To be Successful on Medium, Horizontal Growth isn’t Enough

How to be a constant, consistent learner and why it matters.

By Shaunta Grimes

Anyone who talks about learning how to be a writer — a working writer, earning a living — has something to say about consistency. It’s important to show up (and keep showing up) to do the work.

But it’s not enough to just write a lot.

In theory, quantity matters because the more you write, the more practice you’re getting, and the better you’ll be at writing. The only problem with that theory, of course, is that you have to actually get better for it to work.

In other words, horizontal growth isn’t enough. Churning out post after post after post won’t get you the results you want by itself. You have to learnas well. Each post has to get better. Vertical growth is important.

So, horizontal growth = quantity. Writing often, publishing a lot, persistently showing up to work.

And vertical growth = quality. Making sure you continue to learn and grow as a writer.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken to writers who are upset because they write and write and write, but they’re still not getting the results they want. Sometimes the problem is that they’re doing a lot of work without actually learning how to do it better.

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