My first week writing on Medium

It’s been slightly underwhelming.

About a week ago, I started posting on Medium. I guess I got really excited about the possibilities of gaining a following and eventually making money from my writing, because I ended up posting six articles in the last week. One post was taken from this blog, one other post was taken from my cannabis blog, and the rest were written for Medium specifically. (In general, you can post content on Medium that’s already been posted elsewhere.)

I’m up to 5 followers, which is definitely not many. I’ve seen other Medium members post less and gain more followers, so I feel like I’m not necessarily doing everything right, just yet. Writing for Medium is different from writing for WordPress or my journal. So it’s going to take some getting used to.

I think I just got really excited and I’ve also been adopting a “quantity over quality” mentality when it comes to my Medium posts. Growing up, I remember being annoyed at my mom saying that I ”get carried away“ with things. But she had a point. I get super enlivened at the prospect of something new and exciting. And Medium is new and exciting to me.

I think that can be both a great thing and somewhat of a pitfall. It gives me energy to move forward with this new and exciting thing, but it sometimes ends in disappointment when my efforts don’t pan out and result in something great.

I think, truthfully, I need to get better at writing. I think I have the foundational skills that I need, but putting them into action is where I’m falling short. I need to spend more time editing my posts, instead of getting excited and posting them before they’re fully complete. I need to find my writing voice. I don’t know whether I want to be funny, straightforward, blunt, or something else. I’ve just been writing and hoping for the best, but I don’t think that’s enough if I want to be a successful writer.

Nevertheless, I love reading on Medium. I’ve found so many helpful posts there, and it’s really given me an idea of exactly what I should be aiming for with my writing. Some of my favorite people to follow on Medium are Zulie Rane, Elin Melaas, Sophia Metrakos, and Kelsey Kryger. I highly recommend you check them out and give them a follow.

If you’re new to Medium and you want followers, follow me! I’ll follow you back. 😊

Medium is a really cool platform

Recently, my sister told me about Medium. I decided to check it out, and I really like what I’ve found there.

There are tons of high-quality, user-generated articles spanning a number of wide-ranging topics, and new content is posted often. Anyone can write for Medium and it seems like a good way to build an audience if you are a writer. After reaching 100 followers, you can monetize your content. Yep, you can make money writing for Medium!

The idea of gaining a following and making money writing has me wanting to write for Medium. Over the past few days I’ve started writing some new content and plan to post it over there once it’s ready. You can follow me on Medium here.

My favorite thing about Medium might be that it has so much written content about writing itself. As a newer writer, I find this extremely helpful. There are articles about the writing process, people’s individual experiences writing for Medium, how to make money on other sites through writing, and more.

I highly recommend you check it out if you haven’t already!

Update: If you liked this post, you might want to know how my first week on Medium went! I detail the process plus how many followers I’ve gotten.

How to overcome writer’s block

I used to be a perfectionist, but I’ve come to accept that sometimes you have to create work you don’t like. 

How to get over writer’s block:

Brainstorm. Start writing or typing out ideas, and don’t think about it. Just write them out. Write until you have several ideas in front of you, and whether they suck or not doesn’t matter. Just get some ideas going.

Just start. Pick one of the topics and try to write about it. Again, don’t think too much. I feel like overthinking is actually the root of writer’s block, at least it is for me. Oftentimes it’s not that I can’t write, but that I feel like I can’t write anything good. I tend to set my standards a little too high, and when you do that, you end up with a recipe for failure. Nothing you do will be good enough if you’re holding your standards too high. So lower your expectations a little bit and just write.

Remember you’re not writing to please yourself but to engage your audience. I suppose that may not be true for everyone, but it is for me. I want to grow a following on my blog, so I don’t want it to be all about me all the time. I want it to be interesting for the reader. So even if I don’t like what I’ve written, I make myself post it anyway. It’s the only way I’ll get onto the next topic. Otherwise I’ll just stay in my writer’s block hell with no way out. Plus, someone might like my content even if I necessarily don’t. So I just go ahead and put it out there.

And that’s how you move past writer’s block! It’s one technique, anyway.

A little self-introduction

I’ve been blogging here for a little while now but I never really gave a proper self-introduction.

My name is Christiana Metrakos. I’m 28 and I’m still trying to figure out who, exactly, I am. I have a lot of interests and I’ve tried doing a lot of things.

When I was 17, I went to cosmetology school. I’ve now had my cosmetology license for almost ten years. I had a riveting career in the beauty industry, starting as an assistant and working my way up to doing wedding hair and airbrush makeup.

