Welcome to the “I Wasn’t Originally Invited Into Medium’s Partner Program” Club. That’s not bragging, that’s comiserating.
I think this Partner Program might be your golden ticket, if not your own chocolate factory. Fiction is hard stuff and you do it with ease, style, and substance. I say jump all the way into the program with both hands on the keyboard. You’re a WILDLY talented writer — soon to be author *hint, hint* — with killer skills.
We’re overrun with nonfiction, think pieces, political commentaries, et al — NOW IS YOUR TIME. People need, value, and invest in entertainment. You an audience ready and willing to support your offerings. If I can get paid for writing a couple hundred word piece about one letter of the alphabet and have the clap meter rank it one of my most popular piece (much to my chagrin), I might add, (which I didn’t know was off limits at the time I put it behind the wall), you can certainly get paid for writing substantial works of fiction. And I’d put EVERYTHING behind the pay wall. If you feel guilty about it, put it behind the pay wall for three weeks, then make it free. The options are endless.
You have a shop. You have merchandise. Waiting customers. And your keyboard is your cash register. All you need to do is hang the “open for business” sign in the window.