As with most things, when I find something new, I tend to go all in (until mildly obsessed). Over time, my enthusiasm inevitably fizzles out. I pat myself on the back when I say my interest in writing hasn’t fizzled out whatsoever – big deal for me. That said, I’ve found my newest all-in venture – Wattpad!
Wattpad is a community for readers and writers to publish new user-generated stories in different genres for free. I’d heard about it several years ago but only recently did I take a look at it again. In a span of a few short days, I dove in headfirst and began “publishing” Discovering Our Story.
The platform is unique in that writers post their stories one chapter at a time. Readers (and other writers) find your story (if you’re lucky – there are thousands in each subgenre) and vote and comment on your story. This combination of comments, vote, and views will promote your story in such a way that more readers will find it. For some Wattpaders, their stories can reach into the millions of views and become a relative star!
What is especially exciting is that many Wattpaders have actually been able to launch their careers finding agents/publishing deals etc. through this interactive site. Wattpad describes itself as a global site of more than 65 millions users. That’s a whole lot of eyes on your story. The audience is predominantly young and female – similar to the Romance genre readers – albeit maybe a little younger.
Nonetheless, the prospect of sharing my story with interested readers is very appealing. I specifically chose Discovering Our Story because it is the most polished and it feels as though it has run its course. I’ve tried the agents and digital imprint paths with no success. Yet I still yearn for others to read it and love it like I do.
Since my primary motivation has always been to share my story (and get published), with this platform at least I can share it widely. I’m a realist and don’t expect to become an instant success with my story going viral, attracting publishers near and far. But I love that others can have the chance to read my story and give me feedback – both positive and constructive.
I’m not going to lie, it’s a fair bit of work. Because there are so many stories with plenty of not so good stories mixed in, a writer has some work to do. There is a social aspect of the website that can help your story get noticed by commenting on other stories, joining groups, and gaining followers. It seems like you need to put in your time to get your story noticed. But it’s fun and provides a positive distraction at a time when my motivation was waning a bit.
So if you’re on Wattpad – please take a look at my story. If you’ve never heard of it – I’d say it’s worth checking it out.