I’m not much of a book reader. I consume prose in short bursts. Medium is a dope place to do that. I imagine if you’ve landed here, you probably feel the same way. (Though, I imagine you read books.)
Back in February, I compiled a list of my 20 favorite writers on the platform. They’re still amongst my favorites. Here they are again:
I’ve done a lot of reading since then. (Probably too much!) And in that time, I’ve found some new favorites. So, five months later, it feels right to offer up a fresh batch of forward-thinkers who really know how to artfully twist a phrase and make a point or 12.
Some of these are names you may know. Some of these are names you may not know. It is my hope you find your next new favorites here, so you can shape your “new from your network” feed into something a little more intelligent and entertaining than your garden-variety clickbait. So check them out, click their names and follow them. 100% money-back guaranteed.
And now, in alphabetical order:
Can you unpack the multi-layered, multi-faceted, competing conditions of family, race, beauty, class, immigration, confidence and intelligence? No? Can you do it in one post? Impossible, you say? Could you do it at 22? This woman’s wizardry, man … you’ve been warned.
Veteran. Devout Christian. Fellow Austinite. (Or, in the area, at least.) Wrote a sky-scraping dissection of masculinity in the age of masculinity gone sour, but that’s not even the piece I’m going to feature. (You’ve all read it.) Read this tweaking of the loneliness epidemic, and pay attention to the action plan at the end.
He doesn’t write anything longer than about 300 words. It’s fine — he doesn’t need the rest. His shit is raw, insightful, choppy and borderline-poetry. (Hell, his headlines alone.) Writes about wellness, love, and — according to his bio — being “too gay to function.” Nah, man. You’re doing just fine.
She’s part beat-poet, part hell-raising romantic, part 4 a.m. in the rain. Her genre-bending style merges lyricism with prose, and they each paint intimate portraits of love, lust, stability and warmth. Don’t believe me? Maybe this piece about the first time she had dinner with her boyfriend (now husband!)’s mother will convince you. (Spoiler: It will.)
Full disclosure: I first heard of her because she tagged me in a post. And, yes, that’s the post I’m linking to. But. What. A. Post. It. Is. (The headline will suck you in. Don’t worry. That’s the least interesting piece of it.) One of the most jaw-dropping first-person ruminations on depression I’ve read on Medium.
Self-help for people who don’t really like self-help. No listicles. No startups. No hashtag rise and grind. Just personal stories about growing up and jumping into a career while still entertaining many other dreams of alternative careers. Terribly British. That’s okay, too.
Okay, I’m basing this off one very recent post. But I wouldn’t steer you wrong: Ms. Buist was one of my favorite writers before she even got here. But then she made her Medium debut, and dropped one of the best columns of the year. On the rise of Death Cults. You should really read it.
A lot of writing about struggle — through depression, agoraphobia, addiction (not hers), and the unbearable fluffiness of living with eight cats. Erika’s writing is elegiac, emotive and evocative. And it’s versatile. Cat captions here. Stray thoughts here. Long-form think-pieces here. Morose musings on mental health here. It’s all good. Especially this one:
You can tell when something is deeply researched, lived-in, felt and thought. They’re the precursors to a story that could be well told. Of course, it takes the ability to, you know, go ahead and write the damn thing, too. Ms Olsen possesses all of these gifts. She’s the five-tool player. Don’t believe me? Read the most enthralling Medium piece ever written on payday lending. Then, read the rest. (And there’s plenty.)
This man’s work is all over the map. I mean, he touches upon philosophy, self-help, real estate, writing, Internet, family, politics and mental health. He toggles between autobiography, satire and think-piece, and he does it all in his own matter-of-fact, just-so voice.
If Medium gave out awards, and they had like a “Best New Artist”-type category for people who dropped their first suite of pieces in 2018, this gal would win in a walk. Her features on race, culture, politics, creativity and Colin Kaepernick are all home runs. She writes like documentarian at the end of the world, and she does so with an auteur’s soul.
Career advice columns, productivity hacks and charisma coaching pieces are all pretty dry. Most of the time. (You’re on Medium, you’ve noticed.) And you read Ms Wilding’s headlines and think, “shit. More of the same.” No, it’s not. The prose actually crackles a lil’ bit. And it comes from someone who seems like they’ve read more than Tim Ferris in their lifetime.
Are you ready for some fucking listicles? W-w-wait — where are y’all running? But, but … what if they were peppered with personal stories and occasional cursing? What if they were written from the ex-pat of a husband and father, professional and entrepreneur, American ex-pat living in Barcelona? One who’s life story is far more interesting than your garden-variety startup-bro? Well, here you go.
Can you be topical, introspective, empathetic and uproariously funny? Can you be ideological, practical and artistic? Can you create an entire summer reading series that roasts really bad books that white dudes of a certain age absolutely love? Miles ahead of you, y’all. Really. One of the most consistently entertaining and educational cultural critics on Medium is here to lay into the absurdities and injustices of 2018 American life with gusto.
In a just world, more than 97 women follow this woman. Her dispatches from deep in the heart of true feminism sparkle. Her scathing critiques of white progressivism poke all the right bears in all the right places. Her poetic license and GIF game are both on point. And then there’s this scathing evisceration, which is just about perfect.
When I grow up, I want to be as good at anything as Shani Silver is at spinning Tinder disasters into art. For women out there frustrated with dating the various sub-classes of the 2018 North American Heterosexual Male (and I imagine that’s more than a few of you), this follow will help soothe your existential ache with laughter, insight and candid honesty.
Want to supercharge your workouts, have more energy, and stave off illness? Cool. The doctor will see you now. Dr Estima’s lengthy how-tos encapsulating neurology, psychology and nutrition are solid gold. This is smart, approachable stuff that’s well-researched — distilled without being watered down. Start with the ultimate guide to sleep, then branch out for more spicy self-care nuggets.
Love. Heartache. Marriage. Divorce. Spirituality. Empathy. More love. This is the story of Taylor Garland, and she tells it pretty well! It’s the kind of self-help that sounds like it’s being written by your best friend, and she’s reading it to you to comfort you at a backyard BBQ after you’ve had four glasses of wine and hey why am I crying
The second of three MEL Magazine scribes to grace this list, (go ahead and follow that pub right about meow), Ms Finster wrote the dopest fucking piece ever on how to take pictures of your girlfriend she won’t hate. I have that saved to my reading list, 1. because it’s awesome and 2. because it’s useful. And that’s really all you can ask for out of writing. That and dissertations on why we should lean into our kink and totally fuck multiple people at the same time. (Also, this “forced orgasm” piece will do things to you.)
Speaking of kink. God. Damn. To steal a headline trope from a writer halfway up the page: Tracy Moore writing about sex is my kink. Her explainers on desire, dysfunction, fetish, and just about anything that relates to fucking and how the patriarchy is ruining it all are pure gold, and some of the strongest writing on this site — about anything. Naturally, that means I’m going to link to a crystal-clear and beautifully-paced explainer on CBD (the other medical marijuana ingredient), and how it’s pretty much perfect.