Panning for Gold

Trying to write the once-in-a-million article

Aaron Schnoor
3 min readJan 10, 2022


Photo by MUILLU on Unsplash

I’ve been writing on Medium for a little over two and a half years now. It’s been an off and on, inconsistent and irregular journey. I’ll go through periods where writing on Medium feels like a joy — something I want to do — and then there are periods where it feels like a thankless task, something I would rather not do again.

I doubt I’m alone in feeling this way. Although Medium is a great outlet to express creativity, engage with readers, and publish at one’s own pace, writing on the platform can feel like panning for gold.

You know what I’m talking about. I’ve written articles that have flopped, articles that have succeeded, and articles that fall on the scale between. And no matter how hard I try, I can never predict how successful an article might become.

Sometimes weeks will pass by where I’m dipping my pan in the water, over and over and over again, sifting through the silt and dirt, and I come up empty. My pan yields no gold — no successes fall into my lap.

And yet, just when I think I should give up, I find a dusting of gold in my pan. The hard work and repetitive, labored process has paid off.

Even when the gold is in the pan, you never know if it’s the real thing. It could be fool’s gold — or just the glint of light hitting a plain old rock in a peculiar way, deceiving your eyes — and it could be nothing at all. Or, perhaps, it really is the real thing. You’ve panned for gold and found it.

As we look toward 2022, and as I prepare for enough year of writing on this platform, I’m reminding myself of a few key points.

First, finding success on Medium — or any platform, for that matter — will never be easy. If it was easy, then I imagine writers would be flocking to the site.

Second, persistence is something to be earned. One does not adopt persistence immediately; it is a characteristic that must be honed and developed.

Third, perhaps each article that doesn’t gain success shouldn’t be viewed as a failure. Maybe those articles are just building blocks toward something else — a small ingredient in a larger recipe of success.



Aaron Schnoor

Wealth Management Professional, Occasional Writer