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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

What Writing on Medium Has Done for Me

I write multiple essays a day. I love writing. It clears my mind and gives me a sense of purpose. While I first write for myself, my secondary motivation is to offer insight, encouragement, and resonance for others who are interested in similar topics as me.

For example, I write about the emotional reality of life as a therapist in private practice. I also share about my experiences as a late-identified autistic and a therapist who specializes in late-identified autism.

I started by sharing these essays on my website blog. It was a good beginning, but I knew if I wanted anyone to read them, I would need to find a larger audience. I’m not a fan of social media, so the only social media site I’m part of is Linked-In. I decided to start sharing my essays there. My essays about private practice picked up traction with my network of art therapists.

Autistic Art Therapist Jackie Schuld shares a mixed media collage of people taking up space
"Take up Space" Mixed Media Collage by Jackie Schuld

Over time, I realized that my essays about other topics, such as autism, were barely being read. It made sense to me that busy art therapists, the majority of my connections on LinkedIn, may only have time to read essays directly relevant to them - and autism is seldom that.

My therapist friend suggested I try writing on Medium. She informed me I could repost my essays there. I did the painstaking work of slowly loading my essays one at a time to Medium. I wasn’t really sure where this experiment would take me.

The first 3 months were slow. I’d get some traction on my essays. I noticed some of my essays on autism seemed to be more popular. It was fun to dialogue with others who left thoughtful comments on my post.

Things really began to take a turn when I began writing and publishing more about autism. It was like, suddenly, the late-identified autism community had found me. The more I connected with them, the more I read their own stories or heard about their own resources. Their comments inspired me to write additional essays.

With time, I had enough followers to apply for the paid medium partnership program. I thought it might be fun to make a few pennies on essays I was going to write and share anyways. In my first full month with the partnership program I made $215. It floored me. I was thinking I might make $20.

Other positives began to happen, like new therapy clients finding me because of my writing on Medium.

I also started conducting autistic interviews, hoping to widen the understanding of late-identified autism. The medium community has been incredibly encouraging and many have offered to be the subjects of my interviews. There are now over 20 interviews with late-identified autism.

These are all delightful things I never expected from Medium. I am aware there are various criticisms of the platform, but for me, Medium was far more than I ever expected. I’m grateful I found it and all it has afforded me.


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