Farm Friday Is Now Free!

Andrew Gaertner
3 min readMay 24, 2023

Why not?

Good night to all the money I might be earning every Friday. (My Photo)

It has been exactly one year since I started posting weekly photos and stories from the farm where I live and work. I really appreciate my regular readers, and I think I will try to keep it up.

Farm Friday never turned into the viral sensation I imagined it might be. Who was I kidding? Last week I had precisely one reader (thank you

!). It is time to remove it from the paywall and allow non-members to read as many as they/you want. At this point, why not?

There have been a bunch of writers I know who have quit or pulled back from Medium lately. I feel it, too. It may be time to take stock and decide why I continue to engage with this platform.

I started Farm Friday to build a weekly rhythm to my Medium writing. I knew that whatever happened, I could post a few farm photos, a story, and a writing update. It was meant to be small and quick to read, unlike many of my essays. I also wanted it to be light, because so much of what I write about is heavy.

I think I have met those goals.

I tried to make it into a publication. I had thought that in addition to my own farm updates that maybe there were other farmers out there on Medium who would join me. We could have a weekly dump of photos and stories from the various farms and I would publish it. Well. That never happened.

Yesterday I removed all the stories from the publication and deleted the pub. I also removed the paywall designation from all the Farm Friday stories.

At this point, Medium is as good of a place as any to share my work, but I do wonder if it is an end in itself or a stepping stone to something else.

I also need to think if I am writing for others or writing for myself. In many ways, I write to learn about myself and the world. If I can write a coherent essay about a topic, it means I have thought about it enough to build a narrative. Likewise, my memoir pieces are as much about me exploring who I am as they are about writing a good story.

If I had exactly zero readers, I might still write. However, I do think there is some synergy here with the readers I do have. I think I might be tricking myself into writing to learn about myself and the world. I trick myself because I think I am writing for other people — otherwise, I might not write — but in reality, I am writing for myself. Medium allows me to do that. It allows me to think that I am contributing to some grand global conversation and that my writing matters beyond what I get out of it.

I suppose I do love the global conversation bit, but if I am honest, I think it might just be 30% of why I write on Medium. The other 70% is a place to develop my own understanding of myself and the world. I trick myself into doing the 70% part by thinking the 30% part is bigger than it is.

If you are a writer on Medium, why do you write?

Here is the post with only one view from last week:

And here is the list that contains all the past Farm Friday posts:

Farm Friday

94 stories

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Andrew Gaertner

To live in a world of peace and justice we must imagine it first. For this, we need artists and writers. I write to reach for the edges of what is possible.