2021 - A Year of Writing
Looking back at the year, time management, topics, stats, and earnings of my writing side hustle31.12.2021 - 22:24
With 2021 coming to an end, I wanted to look back at my writing progress over the year. 2021 has been my first full year of writing after starting on Medium in May of 2020.
There have been some ups and downs over the year, but the general trend has been pointing upwards, so I'm quite happy and content with the overall result.
My biggest struggle in the past year has definitely been time management. I always had more ideas and projects than time to work on them and it only got worse this year. One of my goals for 2021 was to get into freelancing and I am happy to report that I did. It has been a great experience so far (mostly because the company that I am working with at the moment is very nice). However, it didn't really help my time management situation and I had even less time to work on other projects than before. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to conjure up a few extra hours per day to work on everything, but there are definitely some things I could improve to balance my time better.
As mentioned above, I didn't have as much time to work on game development and other random programming projects, which meant I wasn't able to write about as much programming-related content as I would have liked to. However, my favorite part about writing is not being limited to a niche and being able to experiment with other topics (although maybe I should stick to a niche and it would help me grow). So while I wasn't able to write about as many programming topics, I continued my experimentation from 2020 and wrote about all kinds of random topics like 3D modeling, gaming, TV shows, climate change, crypto, politics, and more.
Did I improve as a writer over the year? It's hard to say because one of the problems with writing is that there is no quantifiable measure of writing skill. The quality of a story doesn't determine how many views and likes it's going to get. The algorithm and luck play a much bigger role. I have probably improved a little bit over the year, but I might be getting close to hitting diminishing returns. I don't think I'll ever be able to write true masterpieces like some of the really talented writers out there. It's not even because English is my second language and I don't have the same intuition for the language as a native speaker, but even in my native language, I'm not able to write any better than in English.
Unfortunately, there isn't an exact summary of how many views, reads, and claps you got over the year. However, clicking through the months and roughly estimating gives me slightly above 100,000 views and a bit below 50,000 reads. This isn't very impressive when you see how many views the bigger writers get, but I am very happy with it. That's an average of almost 300 views per day, or one view every 5 minutes. Views, claps, and nice comments are extremely motivating. People are spending some of their valuable time reading my stories and especially in our modern world where nobody has any free time, this is a great honor.
I also hit 100 followers in March, which has been an awesome milestone, because I never had 100 followers anywhere. Since then, even more people chose to follow me, so I have over 200 by now and I am very grateful to every one of you. I am glad that I was able to reach 100 followers before Medium introduced the minimum follower requirement for monetization. I don't like this change because it only incentivizes follow for follow, begging for followers, and even buying followers. This time, I was lucky and hit the milestone before it was introduced, but there are other platforms where I cannot be monetized because I don't have enough followers/subscribers.
I have made almost 700$ from writing in 2021, which is almost 10 times what I made in 2020. This is a nice amount of money from a side hustle, but still very far from being able to live off of it. If money was my only reason to write, I would have to quit right now. Considering the number of hours I worked on writing, my earnings are below minimum wage and I would make a lot more flipping burgers. My writing income also fluctuated a lot from month to month depending mostly on luck whether stories were successful or not. Luckily, I still enjoy writing, so I mostly do it for the fun of it and the money is a really nice additional benefit.
2021 has been a successful year for my writing. I may not have gone viral and had exponential growth, but it has been a slow and steady upwards trend. For the most part, exploring and writing about new topics has been a lot of fun, and getting views, claps, and nice comments is extremely rewarding, so a big thanks to all of you. I'm definitely going to continue writing in 2022 and I hope to see you then.
P.s.: I have been mostly writing on Medium and only published a few stories on pingpoli.de. I should probably get better at posting content on multiple platforms in the future, but if you want to read more of my stories, visit my Medium profile (and join Medium with my referral link #ShamelessSelfPromotion :D)
Title image by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
by Christian - 31.12.2021 - 22:24