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Defining a Vocal Tradition – Part 2

by Tim StiX 29 days ago in advice

Are you a VOCAL-ist or a MEDIUM?

Defining a Vocal Tradition – Part 2
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

How will I spend my $2.19?

60 Days In

Here I am, sixty days into defining a Vocal Tradition. With fourteen articles and three poems, combining for a total of, 365 reads and $2.19.

My most successful article, Larger Than Life, has sixty reads. It was lauded by my family and friends, as my pièce de resistance. But that hasn’t translated into a major success, as yet.

No Whirlwind Success, as yet

Not a whirlwind start, no viral posts. Just a slow build-up to a small following. I guess I was expecting more. But, whatever the outcome, I have really enjoyed regular “writing time”, over the last couple of months.

Just one minor hiccup when I tried to publish an editorial about the ex-Mr President, Trump. I submitted version after version, trying to get within the lines. But no matter what, I just couldn’t get it right. I can laugh about it now, but it was really frustrating at the time because I put so much work into it, including a rewrite from a different angle. Until finally, I gave up and started a new, safer article.

Lesson Learned

I think I have learned my lesson and now don’t attempt subjects that are too close to the lines. Due to mental health issues, I have hypomanic days, or weeks, where I find it difficult to follow rules or accept perceived failure. So, I’m doing my best.

What I like about Vocal

Vocal a Better Alternative?

First off, it is a relatively easy, straight-forward process. Sure, you have to submit and hope that your article is published. But with one exception, mentioned above, all my submissions have been accepted. I you are a reasonable writer, stay within the lines, and check your spelling and grammar. You shouldn’t have too many problems.

I found Medium a much harder prospect. Navigating through the setup process, Partner Program as well as Membership, all confused by Publications and Curation … holy shit! It was really bewildering for my dyslexic brain.

Enjoying the Journey

Seconding, each time one of my articles is accepted, I feel proud of myself. A small victory indeed, but one that really picks up my day, when I’m struggling with motivation. It takes me quite some time to put together a story I am happy with and feel proud to put my name on. So, I only publish 2 or 3 a week.

Seeing your hard work published is a great thrill, something you can show your family and friends. Some of my articles help me explain to them, who I am and where I am coming from, when the words don’t flow in real-time, during conversation.

Equal Opportunity

The payment system is easy to understand, unlike Medium. Simply put, it is $3.80 for 1000 reads or 0.38 cents ($0.0038) per read. Not huge I know, but as with the Internet in general, it’s all about volume.

However, if you join Vocal Plus, or Vocal+, you get $6.00 per 1000 reads or 0.6 cents ($0.006) per read. My plan, I guess like most, is to earn enough to cover the cost of membership and more.

Over the Wall

There is one slight catch. Before you can withdraw your earnings, you must make the minimum threshold of $35.00.

But I just see it as an added incentive to work harder

Again, Vocal+ has its advantages, by reducing that figure to $20.00.

Vocal writers really are making money from their works

Finally, I have seen posts from interested writers, asking whether Vocal is a scam. While it may be difficult at first, to make the minimum payment. It is a valid business and definitely NOT a scam, in the true sense of the word.

What I don’t like about Vocal

Editing an Issue

My main complaint is with the Vocal Editor. It is fairly brain-dead! In comparison, the Medium Editor is far superior.

I probably like most, write my articles using a Word Processor. Word on Mac is my choice and allows familiar, powerful document editing, with the bonus of spelling and grammar checking.

Once complete, I just copy my document into the Medium Editor and rely on it to get the formatting correct. Headings, italics, bold, even links are copied and formatted as expected. I can’t get it to copy images, but that is a small price to pay, as they only make up a tiny percentage of the overall work.

Articles from other publishing platforms can also be copied into Medium. Again, with absolutely minimal editing.

Maybe it’s my fault but I just can’t get the Vocal Editor to behave as expected

Vocal in comparison, only copies the text and makes a real mess of the formatting by adding blank lines. I have to go through the entire article, checking each line and comparing where I used bold and italics, before re-entering, ALL my link URLs. Really annoying!

So, a request to Vocal. If possible, please upgrade the Editor and bring it into the 21st Century.

Staying Within the Lines

Finally, if an Article is rejected for a valid reason. It would be great if Vocal would nominate the offending paragraph, or at least give a brief explanation.

“Story makes assertions of personal beliefs”, is not really an explanation and doesn’t cut it, when a writer is unsure which sections have gone outside the lines. Especially when the article has been edited multiple times.

I appreciate the work you do and understand that it must be a busy, and at times frustrating, job.

Hopefully, I'll just take the safe option, and stay "in play"

But it would really help writers, when they are unsure what to change and end up dumping potentially, many hours of work.

Vocal vs Medium

It's Your Choice ... but ...

Apart from the Editor, I think most of you will find the Vocal experience, more rewarding.

For new writers in particular, Vocal is definitely easier to learn and navigate.

The Vocal payment system appears fairer and easier to understand, along with the Stats page.

Medium’s partner program combined with membership, publications and curation is just too confusing for me.

I also, much prefer Vocal's front page or Top Stories. The layout is pleasing on the eye and much easier to navigate.

Vocals categorisation via Communities makes more sense to me and again, is aesthetically pleasing.

Finally, Vocal readers can access all your articles, without having to pay for the privilege.

I won’t assume to say which is better for you, but I would definitely give Vocal a try and disregard any fears of scams.

Finally: How will I spend my $2.19

Shopping Expedition

So now it’s time to discuss the money, the moolah, the wallet. What will I buy with my $2.19?

It’s not exactly a deposit on a house or even a car but maybe a lollypop or a suitably sugar-filled item of confectionary would be ideal.

Two dollars and nineteen cents equate to 365, $0.006 reads. Each read, a small feather in the cap.

When will I reach the threshold? It is no longer important. Whatever the pecuniary rewards, the joy of writing has far exceeded any monetary gain.

Last Words

Thank-you to all the Vocal Staff who provide us with a well-run, friendly publishing platform. You enable us to reach the World, from the comfort of our own homes or offices.

I will finish off with a quote from my previous update, Defining a Vocal Tradition:

As a comedian toils for the laughs, we scrive for the reads.

Not necessarily the fame.

No, just that someone, has interacted with one of our children and hopefully, feels better for the experience.

StiX Feb 2021

Tim StiX is a Software Engineer with over 20 years’ experience, administrator of 1.01 World Net: Body of Knowledge and an Author.

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Tim StiX
Tim StiX
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Tim StiX

Tim StiX is a Software Engineer with over 20 years’ experience designing, developing and maintaining Web Technologies and an Author.

See all posts by Tim StiX

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