Three tips for new writers on Medium on how to mint it

I don’t mean to scare you, but, there’s a bigger mountain after this one Photo by Cade Prior on Unsplash

I’ve been on Medium since at least 2016. As a seasoned writer on this platform, I’d like to share some of my expertise, especially with those who are new to this online publication.

Harking back to the times when claps were the way to earn a pretty penny around here (and if that doesn’t make me a veteran, I don’t know what will), I have seen enough changes on Medium to convince myself that the way to achieve your first four-figure article is… by not attempting to write a four-figure article.

The more popular posts in Medium these days are…

Abney Park: a hidden treasure in north London

Abney Park Photo by author

A serotinal morning announces itself by blending extant estival greens with emerging autumnal reds. Perfect start for a Covid-delayed tour of London’s Magnificent Seven. These are Victorian-era cemeteries that were created to ease pressure on parish burial grounds.

It’s logical that as a north London resident I kick off at Abney Park, a graveyard opened in 1840, in nowadays trendy Stoke Newington. I don’t spend much time inside, though. I’m so used to these grounds, having found them by chance many years ago, on one of my many cycling jaunts. …

How a brand-led world leaves me often hankering for originality and creativity

No, no, no! Not another Snoop Dogg’s Just Eat ad! Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

Many years ago I sent off an angry e-mail to the then newly-revamped The Guardian (they’d just downsized from broadsheet to Berliner format). My gripe? I couldn’t get to the features in the Weekend supplement without having to trudge through page after page of useless ads.

To the paper’s credit, one of the staff replied to my missive straight away. She explained that the new layout maximised brand visibility. After all, how else would the publication manage to survive?

And you know what? I got it. If The Guardian had passed all the production costs to us, loyal readers, the…

Thinking of insects and Unsplash models

The office these days. With the odd “winged” friend included (photo by the author)

Monday 2nd August — Friday 3rd September 2021

A couple of tiny winged creatures crash against my shades as I ride down the A1, in Barnet. I think back to when I started driving fourteen years ago and this used to be a common occurrence. Insects smashing against the windshield.

I read in the paper the other day that the insect population is in free fall. There are fewer bumblebees, fewer butterflies, fewer of everything we tend to call “creepy crawlies”. This is not only down to the old swat with a newspaper or similar rolled-up publication, but also to the disappearance of an insect-rich wildlife habitat.


A culinary wonder in London’s East End

Friendly staff, good service, lovely grub (photo by the author)

It’d been a while since I’d gone on one of my long cycling jaunts around London. This time around, with the temperature reaching the late 20s (really, September? I thought you were supposed to usher in autumn), I decided to tour the Magnificent Seven. These are seven, Victorian-era cemeteries built on the outskirts of the capital to ease the overcrowding of the existing burial grounds at the time.

I knew I was looking at a 30-mile-plus journey, so stocking up on good, belly-filling food was essential. …

Extinction Rebellion in Trafalgar Square returns an age-old question

And diversity. Don’t forget that one (photo by the author)

Tuesday 8th October 2019-Friday 15th November 2019

I pop into Cycle Surgery before going to work. The temperature has dropped a few degrees, which means, extra covering — especially on my bald head — is necessary. I find a one-size-fits-all balaclava and for some strange reason my mind wanders off to the subject of relationships. Unlike certain accessories that can be worn by anyone, relationships lack that universal character. With so many elements at play, there are many ways of approaching a relationship, but a one-size-fits-all is not one of them.

For a connection between two people to work out there needs to be a balance of…

Searching for inspiration in the late drummer’s attitude to fame

Photograph by Terry O’Neill for Getty (The Guardian)

As soon as the tributes started pouring in for Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones drummer, who, sadly, passed away on Tuesday 24th August, I started thinking about unlikely pairings in the history of pop and rock.

It was a well-known fact that dapper-looking Watts worshipped at the temple of Parker, Ellington and Davis. And yet, for over 60 years, he was at the heart of one of the more memorable rhythm sections in the history of rock. Moreover, unlike hell-raisers Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Charlie was as clean-living, law-aiding a model citizen as anyone could wish for a neighbour…

“‘Cause every time we meet/we play hide and seek”

Photo by the author

We didn’t just make love. We also made each other laugh.

Vivian gulped. The lump in her throat felt like a boulder. Her friend Patricia took her hand in hers, unafraid of touching her.

You really shouldn’t. There’s no vaccine yet”.

Don’t worry, Viv. I know you haven’t got it anymore. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have invited me to come.

Vivian placed her cup of tea back on the coffee table, where it balanced perilously on the edge. Swiftly, Patricia pushed the cup further back.

There were two Winstons. The one I married. And the other one, the loud Winston. I…

Years later, the ball has not reached the ground yet, Dylan

The weight of history on his shoulders. But don’t blame him, blame Fukuyama (photo by the author)

I lost my faith on the corner of 23rd Avenue and L Street. It was also about the same time when it began to dawn on me that not only had the emperor never worn any clothes, but also that we were too blind to see his nakedness.

It was the summer of 1989 and Cuba was undergoing a prolonged ideological crisis. Its effects can still be felt today. I had just finished college (or what is called “college” in the UK but “high school” in the US) and was on my way to university.

This ideological crisis was particularly…

The England football team lose on penalties and a murder of crows triggers apocalyptic visions

The Highgatehill Murugan Temple. One of London’s architectural gems (photo by the author)

Monday 12th July — Friday 30th July 2021

The mood the morning after the night before is subdued. Unlike last week when we had overexcited zombies instead of riders (many of the children stayed up late to watch England beat Germany in the semi-final of the Euros), this time my co-instructor and I are greeted by a sea of disappointed faces.

England lost again. On penalties. Against a team that didn’t deserve to win (sorry, Italy fans, but your eleven was totally uninspiring). To make matters worse, the racists were out in force again. Plus ça change, plus la même chose.

The only consolation was that the kids…

Mario López-Goicoechea

London-based, Cuban writer. Author of “Cuban, Immigrant, and Londoner”, to be published by Austin Macauley. Has written for The Guardian and Prospect.

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