Anna my thoughts are mainly in line with yours here. Lest I misrepresent, the following is my own take on Tom’s piece, which has some useful insights, like striving for meaningful engagement with rising authors, but overall it smacks of social engineering gimmickry.
Sorry Tom, you seem like an accomplished & thoughtful contributor, but your slogen “DO THE BARE ESSENTIALS” followed by “ That’s it! It’s that simple.” is overly simplistic to the point of being misleading click-bait.
Sure, sometimes an essay or poem just pours out of me in minutes — more often, I labor over it for hours, maybe days, as long as it takes. The process of boiling a piece down to its essentials is precisely what takes time.
There is no 15 or 30 minute recipe to instant success in writing — to claim this is to be a salesman of snake oil.
On a personal note, I am proud of my 800 followers, though it pales in comparison to some, because I grew that camp organically through the techniques Anna describes.