I get what you’re saying, but I do write for an audience. If no one read my stories, I wouldn’t bother writing. It’s a symbiotic relationship for me. I don’t consider myself a true writer, because I don’t have to write. I am a musician who writes. I do have to make music regularly, but I have gone many years in my life without writing stories.
I enjoy writing on Medium because I have a small group of active readers who clap and comment. I need that audience to keep going. Perhaps it’s the musician in me seeking instant feedback (an audience.)
My stats have always been fairly low (I write mostly humor and fiction), so I don’t obsess about them.
I don’t write what I think will be popular on Medium (gag), or curated, obviously. And I don’t write for money. I’m not that crazy, or that good. But I do love getting claps and comments on a story. They encourage me to keep writing. And if Medium wants to give me money each month for doing something I enjoy, I am happy to take it. It all bonus money to me.
I veiw Medium as writing for friends. Entertaining them, and sharing my heart with them.