Exploring the Journey from Tech to Top Writer on Medium - Neeramitra Reddy | Glasp Talk #4

Exploring the Journey from Tech to Top Writer on Medium - Neeramitra Reddy | Glasp Talk #4

This is the fourth session of Glasp Talk!

Glasp Talk delves deep into intimate interviews with luminaries from various fields, unraveling their genuine emotions, experiences, and the stories that lie behind them.

Today's guest is Neeramitra Reddy, one of the top writers on Medium sharing advice on self-improvement. His works are published not only on Medium but also Economic Times, TheGoodMenProject, YourTango, AnalyticsVidhya, and other premium blogs/publications.

In this interview, Neeramitra opens up about his remarkable journey from a career in tech to becoming a celebrated writer on Medium. He shares insights into his writing process, the challenges he faced, and the motivations that drive his work. He discusses the importance of documenting personal growth, how he balances truth and audience engagement in his writing, and his views on the evolving role of writers in the age of AI. Join us as we explore Neeramitra's inspiring story and gain valuable advice on self-improvement, writing, and staying true to one's values!


Kazuki: Hi, welcome to Glasp Talk. Today we have Neeramitra Reddy, a professional writer and influencer on Medium, Twitter, and so on. Thank you for joining us, Neeramitra.

Neeramitra Reddy: Thank you so much. It's my pleasure to be here and be talking to you guys and the audience. Thank you so much.

Kazuki: We know who you are, but I think some of our audience doesn't know you yet. If you don't mind, could you introduce yourself, what you do, and what you write about and what you care about to our audience?

Neeramitra Reddy: Absolutely, I would love to do that. Hi everyone, I'm Neeramitra Reddy. I'm the world-time top writer on Medium. I started writing on Medium as a hobby, and it quickly turned into a way for me to document whatever I'm doing in life. It also became a way to, you know, fuel everything else I was doing. It was like a nice loop where the writing was feeding into my life and my life was feeding into my writing. I ended up being ranked number one in fitness, number one in productivity, number one in self-improvement, and a couple of other categories for a few months in a row. I'm also an editor on Medium and a Boost nominator as well, so I'm quite involved inside the Medium ecosystem. I think what I do is I live life, try to live my life better, and document it all through my writing on Medium. That's what I do.

Kei: That's impressive. You have more than 35,000 followers on Medium. That's really impressive. I know your story, you had some difficult times in your life before you started writing on Medium. Could you briefly tell us why you started writing, what happened, and what you studied in college?

Neeramitra Reddy: Thank you. Writing was one of those things I used to love when I was a kid. Books were something I grew up with; my mother used to read to me in preschool. It turned into a hobby that I picked up, reading children's magazines and kids' books. Writing for me was an outlet in the beginning to share. When I started getting into the self-improvement space, I lost weight. I was a bit overweight earlier; I lost around 50 pounds in 6 months, and that triggered the spark that led to the entire self-improvement side of things. Fitness, socialization, speaking well, all those sorts of things. I began writing online as a way to spread my message, spread my transformation, and inspire people. It was very low in the beginning; I had no idea what it would turn into. Then I found Medium. I used to write on Quora earlier. On Quora, I hit a couple of milestones with just 100 answers. I think I'm sitting at 7 million views. Most of my answers went viral again and again. Then I switched over to Medium after a while. I had grown in life, matured in life, my insights had matured, and my writing style had become more nuanced and deeper and more structured. I fell in love with Medium. I loved the game initially of growing, finding my voice, and reaching out to writers. Soon over time, it came to a point where I had to choose between my 9-to-5 job and writing as a whole. It was a hard dive for me after a year of doing both parallelly. I chose to quit my job. I studied software engineering, computer science in college at one of the top universities in the country. I loved my job, but then I loved writing more, so I had to choose between two things that were pretty evenly stacked in terms of the payoffs. Since then, I've had the chance to go deeper into the spirituality side of things, meditation, inner work, and self-understanding. Right now, the way I view life itself is holistic. I don't see any difference between work and life. What I do feeds my work, and my work is a reflection of what I'm doing in life. I'm still trying to figure out that equation, how the inner sits with the outer, how work sits with life, how spirituality sits with practicality. That's the life story so far.

Kei: Interesting. Thank you for sharing. You're sharing your experience and learning online at first, and then you turned into a Medium writer. When did you start writing on Medium?

Neeramitra Reddy: I started writing on Medium in September of 2020, so that's around three and a half years ago. In the beginning, it took me a lot of time to get started and take off. I would say I didn't take off; I was a struggling writer until 7 months in. It's been quite sometime now.

Kei: That's amazing. You've only spent like 3.5 years since you started on Medium, but you already have almost 40,000 followers. That's incredible. How did you manage that growth in just one year?

Neeramitra Reddy: It's interesting because much of the growth happened in the last year. I remember sitting on 25,000 followers in September last year. In the span of seven months, I've gained another 14,000. I tend to think that the online writing game is rigged in a way where compounding is where the magic really happens. I remember gaining 100, 200, 300, and 400 followers for a long time, and then boom, in one month I gained 6,000. Right now, I've taken a step back from writing and am figuring some things out internally. Had I continued on that trajectory, I would say maybe even 100K by the end of 2024. It's a very exponential game in the beginning, but once you figure out the ropes, know people within the ecosystem, other writers, and other editors, and get a feel for the platform, the growth becomes easier.

