In what is still very much experimental participation, I published my first story on medium last night. The concept is novel and combines the all the mechanics of how we share and consume into a solid publishing machine for the "digital age." Algorithms of taste abound. At best (or worst), if this model catches on it will, in pure "siren server" fashion, end the need for the entire prestige-based community that currently revolves around contemporary writing, editing, and publishing. In their ideal scenario, I would never again have to endure the arduous (well, not so arduous at all) process of pitching an essay, getting approval, and then taking several rounds of edits before publishing. Their "collections" feature also essentially lets you appoint yourself editor of a magazine. It's the free market at work in the guarded realm of publishing. I made my first post a critique of the practice of estimating the read times for online articles. As you can imagine, this is something that is sort of symptomatic of the very raison d'etre of such sites, so I try to bring some context to this transformation.

It is a 4 minute read.

 

Posted
AuthorMike Pepi

 

This requires full quote. Here is critic Daniel Mendelsohn on deadlines:

Q: Judging from previous interviews, you are a great perfectionist as a writer. What role does time play in your criticism? When do you feel you’re ready to write a piece?

A: I am a great believer in deadlines. I come from a scholarly background, having done a graduate degree in Classics before I ever dreamed of being a writer; and in that world, the rule is that you can’t write anything until you’ve read everything. So for a person like me, with that training but making a living as a writer for the past 20-something years, it’s useful to impose limits, as I could spend years researching a piece. Obviously you want some things to be timely—there are certain things that are momentous in the culture that you want to be discussed at the right time. For instance, I published a big piece about Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones in the New York Review of Books when it came out in 2009, and I remember trying to get it moved to a slightly later issue, mostly because I was so caught up in figuring it out, doing more research on the mid 20th-century French thinkers who inspired Littell, and Bob Silvers was emphatic that he wanted it to coincide with the publication, so I spent a rather madcap weekend working it up…which, in the end, was the right thing, as Bob knew well. Sometimes it’s good to have a push to get it done.

 

Posted
AuthorMike Pepi