The Irony of Being a Top Writer
When I first joined Medium, I noticed that many of my favorite writers had “Top Writer” status in a number of categories: relationships, health, social media, creativity, life.
I was impressed. I equated Top Writer with Expert and was blown away by those who had multiple Top Writer titles.
This person is an expert in life?!? Whoa. I must highlight every word they put forth!
Then, just a few weeks into my writing career, I received an email from Medium:
But I thought Top Writers…you know…knew stuff? About things?
I shrugged it off, figuring maybe it was a glitch in the Matrix. Eventually, Medium would realize they’d bestowed this privilege on someone (ME) who didn’t deserve it, and I’d be dethroned and banished from the Top Writer club and sent back to churn out posts with all the other lowly non-expert scribes.
I was wrong, though. The title stuck. And then, shockingly, a few days ago I received this:
Good Lord, Medium, what the hell are you guys smoking?
Let’s break this down a bit, shall we?
I once sent my child to a birthday party in two right shoes from two different pairs.
When he was a baby, I strapped him into his car seat all nice and snug, closed the back door of the car, and realized I’d locked him in. With the keys. In August. In L.A.’s San Fernando Valley.
This morning after my son dutifully unloaded the dishwasher, I discovered I’d never run it. So, I basically asked him to put away a load of filthy dishes, which I then had to dig out and reload into the washer.
Clearly, I should not be considered Tops in anything, let alone advice and parenting.
The upside to all of this is that I no longer look at the Top Writer status as a validation of any kind. I’ve come to realize that if you tag enough of your Medium posts with the same label and the posts do well, you may just get listed as a Top Writer in that category.
Doesn’t mean you’re an expert or you have any business giving out information, but it does show you have a knack for tagging your posts consistently.
Apparently, I had three articles in a row that were tagged Parenting, and they were liked enough to make me a premier author on the topic:
Here’s the funny thing, though: Of the 44 posts I’ve published so far, 34 are tagged (and primarily about) Writing. And although these posts have attracted more fans than most others and I feel more equipped to dole out information on writing than anything else, I have yet to receive Top Writer in Writing status.
So, I’m not sure what to make of the Top Writer label.
Maybe it’s a twisted joke by Medium staff? Maybe it’s meant to be ironic?
Maybe the more incompetent you are in an area, the more likely you are to be labeled at the Top of that category?
Whatever the case, I’m now (at least for the time being) a Top Writer in both Parenting and Advice. Read at your own risk.