Even Popular Stories Go Stale Like Good Bread

Aren’t there enough writers for new stuff more often?

Photo by James Harris

I guess I should be asking Medium this, but how the hell do you even contact them? I can’t find the help section, although I know I did once because I printed out some commands. How do I get to Medium’s help section, Medium gurus? I want to do some stuff.

Why do I see the same stories so often?

Anyway, the help topic is not what I want to write about. I want to know, and I doubt they’ll answer me, but some of you may know, why I see the same stories on “Popular” for a week at a time? Are they just that popular? Or are they just the ones we see because they have the most exposure and therefore remain popular? I’m serious. What’s the deal? I thought we might see what popular every couple of days.

Here I go. Causing trouble again. I’ve always been bad about that. But, dang, ya’ll. I’m pretty frustrated about this. I guess I’m out of line, (and that’s frequently the case), but it seems to me about a million writers filing stories every day would produce at least a few “popular” stories every few days.

I’d be popular, too, if I was featured every day.

Of course some stories are popular if they are pasted across the “Popular” page every day. I bet you some of my little ditties and some of the other writers’, too, would be popular if they got that kind of exposure. But we’re all languishing down in the seldom to never seen crowd. Well, unless you’re writing about hot sex. Heck, our stories are a few hundred stories from the top. I don’t even know how to see them except to search the writer’s name. But, what if it’s a good story and I don’t know the name of the author? I’m surprised anyone makes any money with how hard it is to even get a story seen. But a few people do see, because thank goodness, they follow me. And boy, am I ever grateful for them.

Dear Editors: I wonder if you read our stories.

Well, I do. Really, I wonder if you do? Not that I’m that good, but I know a lot of other writers are that good. It’s no surprise some make a bundle. Because every single thing they write ends up either on the Digest, on the Home Page, or in the “Popular” category. Do the editors even read these stories? Sometimes I think the editors at Medium say, “Well, so-and-so wrote that so I know it’s good, so I can save myself some time and stick it in here”. There are definitely names here who get top billing even when they write stinkers. And we all do, some time or the other, write a smeller.
In fact, this is a stinker, because my drawers are in a bit of wad and I’m blowing off my mouth and not very artistically. I got a paddling for that in seventh grade.

But this happens all the time.

I just opened up Medium for the first time today and there it is, the big illustration and headline of the same damn story I’ve been seeing every day. Is it my imagination? Have I gone Twilight Zone (young ones may not know what that is, but it was a TV show)? Perhaps it was farther down some of the other days? Perhaps it was only third place. But on the home page. Yep. I know. I don’t have to read it. I can pass it over and go on down the page looking for something fresher. But this happens all the time.

There are other pieces enjoying the same thing. There’s more of the same stories that were here yesterday, and the day before. I wonder if anyone is reading new stories? Has anyone been newly curated lately? I was once curated pretty often, but I haven’t been this month, even though I’ve been writing my butt off. Shoot, I probably will never be curated again after this rant. I guess I’m not writing very well today and not doing myself much good. But. Dang.

Another thing, are only stories that are in publications featured? I don’t think so, because I’ve had stories curated and put in topics that weren’t in publications. But I don’t see many nowadays that weren’t in publications. Is it getting harder here, or is it just me?

Oh, crap. Now I am sure enough not going to get curated. You might get on the S-list even reading this. Maybe you shouldn’t clap. Somehow, some magic way, they can see if you read this, though. So, be careful. You may never get on the popular list and have to be a Medium wallflower forever. Just for reading me.
We shall beat you with a waterfall of words
Listen, Medium, you guys aren’t going to break me. I’m going to keep writing and someday I guess you’ll just have to notice me. Or not. But I’m just stubborn enough to keep scratching (typing, actually) words onto paper anyway. Nevermind you! I know I can write a little because I once made a living at it. I know a lot of other great writers I haven’t seen featured in a long, long time can, too. We shall beat you with the sheer number and force of our waterfall of words. Don’t doubt it. Those of us who have worked for newspapers, especially, can kick out however number of words you want. Not that they’ll be good. But, by God, they’ll fit.

So, there.

Rant over. Just had to get it off my chest. Now I’ll never get curated. I just released a huge sigh. Did I say that already? About not being curated? Woe is me. I’ll never be on the popular page. It feels sort of like high school. Oh, well, I guess I’m not up quite up to par just like then. I wore homemade dresses and stuff and mama never would get me a suede coat. I’ll just have to try harder. But, I’d still like to see some fresh stories, even if they aren’t mine.

By the way…I might not have been the most popular girl in school, but I married a smooth first-class winner (eventually) and my life is much nicer than most of the “mean girls” who got all the football players to ask them to the prom. So I may be unpopular here, but don’t count me down.

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.

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