Taking Back Creative Control, and a New Book

Hi. I’m Niamh. I write, that’s my thing. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely read other things I’ve written. For the last few years I’ve been sporadically spaffing out articles, personal essays, stories and poetry across the internet and anywhere else I felt people may see it. For the last two years in particular, I’ve been periodically writing on the platform Medium.com. My writing on that particular website has lead my work to be featured in a handful of wonderful publications including “Invisible Illness”, “The Composite”, and “Interfaith Now”.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Medium was great when I started there. It was new and exciting, and had that pure independent creative vibe that I crave in this world of authoritarianism and aggressive capitalism. I dabbled there for a while, initially hiding behind my author surrogate, but then in 2017 I started taking it seriously, and published a piece called “Love Will Win”; a naive essay full of hope and faith. That was the day Donald Trump became the president of the United States of America, and fuck me, what a weird couple of years it’s been since then.

From my own personal viewpoint of depression and mania, which I have developed in recent years with the aid of on-and-off psychological treatment, medication and invasive surgery, it feels like the world is turning to complete shit, and this has been clearly reflected in the ongoing development of my writing style. Which almost brings me back round to the point I’m making re: Medium

I’ve expressed, through my many essays and poems, my distinct disdain for authoritarianism and the persistence of capitalist ventures trying to suck everything creative and autonomous from individuals and finding a way to make money from it. I’ve taken steps to remove myself from corrupt systems; I resigned from my day job in an American conglomerate so I could really knuckle down and live La Vie Boheme, I started exclusively buying organic, free range eggs, and I got a tattoo of the Extinction Logo on my forearm as a constant reminder to myself that we’re all fucked… and I cry myself to sleep most nights. Boo hoo me, right?

As a creator, I was making a modest £5 or so per article, which was acceptable, but then they made some incomprehensible changes to their partner program, and now I’m down to about 40p per month which is not acceptable. And the kinds of articles that make money are often about How to be a successful writer on medium.com (that article in particular, which I payed Facebook to boost for a week was my satirical leaving gift for Medium) which means it’s become one of the sites just like facebook and… all the major press organisations, who rely on clickbait and spam to gain clicks and earn money from suckers and second-handers who don’t know any better, and I’m sick of being a sucker, so I’m digging my heals in and becoming even more independent.

I was looking over my Medium back catalogue the other day and figured I’ve got a solid collection of essays and poems there, and they’d make a nice little book. So that’s what I’m doing. “Raging: A collections of essays and poems” will be dropping shortly on my website, and Lulu.com (the self-publishing platform I use), and by that I mean I’ll be turning my own work into a book, formatting the interior, putting together a cover and hitting “Publish”. I’m not here to make my fortune, I just want to write. But I don’t want to write for big companies who just want to make money, and who will abuse me for clicks. Fuck that shit. Support independent creators. Buy my book when it comes out, or at least hit me up for a free copy and leave me a nice review.

Love, Niamh x

Published by Niamh Calderwood

I'm an indie writer, and MA student in Creative Writing. I'm also a Doctor of Divinity and an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church.

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