There’s nothing like a lesson learned the hard way, huh?
It definitely sounds like you were doing the right thing from the beginning by writing from your individual perspective.
The one “how to write for us” I’ve read from a Medium publication (full disclosure: one of my hobbies is extrapolating from a single data point, so take everything I say with a 5lb bag of salt) explicitly says that they want to hear personal stories and perspectives. Even better if you can provide some kind of takeaway or actionable insight.
This is what you were doing naturally, without being told that’s what was wanted.
My guess is that this rejection stung more because of the time and effort and thought you put into writing something “better.” This might sound silly, but it reminds me of going to see a movie I’m excited about. Inevitably, I’m disappointed.
High expectations can undermine what would otherwise have been a perfectly pleasant or simply neutral experience, rendering it an unhappy one. The same experience filtered through the lens of expectations (high or low) ends up being a very different reality, subjectively.
Another way to look at your “pen crash” is to see it as evidence that you’re better than you even realized. Without trying, you wrote great content that people loved! You can’t help it if you’re inherently great at this. And it’s totally understandable that you tried to fix something that wasn’t broken. There was really no way to know without this experiment.
Well, that’s not entirely true. Thanks to the fact that you wrote this article, other people can now avoid making the same mistake. So thanks for that!
P.S. Love your bio. ☺