All I Wanted Was a Place to Tell My Stories…

…and to Read Yours

Robyn Sinead Sheppard
3 min readSep 5, 2023
Clip art illustration of a woman sitting at a writing desk.
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Sometimes when I can’t think of what to write I log into Medium and read your stories. That usually makes me think, and often jump-starts my brain.

This morning I read Tony Stubblebine‘s keynote address from Medium Day 2023, and that’s what got me started (inspired?) on this article.

In response to the adage Everyone has a story to tell, Tony pointed out By definition, every single person is an expert in their own life.

So That, My Friends, is Where I’m Coming From

From the view that I’m an expert in my own life. I recently checked my drafts on Medium and realized that so many of them are about things from my own life.

Tony covered a lot of issues in his address, and if you couldn’t make it to Medium Day, I urge you to read it. Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend, as I was in hospital being treated for MRSA on a combination of intravenous antibiotics and the occasional addition of oxycodone.

A final takeaway from his talk dealt with something I have never cared about enough to give it much conscious thought: Statistics, SEO, and the like. I became a paying member of Medium so that I could read everything available, and not just a few articles a month. Most “professional authors,” i.e., those who make their living writing, say pretty much the same thing: To be a great writer you have to be a great reader.

About SEO and the like, Tony suggested that perhaps we put too much emphasis on statistics:

“When you talk to a reader, you learn very quickly that there’s this huge difference between something they’re willing to read and something they were willing to pay to read.”

In the 7 years I’ve been writing in Medium I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve made enough money to cover my monthly membership fee.

I enjoy Stephen King’s writings, but they don’t connect with me personally the way so many of my fellow Medium writers do. There isn’t a day when I don’t take away something new about writing, and very often I find something pertinent to my own writing.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that while many of my stories are by nature memoirs, they’re going to get even more so in the future.

Robyn Sin­éad Sheppard is an award-winning former PBS news producer, videographer, and self-published author whose work, featuring her ex-wife’s art, was selected for display in the Brooklyn Museum of Art. She writes on a potpourri of topics including philosophy, memoirs, satire, gender, and basically anything else that pops into her head. A dedicated fan of the Oxford comma, she is fluent in several languages including English, Sarcasm, and Typonese. Of all of her other achievements, she is proudest of her daughters and grandchildren.



Robyn Sinead Sheppard

A happily retired technical writer, I write in order to understand what I'm thinking. I'm walking wounded from the Sexual Revolution.