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I write for a few websites online, the biggest ones being Wattpad and Vocal — and I do it for totally free. Writing is my favorite thing to do. If my eyes are open, I am writing. There is no doubt about that. Over my four years of writing with Wattpad, I've learned a lot about the culture and the way it works. Here are the five things I learned about online writing.
#1 Instant Feedback (Which Means Instant Criticism!)
Just like with everything else on the interwebs, as soon as you post something, someone always has to tell you how they feel about it — and that's what I live for! Any online content creator lives for the instant feedback of fans — emphasis on fans. Of course, you will almost always get some negative comments on your writing. That's just the internet. You live and you learn. However, I have been fortunate enough to get amazing, supportive comments on all things I write, which is an amazing feat and I'm so blessed to have a supportive, positive following.
#2 Instant/ Close Interaction with Fans
Another great thing about online writing is the instant interaction with fans. When someone makes a comment on my book, I can instantly thank them for the support and/or feedback! Fans also have a way to get interact with me as well. They can send a message to my inbox on Wattpad and I will be able to have a whole conversation with them. I've had quite a few people read my stories, and ask me for advice on how I wrote them so well, and what they could do to improve. I really feel like I have won as a writer when I get these comments. This also gives fans a better chance to interact with each other as well. I find I enjoy reading on Wattpad myself because I can comment on a book, letting the reader know I like it or talk with other readers about their favorite parts of the books. I know when I start reading an actual paper-back book, I miss the interaction that comes with an online one. And I'm sure my readers feel the same.
#3 The Different Environment/ Language
Online writing has a different environment to it, and a different language. I like the freedom to it. When you publish a book with a company, they can edit it and change things and make sure all your words are proper, or just downright turn it down if they feel. But with online writing, I am writing with completely my own words, what I want to say, and how I want to say it. No one can tell me that they don't like my stuff. I can simply post what I feel. Now that doesn't mean I don't like the thought of actually publishing a book, however. I still want to one day become a published author and publishing houses have every right to turn down works they don't like, or edit things they feel need work. That is what makes our writing better in the end, right? However, for right now, I just enjoy the freedom of writing what I like, and when I like writing it.
#4 Upload Schedule
Which brings me to my next point of an upload schedule. When you write online, you can not only write what you want, you can also do it when you want. And this is good for a lot of reasons. You aren't bogged down with a writing schedule, so you don't have deadlines to meet or anything like that. You simply have the freedom to write when you want to write — which is nice, but alternatively, that could also be a bad thing. If you don't post your chapters very often, you could lose a following of people. Your readers want regular updates that you stick to so they can finish your story. No one likes a cliffhanger, right? So while writing on your own time is great if you have to juggle school, work, or family and friends, it can also be your downfall if you get out of the habit of it and leave your readers wanting more. It's all about balance, right?
#5 Why I Do This for Free
Some people might wonder why I do this for free. What could be the point? Isn't it just a big waste of time? And to that I would say... not exactly no. I don't think of my online writing as a waste of time. First of all, I started online writing way back in April of 2014. That's when I posted my first chapter. So, it was a long time ago. I in no way thought that anything would ever come of my writing. All I knew was that I liked it. I had been writing stories in notebooks for years. It was something that I just always enjoyed. I got on Wattpad to read books. I never thought I would actually post them. But something just came over me one day and I got a great idea for a story. So, I posted it. Guess it was the right place, right time kinda thing, because my story got really popular pretty quickly. Even a few years after I finished it, I still can get tons of reads in a day. But when I first started writing it, my plan wasn't to make money off of it. My plan wasn't even to get noticed for it. My only thought was that it was fun, and I was going to keep writing anyway so why not allow other people to see it? Why not do something with all the hard work I was putting into it? It seemed like a good idea at the time, and let me tell you — it was. I love online writing and even though I would like to one day become a published author (I'm actually working on an E-Book for the book I am talking about) my hope is to never stop online writing. I feel loyal to my fans and my account on Wattpad and I would like to always post on there. That is where I got my start and that is where I would love to continue to grow on.
#6 Need More Advice?
If you enjoyed my advice about writing, check out some of my other posts about Wattpad and writing (along with more to come!). Being on Wattpad for four years and writing for longer than I can remember, I find it enjoyable to give out my advice/ tricks I use while I write.
Also, if you'd like to check out my very own Wattpad works, feel free to check out this link: https://www.wattpad.com/user/SarahStyles2194 Thanks in advance if you do!