But something was missing.

So I decided, after about six years in the industry, I was going to call it quits for a while. I wanted to see what else was out there.

I decided to go to community college to get a degree. I just felt like I was missing out by not having one. Interior Design seemed like a pretty cool major, so I went for it. I had a great, remote internship with Interiors by Jacquin, a company out of Texas. I learned a lot during college. I even learned that Interior Design is not necessarily my passion.

While I was in college in 2018, I started a YouTube channel about medical cannabis. I had just gotten my medical card and was trying to figure out what products were best, but there were no reviews on YouTube or anywhere. So I decided to try and make some myself.

Four years later, there are now a lot more reviews out there, made by myself and others. Being a medical cannabis influencer is now a thing. I spend most of my time right now on my YouTube channel and other spin-offs of the channel, like my Patreon and blog. I love sharing my cannabis experiences online because I feel like it creates a community around a similar interest – the cannabis plant.

So, what do beauty, Interior Design, and cannabis have in common? Me, I guess. I have knowledge in all these areas. I’m still trying to find the right path for me, what’s going to make me the most successful. But for now, I’m all about talking cannabis products and whatever else interests me.

I’m trying to write more, because I feel like writing is a great way to figure things out. Putting thoughts on paper gets them out of your head.

I don’t know exactly what’s next for me or what I’ll blog about here, but if you want to follow my cannabis pages you can find all that info on my cannabis blog.

Thanks for being here. xx

Links:

My cannabis YouTube channel: YouTube.com/floridacannabisreviews

My cannabis blog: Floridacannabis.reviews

My Patreon: Patreon.com/flcanna

Three Glossier Products I Can’t Live Without

Glossier is a brand that I’ve known about for years, but only within the past two or three years have I actually been using their makeup.

In this post I’ll cover a few of their products that I’ve come to love.

Skywash (shades Pool and Lawn)

Skywash is a liquid eyeshadow that goes on as a liquid and dries to a matte finish.

This product can take some getting used to when it comes to application. It can go on a little too sheer in some spots and a little heavy in others. But once you get the hang of it, applying this is a breeze and it’s a super quick way to add a wash of bright color over your lids, with a super-matte finish.

Cloud Paint (shade Puff)

This is another product that sort of takes some getting used to but once you do, the end result is worth it. Cloud Paint is a liquid/creme blush that comes in a little tube as pictured above. The shade Puff is a perfect, pastel bubblegum pink. I love it as an everyday blush.

Generation G (shade Cake)

This lipstick is honestly everything. It’s sheer, it’s matte, it goes on easily without even having to look at what you’re doing. It stays on pretty well. It’s not what I would call a long-wear lipstick, so you might need to reapply. But I love using this as my everyday lip color.

’Twas the Caturday before Christmas…

I’ve spent most of the day trying to blog but failing to come up with the material. Instead, I’ve been perusing the WordPress Reader reading everybody else’s blogs.

Now that I’m finally addressing my own blog, for today’s post I figured I would share some recent photography of mine featuring none other than my beloved cat, Nugget.

Nugget enjoys sitting by windows, dipping his paw into his water bowl, putting his toys next to (or in) his food bowl, and meowing a lot. Most recently, he can also sometimes be found sleeping under the Christmas tree. He is a good boy and I adore him.

Happy one-week-until-Christmas, everyone!

Views from my walk

I love walking. Walking, to me, serves several purposes: it’s great for fitness and exercise, getting out of my head, taking a break from being inside, and it allows me to see the outside world. Working from home can mean having a computer screen in my face for most of the day, so it’s really nice to take a break from that any time that I can and treat my senses to something new. 

Lessons I’ve learned the year after graduating college

In 2017, I decided to walk away from my career in cosmetology to start anew and get a degree in interior design. It took me a little over two years to complete the Associates of Science degree, and I learned a lot along the way. I would find out, however, that the real learning takes place after you graduate. Here are some things I learned about life after graduating college.

1. Getting jobs is hard, with or without a degree.

After I graduated, I applied for several jobs that coincided with my major. None of them so much as gave me a call back, so I switched gears and took a job in a different field, one I was more familiar with anyway – photography and social media. 

Never mind all that you hear about companies being short-staffed and unable to find workers. I put myself out there so many times and received so few calls back, that at one point I wondered if something about me just made me unhireable. I knew I needed to change my approach, so I changed my resume. I swapped out the black-and-white, basic-looking resume template I had been using originally, for a colored resume (a cream background with brown text headings) that had a space for a professional photo, where I placed the latest professional photo of myself that I had.

