I fell asleep with my forehead on the keyboard and my 13,000-word article went viral.

And my Panamanian editor put my story on social media and made me instantly wealthy!

Panamanian Editor . . . Image by aaron-enterprises from Pixabay

Or was all that part of the same dream?

I think maybe I should stop reading those ‘how to write’ articles.

Or maybe cut back on the midnight coffee and cigarettes.

Well, hell. If this clickbaited, dream-infested article doesn’t take off, I may as well quit anyway.

I’m only writing this story because it actually happened in real life. (Not the forehead thing — it was an elbow.)

I mean, my dear fellow writers, haven’t you had the experience of looking at a draft of your own and suddenly had the whole stupid thing disappear? Right when you were about to delete the dumbest part, and did something with the keyboard — but what? And you looked for your now-missing story in . . .

But wait! It just happened again. I guess I fell asleep again. This time, thankfully, I found this story saved in ‘stories.’ Which come to think about it is my real problem.

They just don’t pay me enough for this crap. And that’s because I live in Panama, so Medium doesn’t pay me at all. Which would be fine with me — except that they inconveniently don’t let me pay for my subscription either. The money is handled differently here, and there’s no PayPal or debit card. So that in a few weeks I’ll be dead in the water (again), unable to read my own articles because as a ‘non-member,’ I’m not allowed to read the stories written by others that I key off from. And you writers out there, bless your hearts, can’t even buy me a gift subscription until after Medium has booted me out (again).

Meanwhile, I’m writing stories like this one to take a break from my capstone series on Solar Villages and Farms, which is a draft itself waiting to be sent to other writers for helpful comments. Which, duh, I will have a hard time doing if I’m cut off. I’m strongly tempted to make a publication of the series, which would allow collaborators to write articles on the subject. But first I need to have them take a look at the drafts.

These are the thoughts that drive me to the brink! May even drive me to drink — and not coffee this time. My Panamanian partner says he’ll buy a gallon of rum in two days to share with me. Seems like a good solution to me. I know from experience I can drink and write. You’ll hardly notice the difference.

Okay, I’m gonna try to sleep now. This time I’m gonna move both keyboards to the other side of the room so this nightmare doesn’t repeat. Right?





Living in rural Panamá — non-extractive, non-capitalistic. Expat USA. Scientist, writer, researcher, teacher. STEM mentor +languages. Gargoylplex@protonmail.com

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Medium Doesn’t Owe You Anything

An organic way to improve your writing skills

Making Things | Day 1

The Secret I Share With a National Magazine Editor

10 Things You Should Know About Blogging

The Conundrum of Being a Rebel Writer

Dear Writers — Not Readers

I’m Aric With An A

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Fred Ermlich

Fred Ermlich

Living in rural Panamá — non-extractive, non-capitalistic. Expat USA. Scientist, writer, researcher, teacher. STEM mentor +languages. Gargoylplex@protonmail.com

More from Medium

Exploring Thoughts. Dr. John’s Poetry

Once upon a now here

Why Do Food Banks Still Exist in the Richest Country in the World?

25, April 1974 Liberty Day