Self-Publishing is Not the Disaster I Thought It Would Be for Having Articles Boosted

Is taking a back seat to editors’ opinions always the best way forward?

Steffany Ritchie
4 min readJul 13


Photo by Charles Roth:

A funny thing happened today. I received a boost on a self-published article. That makes two (self-published) boosts now. I genuinely thought my first self-published boost was a fluke, unlikely to be repeated anytime soon.

A self-published boost goes against a lot of the advice and buzz around Medium on how best to get boosted. Many publications with boost powers have published articles about what their criteria are for submitting articles for a boost, which is obviously very helpful.

It is probably still much easier to get boosted this way I would imagine, and I have been lucky to have a couple of boosted pieces in publications, for which I am grateful.

However with this latest thing that I wrote, I hesitated to submit it to the publication I would normally. It was written from a raw, primal place as opposed to an intellectual one. I knew I didn’t have it in me to take any suggestions to edit it (I edit everything I write, but sometimes editors want further edits, usually for justified reasons). It was too personal, I just wanted it out. I didn’t think anyone else would think it special enough to flag for the coveted boost.

And it’s not that I had any true expectations for it, but something in me knew it would be better off if I self-published it.

It is natural that editors will have their own preference for which pieces of writing they think best represent their publication. But that doesn't necessarily mean their opinions are always completely fair or unbiased. It’s a big responsibility they have taken on and I don’t envy them the decision making process at all.

The power of the boost is in my opinion fallible and could in theory lead to favoritism or self-interest at some point within publications. I think it could end up with editors filtering out the less perfect, less clearly boost worthy writing. I think it’s important we keep that in mind as writers when deciding how best to publish our work.

In fairness, I don’t know the full ins and outs of boosts as a non-editor, and it is…



Steffany Ritchie

Hi, I write memoir, essays, music, and pop culture. American in Scotland.