How I Escaped From Curation Jail

If such a thing actually exists

Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.
8 min readFeb 14, 2021
legs and feet in chains
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

“Curation jail is not a real thing,” state the Medium “experts” who have been on the platform for years, who have tens of thousands of followers, who sell courses on writing.

Maybe they’re correct. Maybe they’re not. But this is my experience. I published my first article on August 28, 2020, and since then I have published approximately 100 more.

Between August 28, 2020 and the end of January 2021, the only time my articles got “selected for further distribution” — known as “getting curated” prior to October 2020 — was when they got published by publications like The Ascent, The Startup, Curious, and Age of Awareness which have in-publication power to select for distribution.

On the other hand, 5 of the 8 articles I published this month (as of February 14, 2021) that were eligible for further distribution (meaning, they weren’t about Medium or shortform posts) were selected for distribution. None of them were in publications at the time they were selected (one has been picked up by Curious since).

I did make some changes, some tweaks to the way I created articles, around February 1. On February 9 I got “discovered” and two of my articles were distributed, then two more February 11 and one more February 12. Did I somehow get a free…

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Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.

I write about writing, ideas, creativity, homelessness, intuition, spirituality, life lessons. Ex-college teacher Twitter: @paulryburn