Kazuki: That's interesting. So you understand what Medium wants to do and align with what they want to publish. Have you thought about using other writing platforms like Substack and other newsletter platforms?

Neeramitra Reddy: When I started, I didn't even know you could get paid on Medium. I was a reader on Medium for quite some time and loved the aesthetic reading experience. I just wrote for the sake of writing in the beginning. Then I figured out that there's something called the Partner Program where you could earn for your writing. That was mind-blowing. In the beginning, it was purely a Medium game for me. I didn't look outside for other platforms. I thought I needed to become a big writer on Medium first. I did try branching out to Twitter for a while but didn't enjoy splitting my focus between multiple platforms. I believe Substack is best for those with an overarching single perspective. I'm too young and unformed to have a singular philosophy of life. I'm a multi-disciplinary person with interests across various fields. Medium allows me to write anything I want on any topic, at any length, and at any frequency, without restrictions, which is why I haven't looked elsewhere.

Kazuki: Interesting. You focus on various topics on Medium. How do you find ideas to write about, and where do you keep those ideas and quotes?

Neeramitra Reddy: I'm probably the worst person to ask this because I don't research or brainstorm much. I have way too many ideas to write about. I just jot down every idea that comes up, usually in the form of article titles. Inspiration is everywhere. I maintain a rough list in my drafts, notes, and even WhatsApp. If an article involves a personal narrative without much research, I just sit and write it out. For articles that require research, I do it in parallel. I research, see what studies or quotes I can reference, and form a narrative around them. I spend a lot of time editing, polishing the article, and making sure it flows well.

Kei: How long does it take you to write and edit an article?

Neeramitra Reddy: It really depends. My highest-earning article took me around 30 hours to write, edit, and publish. That's an outlier. Most articles take between 2 to 50 hours, depending on the length and amount of research required.

Kazuki: When do you know an article is ready to publish?

Neeramitra Reddy: I look for coherence. When everything flows seamlessly, and the article is helpful, useful, and well-intentioned, I know it's ready. If I'm writing for Boost curation on Medium, I pay extra attention to details, making sure there are no strong claims or absolutist statements. I check for research citations and make sure the article is polished. When I'm satisfied with the headline and image, and the article feels right, I ship it out.

Kazuki: Do you use AI tools like ChatGPT for writing or editing?

Neeramitra Reddy: Yes, I use ChatGPT in a weird way. I even write about ChatGPT. I use it as a professional go-to assistant for fixing sentences, finding quotes, and checking grammar. I never use it to outline or write headlines. It's excellent for editing and giving me ideas, but I always ensure to verify the quotes it suggests. ChatGPT helps me edit faster and refine my writing.

Kazuki: Do you think AI will replace human writers? What advice do you have for aspiring writers in this AI-driven future?

Neeramitra Reddy: AI won't replace writers who have a unique voice and write from their true selves. My advice for new writers is to treat writing as an extension of yourself, as an expression of yourself. Don't chase trends; focus on good thinking, articulation, and reading a lot. Writing is not just about putting words on paper; it's about the inner struggle and tension to create something meaningful. Keep at it and stay true to yourself.

Kazuki: Thank you for sharing your insights. What are your goals as a writer in the next 5 to 10 years?

Neeramitra Reddy: My desire for money has pretty much died. I don't have monetary goals anymore. I live a minimal lifestyle and just want to sustain my income and life. Writing for me is a process of self-purification and clarification. I use it to reveal more of myself to the world and to myself. In 5 to 10 years, I don't even know if I'll continue writing. I'm more open to life now. I may write books like Ryan Holiday or go into coaching. Or I could just quit the internet and work for the government or become a monk. My goal is to get closer to my true self, no matter the path.

Kazuki: Do you have any role models or people you look up to?

Neeramitra Reddy: I admire creators like Joseph Tang (Masculine Theory), Calum, Shaan Puri, Michael Thompson, and Hamza Ahmed. They are original thinkers who do their own thing without bending to outside pressures. They inspire me with their integrity and unique voices.

Kazuki: What is the difference between great silent writers and those with huge followings but less inspirational content?

Neeramitra Reddy: Great silent writers write what people need to hear or what they want to say truthfully. Those with huge followings have mastered the art of writing what people want to hear. It's rare to nail both. The silent writers focus on integrity and original thinking, while the popular ones focus on capturing attention.

Kazuki: How do you balance writing for yourself and writing for the audience?

Neeramitra Reddy: It's about consciousness. When I'm in a secure state of mind, my writing naturally balances between what I want to say and what people need to hear. Writing in flow helps achieve that balance. It's a constant inner struggle, but I aim to create something meaningful and impactful.

Kazuki: Do you have any final advice or a motto for our audience?

Neeramitra Reddy: Truth is essential. Being true to yourself and the world is crucial. A quote I live by is, "When you lose your money, you lose nothing. When you lose your health, you lose something. And when you lose your character, you lose everything." Focus on being true to yourself and others, and you'll find your path.

Kazuki: Thank you so much for sharing your insights and experiences. We really appreciate it, and I'm sure our audience will love it too.

Neeramitra Reddy: Thank you. I enjoyed the interview and the questions. I wish you all the best with Glasp Talk and everything else.

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