Boosted, or Busted?

And the answer is . . .

Janice Macdonald
3 min readMay 10


Happy for a boost, not a bust

A small boost. Yesterday, I wrote about receiving a mystery check from Medium. I’d hoped it was a boost but feared it might be a bust — perhaps a book-keeping mistake and I’d have to return the money.

I learned this morning that it was a boost, just not quite the windfall I’d imagined. With no response from Medium, I contacted Stripe. Although I’d received two Medium e-mails informing me that two different payments — the monthly payout and the possible windfall were on the way to my bank, — only one check, a combination of monthly payout and a smaller boost, was sent.

So not quite a windfall, but I’m not complaining. At least not about the extra money. It would have been nice to get some sort of explanation from Medium though — congratulations, whatever.

Absent that, I wasn’t sure what to think. The time spent figuring it out and eventually going to Stripe for an answer could have been spent writing another boost-worthy story. A moot point though, since I don’t even know what story earned the extra money.

Oh well. I appreciate Medium for many, many things, but communication with writers isn’t high on the list.

Here’s the piece I wrote yesterday before Stripe unravelled the mystery.

So I’ve been trying to be big-hearted and congratulatory when I read about all the boosts everyone is getting for their Medium stories. I’m happy for them, really. They deserve it. Look, I’m smiling.

It’s just that with every new boost report, I grow a little more surly and resentful. Why not me?

Then I stamp my tiny foot and sulk. It’s not fair. Life’s not fair. I hate everything. Every day, I look at my stats hoping to see the red scrawl saying boosted — I’m only describing it as a red scrawl because a boostee sent a picture of a red scrawl in the story announcing a boost. Sadly, no red scrawl or any other indication of boosting for me.

A few days ago, I got the Medium e-mail payment summary for April. Ho hum, slightly better than last month, but far less than, say, this time last year, but I bravely labour on anyway. We all seem to be swimming in the same slowly evaporating stream.



Janice Macdonald

At 68, I started a new chapter in my life: I moved to France. Alone. It turned out to be quite the page-turner. Still is — even when age insists on a part.