Sherry, I agree with you - up to a point - on these blowing-a-modest-trumpet stories.

But I was rather puzzled that you left a comment on one of my stories:

I typically make one or two dollars on a story. That’s pitiful as a return for effort. I've made $800 on one story, and that is amazing. For me at any rate.

I’d like to do more of that. and I’d like my readers to do the same.

But my “Month of July” story is about a lot more than that story or how much I earnt. In fact, now that I count them up, there were three sentences about my earnings. 61 words out of 973 total.

I wrote about my other stories, and I focussed on the three haiku I wrote. I also talked about how Victoria has suffered a fresh disaster in the Covid-19 thing, and we’re all back in lockdown. 365 words. More than a third of the story.

122 words on my participation in the ILLUMINATION community. I make no secret of how much I enjoy this publication, and most of it is due to the work put in by the editors and writers there. It is extraordinary.

But another more-than-third (393 words) of my story was about my experiments in haiku. Granted, I use these as teasers to other stories, but I've been putting a lot of research into the haiku form, and I think I can do better. A lot better.

There’s a lot of fertile ground there, and I explored some of this in another story, which (like most of my stories) isn’t bragging on my awesomeness as a Medium bank-breaker. It’s about haiku, and a quick look at what one writer/illustrator pair have done with the form.

In fact, I can hardly recommend their book too highly. It is sweet and whimsical and full of personality. The book cover is delightful, and they recreate it as a photograph in a Mother Jones article which I love. I love everything about Mother Jones, but that’s another story.

Yes, I agree. There are tooo many stories about a novice writer’s amazing success on Medium. Bragging and bragging and bragging.

And we all know why.

Because newbie writers want to learn the secret sauce to making it big here. Some writers, we are told, earn tens of thousands of dollars a month. Some earn thousands for just one story.

We’d all like a little bit of that on our plates, wouldn’t we?

So we click on these stories to learn about the secret sauce, and it’s rarely about anything like that. It’s a big tease, and we read through to the end looking for the good stuff and realise it ain’t never coming, and we’ve gotten nothing out of it and the writer has wracked up another read and another few cents and it’s a bit like being frottaged on a crowded train by someone you don’t know.

So yes, I’m a little bit guilty, by using my rare success to sell a story about my boring that-was-the-month-that-was, and I’m also a bit guilty of being the anonymous frottager on a Melbourne tram so crowded I could feel the roll of Lifesavers the bloke behind me apparently had in his front pocket pressed up so firmly against my bum.

I confess I wiggled my bum, just a little, and was rewarded with a moan in my ear.

I lost him in the crowd at Flinders Street before I could give him my number, so that’s something I’ll always regret. He was too quick for me.


Now, if you unfollow me because you think I’m one of those women who teases and doesn’t deliver, well, fair enough. It’s your time and your following, and you’ll get no push back from me.

I follow someone because I like their style and I want more of it. You’ve really got to screw up to get unfollowed by me. And you haven't reached that point with me, Sherry. I’m going to keep on following you because I love your stuff.

I just wish you could have read past the first three sentences in my story before unloading on me.

I’ll have to put more effort into my first three sentences, I can see.


Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.

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