My Best Articles of 2021

A completely subjective, biased, opinionated list

Ryan Frawley


The beach on Harrison Lake, BC, where I spent most of the year. Photo by author.

Another year of writing on Medium

A year in which the platform has seen some major changes, including the demise of major publications (I still miss you, P.S. I Love You!) and the steady shift that all online platforms of this type must inevitably go through. Money on the Internet is blood in the water, and dull-eyed predators can’t afford to ignore it.

I’ve had one foot out of the door since I got here. Yet here I still am. Still reading. Still writing. Still nurturing the connections I’ve made here with people I wouldn’t have met any other way.

I don’t do it for the money. When I first started writing here, my intention was to build a fan base for my fiction. I’ve given up on that too. I’ve come close enough to my dreams that I have a good idea what they would look like, and they’ve lost most of their appeal.

We all like to complain. Looking at the numbers, a good moan seems like a surefire path to literary success around here. But honestly, more than anything else, I’m grateful. Grateful that Medium has encouraged me to write more than I ever have before in my life. That it’s forced me to confront why I do this and why I persist in doing it, even when I know I’m not going to gain anything material from it.

It’s not about money. It’s not about praise and recognition anymore, either. It’s about the pure joy of doing it. Some of my happiest moments this year were spent in the garden with my laptop humming on the table and my heart burning with the joy of creating something. Anything. Whether anyone reads it or not.

So here’s my completely subjective list of the best articles I wrote this year. Some were hits. Most were flops, if you judge a piece of art by the number of eyeballs it reaches.

Luckily, I don’t.

1: Love, Limerence, and the Ecstasy of Unrequited Desire



Ryan Frawley

Novelist. Essayist. Former entomologist. Now a full-time writer exploring travel, art, philosophy, psychology, and science.