Dear Poets, Comic Artists, Humorists, Flash & Micro-Fiction Writers

Please don’t give up on Medium

Mark Starlin
2 min readOct 23, 2019


The news that Medium is switching to a “read time” metric to reward stories in the partner Program has many up in arms. I write mainly one-minute humor, comics, micro-fiction and poems. So the news is relevant to me.

Let’s face it; Medium has never favored creative writing. They prefer current event essays and confessional writing. We have always been the “second-page” categories. This has not changed. There is no Medium Poetry publication. Or Humor. Or Fiction.

Will the new system affect us? Of course. For good or bad? We will see. I encourage you to wait until the new system is in effect before you revolt.

Honestly, I am not getting rich on my humor, poetry, and micro-fiction. Or my long fiction either. Does anyone actually make decent money publishing creative writing on Medium? Why haven’t you written an essay on how? Everyone else has. I want to read it. I typically post daily, and my monthly earnings are still meager. If they go lower… What’s below meager?

Long stories will earn more. Yeah, right. Hardly anyone reads long stories anymore. Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. So are story lengths. I have seen it in the 21 months I have been writing here. You could write a 20-minute story, but only a handful of people will read it — if you’re popular/famous.

Medium Needs You

You are lights in the darkness. Hope admist the gloom. Laughter pushing back the sorrow. Heart tempering the mind. How unbearable Medium would be without you. Selfishly, I ask you to stay.

What You Can Do

I have responded to the announcement and encouraged Medium to count the time spent reading responses as part of the story “read time.” Responses are a good judge of engagement, and if they are counted, it will help shorter stories. It may also encourage people to respond more. Which is a good thing, in my opinion.

Do you have a better idea? Let Medium know. They do listen sometimes.


Don’t give up. Creative writing has always been a fiendishly hard way to earn money. Keep doing it for love. Keep doing it for enjoyment. Keep doing it as a creative outlet. Keep doing it for your readers. Keep your day job. At least until your novel or poetry collection goes viral.

Plus, I would really miss you!

See you around.



Mark Starlin