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How I went from Cutting and Pasting from Medium to News Break to Writing Brand New Stuff

By Steve B HowardPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
Full Circle Writing Platforms
Photo by Erlend Ekseth on Unsplash

It has been an exciting and somewhat strange ride on News Break for me since January. I was originally invited to write for them in 2020, not sure when. I didn’t publish anything there until December 2020. Because they stated they only wanted local news I was tentative, since I only had a handful of stories I’d published on Medium that I felt might be considered human interest stories.

I got about three of those published News Break late in December of 2020. But they didn’t seem to get any attention, so I sort of forgot about/gave up on News Break.

In January 2021 though, I started seeing more writers that I knew posting stuff about News Break. I still wasn’t too interested since I’m mainly a short story writer and poet. Another thing that happened though, was that a short story writer on Medium that I know and respect was posting links to his short stories on News Break to Twitter.

Curious, I reached out to him and asked how he was doing on News Break. He said he was doing fantastic and earning more than he ever had on Medium from his short stories. Naturally, this got my attention. It was already mid-January this point, but I had read that News Break would pay writers $1000 a month if they published at least 12 articles/stories a month.

Since I had a back log of over 1000 stories on Medium already cutting and pasting twelve stories to News Break in two weeks was nothing to me. True to their word, News Break came though and on Feb 15th around $1000 was transferred to my Pay Pal account. I was overjoyed. This was the most money I’d earned from my writing in a single payment since I’d started writing in 1997.

But then News Break announced changes to their payment system. As you can imagine this was like a violent tremor in the Force for all of us writers that had been through this shit with Medium many times before.

News Break announced for the next three months writers would be paid per published article, based on a scoring system rather than just a $1000 monthly flat fee.

Surprisingly though, the new payment system actually worked in many writer’s favor and both February and March earned me around $1700 and $1500. In addition to that, in February I got close to 25k reads on my stories on News Break, far more than I ever have on Medium. So, at that time I was pretty happy with them.

In April News Break made another change that seriously effected me though. From April 1st they would no longer accept anything that wasn’t “local news”.

My fiction from Medium wasn’t going to cut it anymore.

Which meant since April was the end of the three month base pay system (or so I thought), I’d be losing out on my final $1500 pay day.

“Why not just write local news stories then?” I’m sure you are asking yourself right now. Good question. The problem is I’ve been in Japan since 2003. Pretty hard to write local US news from over here. The $1500 base pay wouldn’t cover a flight back to the US even without the Covid 19 pandemic, so there was no way I would be putting a real international journalist’s cap on either for News Break.

And truth is, I’m a creative writer. I had a huge amount of respect for journalists and freelancers that can do the work and write about anything, but I have to be pretty passionate about something to get my butt in the writer’s chair long enough to finish it. I’m lucky that my weird brain is always coming up with new stories, which is why I have been able to write several million words worth of poetry, short stories, novels and other things since 1997.

I am pretty passionate about fly fishing though, even though I don’t do it nearly as much as I’d like to now that I’m in Japan.

So, I decided to try writing some human interest type fly fishing reports for all the lakes, rivers, ponds, and beaches I had fly fished from in the 90’s and early 2000’s in Washington State and California.

Too my surprise, News Break loved them. It took some effort to write them, but I made my $1500 base pay in April fairly easily. I was happy. I’d finished out my three month base pay on News Break with some very solid numbers,

Jan $1000

Feb $1700

Mar $1500

April $1500

Far more than I had ever earned on Medium or any other place that paid me for my writing.

At the end of April I figured the ride was over. News Break had said after the three month base pay system ended for writers they would be switching to a new payment system that sounded a lot like the current one on Medium.

But News Break surprised me again and decided to extend the base pay system through May. Great news, but at the same time I was panicking a bit. I’d burned through a lot of my fishing stories in April. To make the $1500 base pay for May I’d need to get at least 25 stories published at $60 a pop to do it.

I am very happy to say though, as of today (May 18th, anniversary of Mt. St, Helens’ 1980 eruption, btw), I have hit my $1500 base pay for May (nice little rhyme, that one).

I honestly wasn’t sure I could do it. But I think it has made me a better writer in that I had to use some different writer’s muscles and techniques to get all 25 articles finished and published. Hats off to all the freelancers that do that for a living. Part of me really enjoyed it, but at the same time I think the creative part of my brain felt like a coup d’etat was in play.

And now, with over 25 600–1000 word fly fishing articles done and published, I can start recycling them back to Medium. Let the cutting and pasting begin!


About the Creator

Steve B Howard

Steve Howard's self-published collection of short stories Satori in the Slip Stream, Something Gaijin This Way Comes, and others were released in 2018. His poetry collection Diet of a Piss Poor Poet was released in 2019.

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