I think I know what makes Shannon Ashley so popular on Medium.

It’s simple. It is because of her honesty. Readers love honest words — words not contrived to make oneself look good — but words that show the author in real life in bright technicolor.

Shannon’s pieces tell it like it is and dare us to judge her for her raging humanity.

She tells us about her weight, her housekeeping, her past and present mistakes, her family, and her misgivings. She does so cleared-eyed and vulnerable with plain words and simple sentences.

She doesn’t try to exalt herself or show off the fact that she’s among the most popular writers on Medium. She just works. She writes and writes and then edits her several publications. She’s a workhorse. And she gets the words to sound just like she is talking with us while we sit on the front porch.

She writes with disarming honesty and simplicity. Her work is a beauty to behold after slogging through some’s work that attempts to show off knowledge and writing skills.

I learn a lot from Shannon and I’m glad I found her here soon after joining.

And also, Shannon, if you read this, I love your self-depreciating honesty, but what I see in your photo is a very pretty woman who is not at all the way you sometimes describe yourself. However, the way you do it somehow makes us feel better about ourselves and all our imperfect lives.

You tell us you do a lot of your writing on your cellphone. What? You don’t sit in a gorgeous office with the latest MAC in front of you?

See, that makes me feel good since my computer is an old POS and I frequently write sitting in the recliner tapping on my phone, too.

I’m going to put more honesty in my writing after reading work by Shannon and other popular writers here. She talks to us in her work, and not down to us. None of that academic snootiness we see from a lot of writers sneaks into her missives. It’s just thoughts and events from the life of a young single mother who makes a living writing and a lot of us love it.

She says she sometimes get hate responses and criticisms about what she writes. But, you can’t argue with success and she’s a successful Medium author.

A lot of us, including me, could benefit by following her easy-to-read honest and forthright style.

She’s successful here because she’s a great writer doing the thing we’re all trying to do…connect.

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

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