I’m afraid this is me. 1 clap is an insult. Under 10 suggests the reader thought your work was appalling but gave you a few extras for effort. Under 25 tends to fall into the same — oh, well, look you found a pretty picture and I went to all the trouble of reading the darned piece, so yeah, okay, here’s 15 or 12 or 18 claps. 25–30 claps for me means the piece was engaging, readable and not a waste of my time. 35–49 claps means I really enjoyed it and will be bookmarking and/or adding to my Word list of re-reads for Medium. 50 means I loved it — the writer grabbed me by throat and coaxed emotion out and I will be re-reading this one over and over. Simple, right?

But it’s get more complicated. I also believe in raising the visibility of pieces I like and authors I believe are talented so I’ll give higher marks to ensure that happens. I have no idea if anyone cruises authors’ clap lists like I do, to find more writers to enjoy, but on the off-chance they do, I spend a bit of every day reading through the new and old (when I have the time) works of good writers and clapping for them.

I’m just as susceptible to occasional feelings of insecurity as anyone else and when a few people clap under 20 for my stuff, it tends to make me glum. What did I do wrong? I thought their stuff was awesome. Does my stuff suck this bad? 12 out of 50? That’s like saying, yeah, I thought it was utter shite but like, you’ve clapped for me so here ya go.

Shoot me. Tell me in the comments — privately if possible — if I suck that bad, okay?

Writer, dreamer, developmental editor, book coach, farmer and mother.

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