Thank you, V. As a musician, I sympathize with anyone trying to make a living in a creative field (like writing.) It is very difficult. I truly appreciated the extra income writing on Medium brought me. So the massive pay cut was discouraging.
Of course, we will likely never know, but I think the read-time change to the Partner Program was more than just a way to get rid of the “clap clubs”, it was probably designed as a way to cut costs and pay everyone less. I haven’t read a single story by anyone about how they earn more now.
But where else can you publish at will to a huge audience? Social media essentially killed blogs and personal websites. And I personally have no desire to face rejection after rejection in hopes of getting one story published occasionally. I just want to write and publish where it will get read and responded to. Medium gives me that. For better or worse.
Sadly, money pretty much ruins everything.