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Let No One Dictate You What To Publish and What Not (with Example)

  • 6 min read

You need to know the “disqualifying story types” on Medium and define them for yourself.

In my opinion, Medium is a fun place.

A place where you can share your thoughts and messy stories fearlessly.

I guess the beauty of Medium lies in the diversity of its people.

However, especially new writers struggle to put pen to paper and write stories that really come from their hearts.

Or, what’s even worse, they get a rejection letter saying:

Hey X,

Thank you very much for submitting your story. We’re going to pass on this. But we really appreciate …. and we hope you will keep sending us more…

… or their submission will get ignored.

As a novice writer, that’s probably not the kind of response you want to receive.

Here’s a tip from a more senior writer on Medium:

As long as you’re playing by the rules, no one can dictate what you should or should not write about here.

If someone rejects your story or the topic you want to write about,…

  • self-publish it
  • submit it to another publication

Don’t let anyone dictate to you what to publish or not.

As Tony Stubblebine said in an interview, Medium is an open platform.

Everyone can share his thoughts and ideas here.

Medium will help him or her to get seen and read.

Most of the time, those stories that get rejected are the ones that NEED to be told and got shared, clapped, and commented on a lot.

Am I allowed to write about erotica?

Recently, I heard again that some (new) writers think that sex is a taboo topic.

They think Medium could ban them for writing about erotica.

That’s why they don’t bring their ideas to writing.

Dancing the line

Let’s take erotica as an example for topics you might get a rejection for when you submit them to publications, and let’s look at the facts:

  • No, according to Medium’s Rules, erotica is not forbidden. You can’t get banned for writing about it. They even state: “We do allow erotic writing and non-graphic erotic images.”
  • Yes, according to Medium’s Curation Guidelines, erotica belongs to the so-called “disqualifying story types,” which means they won’t get promoted by Medium and further distributed.

Here’s the list of disqualifying story types:

screenshot of disqualifying story types on Medium

Nevertheless, in my opinion, when it comes to curation, it depends on how you define erotica.

According to Collins Dictionary, erotica means:

(…)works of art that show or describe sexual activity, and which are intended to arouse sexual feelings.

There’s a broad bandwidth of topics to cover.

Here are some examples of the estranged sex life of parents and vaginas dictating chores:

Guess what?!

Both were curated and chosen for further distribution:

Do you know why?

In fact, my story about the estranged sex life of parents is more about #Relationships and the one about vaginas at home #Culture and #Society.

Tony Stubblebine commented on a story written by a sex writer

Additionally, Nataly Urbaez recently shared a meta-story about Medium.

Tony Stubblebine commented.

You say, that’s not surprising because Tony is listening anywhere?

Well, this is Nataly’s bio:

screenshot bio Nataly Urbaez

She is a “sex writer.”

If Tony would not be okay with that, he would not have taken the time to comment.

He would have been reluctant to comment.

However, he took the time to build trust and a relationship with Nataly as one of the thousands of creators and readers on Medium.

I guess the beauty of Medium lies in the diversity of its people — its creators and readers.

Why did I pick this topic?

I took erotica as an example to show you that no one should dictate to you what to write about and what not.

Well, in the last few weeks, I’ve submitted several stories about “erotica,” and they got rejected in the first place.

  • One story is about a maths teacher who shares his online tutorial videos on PornHub — to catch the fish (potential students) where they are. In my opinion, it’s about #marketing.
  • Another one is about a new TikTok trend called “vabbing” where you use your natural body fluids as perfume. In my opinion, it’s about #culture and #trends.
  • One more is about that 60% of employees are watching porn at work. In my opinion, it’s about #culture, #society, and #work.

What’s wrong with sharing and discussing this news and trends?

Well, tell me!

I guess a lot of editors are afraid because of the disaster that has happened to Coffee Times by Winston.

He got suspended and banned from Medium for breaking Medium’s Rules by sharing a hateful story in his publication.

As long as you’re not breaking Medium’s Rules, you’re all fine.

I know from several sex writers that they constantly get curated.

So you also don’t need to worry about that.

Final Takeaways

My story about marketing on PornHub and about watching porn at work was rejected and then published in another publication.

The one about “vabbing” is still in progress to be published.

Let’s conclude with a quote by writer and photographer Ansel Adams:

No man has the right to dictate what other man should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions, and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.

What are your experiences with rejections?

© Kristina God

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