Using a resume template with a professional picture of me on it helped me get calls back from jobs I applied for, by leaps and bounds. One day, after updating my resume, I applied for a multitude of jobs (across several different fields, not just ones that aligned with my major), thinking I wouldn’t hear back from many of them. Well, the day I applied, I started getting calls back, and those calls continued throughout the following week. I ended up declining most, because I had already over-applied to begin with. I had some interviews, but nothing really stuck. I ended up keeping my photography/social media job.

2. I don’t even love what I majored in.

Here’s the thing: I went back to college on sort of a whim.

I had just moved into my own apartment for the first time, and I had done a little bit of decorating. Buying a rug here, hanging curtains there, and other little design jobs in between.

The thing about me is I get “carried away,” as my mom used to call it when I was growing up. I get a little too excited sometimes. I was so excited about all the progress I was making with my apartment, that I thought going to school for interior design would be eye-opening and fulfilling to me.

But the thing about interior design school is that a mere fraction of the time you spend in school is spent on “fun” design tasks like picking out fabrics and colors for rooms. The rest is decidedly harder, less-fun work, like drawing floor plans in AutoCAD or worse, by hand. I realized at some point during interior design school that this wasn’t really what I wanted to do for a living.

It wasn’t that it was too hard, necessarily, but it was far more boring than what I had anticipated. Perhaps, working in the interior design field is more fun than going to interior design school is. But I may never know for sure, since I have hardly worked on anything interior design related since I graduated.

3. Being really busy is tough and sometimes stressful, but maybe we do our best work when under pressure.

Looking at my journal entries from one year ago, I can gather that this time last year I was stressed, overworked, and looking forward to the end of college, despite being a little scared of what was to come.

At one point, I was splitting my time between college coursework, a work-intensive internship, my job, and my side hustles (my YouTube channel and blog). It was a lot to keep up with, and one theme I find commonly throughout my work from that time in my life was that I was generally stressed out.

But there’s something else I notice about my blog posts from that time and journal entries and videos – there were a lot more of them. Was I more productive because there were more deadlines placed on everything around me? It seems that way, like the more stress I was under, the more work I produced. Perhaps, sometimes, there’s a correlation between stress and productivity. Of course, too much stress can result in the opposite – less productivity, so it’s important to stay calm when you have a lot of tasks.

4. College is great for learning new things and challenging yourself, but it’s not completely necessary for everyone

After going back to college when my career was already going pretty well, I’ve come to realize I didn’t really need college to get to where I am today. The job I have now has nothing to do with my degree, and the skills I use for it are ones I taught myself.

However, I don’t know if I would be the same person I am today without having gone through the college process. Prerequisite courses like English and math classes provided me with newfound knowledge and abilities I didn’t have before. I was already a decent writer before I went back to school, but I think my skills increased from it.

I really feel like college is great for people looking to learn something new, hone new skills, and become a stronger, harder-working version of themselves. But I don’t think college is a necessity like I kind of thought it was when I went into it.

There is a lot you can do in this life with self-taught skills and the lack of a college degree. As I realized along the way, having an eye-catching resume is sometimes possibly more important than having a degree. I’m glad I got mine, because I don’t think I would be the same person without the things I learned along the way. But I don’t think it was really a necessity for me to go back to school.

How to come up with blog ideas

Every blogger has been there – that moment when you want to write a blog post but you just don’t know what you want it to be about.

In this post, I’ll go over a few ways that I come up with blog post ideas when my creativity decides to dry up.

• Look for inspiration in others’ blogs. For my WordPress users, do you ever go over to the “Reader” page? Yeah, me too. That’s where you can find other people’s blogs and look for inspiration in what other people have written. Sometimes, seeing what others write about can be helpful for coming up with new ideas, yourself.

•Write about something that’s been on your mind for a while

Have something that’s been on your mind for some time? Why not get those thoughts out? Sometimes the inspiration we need is inside of us.

•Take inspiration from your everyday life

Why not blog about something from your life? A person, a place, or something that you love or care about? Something that you’ve noticed? Something that happened? Life is a great place to find inspiration, and the more personal your post idea, the more your readers can connect with you.

At the end of the day, you know you have a story inside of you and that other people want to hear it. So share your story. Let it out. Let the creativity flow. Don’t fight it. Soon, you’ll be blogging up a storm.