Dipping My Toe into Wattpad

I wanted so much to write a post last week, but between holiday preparations and a crunch time at work, it just didn’t happen. I still have a lot of topics I want to cover on this blog, just haven’t had enough time to put words to them. One of the things I wanted to touch on was my renewed account on Wattpad.

I’ve actually been a Wattpad user since 2012, or so my account page says. I haven’t posted much before now because I tend to balk at the idea of posting my writing on sites¬†outside of my own. In the past, I’ve been able to host sites for writing projects such as Dreigiau and Runne, and saw a good number of readers. Many of them came from sister projects, such as Wayrift, and many were friends and loyal readers who stuck it out through several years.

But, in releasing Flames of Bedlam on a side WordPress blog, I watched the statistics and saw something has changed. A lot of it has to do with how the Net itself has shifted. There was a time when social media and websites didn’t have as much interactivity, allowing everyone to contribute, no matter their knowledge of the Net.

No. I remember a time that if you wanted your writing online, you had to HTML code it yourself. Most of my stories started that way. Because there was a lot less content out there, it was easier to attract readers. Writing fantasy fiction for the web was fairly new, so if you were doing it, people who wanted that kind of writing found you!

Now, there’s so much more competition for a reader’s attention. There’s ebooks and online fiction and blogs and games… it’s hard to get your work out in front of a new audience.

When I posted Flames of Bedlam, a few of the loyal readers from our Sygnus Discord did read it (thank you!). But I realized, no one else was ever going to find it… or… at least, not find it easily.

Though I’ve resisted posting my stuff on “outside sites” for years… I realized that if I don’t take my work to where the readers are, my writing won’t get read. And so I have spent time the past few weeks really working to make new connections with other writers and readers at Wattpad.

Even there, it’s not easy. You’re in competition with many, many other talented writers. It’s not simple for someone “new” to the site to poke their head in and build an audience. Especially when many of the people there are writers who want to get their stories read, rather than reading someone else’s. I have been doing a LOT of reading of other Wattpad writers lately to show support to their work and hopefully get some support in return. It’s tough, but I’m trying.

Anyhow, just some thoughts of how the Net has changed for writers over the past 20 years. There’s a lot of opportunity, but a lot more competition. If you don’t already have a strong reader base established now days, it takes much more effort to build one.

Oh, and if you have a Wattpad account, please feel free to follow me! smile

2 Comments:

  1. Interesting. Not something I’ve thought about before. I suppose the expansion of the Internet has changed even more things than I had thought.

    • The Internet now days, IMHO, is both wonderful and terrible for creators.

      It’s wonderful because you have the tools to make and do almost anything you can imagine. Everyone can, because it’s significantly more easy to share and post creations.

      It’s terrible because when everyone can share everything, you’re lost in a sea of that everything. No one has time to see it all. People now consume quickly and discard without comment or thought of time that went into a work.

      Many creators get discouraged because they feel they’re sending hard work into an uncaring void. It takes an artist who creates for the joy of creating… or someone who is just really lucky enough to have people supporting them… to weather such a thing and not give up.

      It’s particularly hard for newer creators who are trying to introduce original ideas — that’s why a number of new creators fall back on fan works. Because when you create fan art or fan writing, the fan base for that work is already there — it’s much easier to attract other fans. I speak from experience. ;)

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