked out in five minutes curated under Comics. They were not really comics, there were doodles. Of course, there is no Doodle category. LOL. I have learned that I can’t guess what will get curated. Not that I ever tried writing for curation. But the things I thought might get curated, usually don’t.
In my experience, curation usually leads to more Views, and more Reads, but usually not a lot more Fans. This is the weirdest part. If the curators thought it was good, and more people are reading, why is no one clapping? The claps are mainly from my regular readers, who I am more thankful for than curation.
Then sometimes curation does make a difference. I recently had a 50-word micro-fiction story get curated and it got 200 view, 161 reads, and 50 Fans. Those are big number for my fiction, which usually lives in the single digits stats range. But like you, I will keep writing fiction anyway. Even if only 4 people read it.
It is nice to get that “Your story has been selected..” email, but it doesn’t often translate into a big difference, for me anyway.