Using Wattpad is a way for me to test the waters, so to speak, to see if I can move from being a freelance writer to an author. And although I haven’t been the most active on the platform, I still think it can help me obtain my goals.
After all, I come from a family of published authors, and I would love to see my name on a spine of a book sitting next to my mom’s and sister’s books on the shelf.
Why Use Wattpad?
Initially, I began using Wattpad as a way to see if I am creative enough to build an audience. Well, I know I’m creative enough, but can I write to the point to really engage a reader in a creative setting?
And since I don’t have a lot of money to invest in publishing my own books, hiring an editor, or any of the other things you need to pay for, Wattpad is a good platform for a variety of reasons.
Fine-Tuning My Skills
First of all, I want to make sure I have good skills when it comes to creative work. It’s much different to write a tutorial for GreenGeeks than it is to create a fictional piece of work.
One of the things I like most about Wattpad is how readers can leave comments on specific sections of a “book.” And since most are respectful people on the system, these comments are more geared towards constructive criticism.
In fact, I have yet to come across a troll who hated the piece without giving some kind of insight as to why.
I guess I am too much of a perfectionist at heart. You see, as a freelance writer, every piece of content I create has to be perfect for every client. And sometimes, this leads me to throw something away because I might not think it’s good enough.
Instead, I need to let the audience decide. It’s a different way of thinking as I am trying to engage an audience who appreciates the work I create as opposed to the information I provide.
Finding My Own Unique Style
Part of fine-tuning my skills includes a unique style of writing. Unfortunately, I have a lot of influential styles that I tend to emulate.
For instance, I am a huge fan of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. And sometimes, I catch myself writing as they do. It’s the same with my mom, who also writes along the same lines as some popular horror authors.
One of my biggest fears is being labeled as a “copycat” author. It’s part of my Impostor Syndrome that I face each and every day. And when you don’t have faith in your ability as an author, you’re going to fail.
Instead, I should focus on just writing those stories and novels and not worry too much about whether or not I think something is terrible. I know I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But what about those who genuinely like my writing style?
I guess I won’t know until I actually put in the effort to separate the freelancer from the author.
Building an Audience
Another reason why I like using Wattpad is to attract an audience before I put in the effort to publish something on Amazon or find a publishing house. I guess that’s the marketing expert in me as I put in the effort to boost awareness of my client’s brands.
The more of an audience I accumulate, the greater the chances of selling books at a later date. It’s all about creating a name for yourself. In today’s world, it’s hard to generate interest in something no one knows about because you’re buried among the competition.
Plus, Wattpad gives me a great opportunity to really interact with my readers. Social engagement powers the Internet, and giving people access to me directly strengthens those bonds of fandom.
I just need to spend more time interacting with others on the platform. Well, that and actually pushing out creative pieces instead of binge-watching stuff on Netflix and YouTube.
Finding What Niche Works Best for Me
I am a jack of all trades. I love writing about everything from science fiction to horror. In fact, I’ve also been known to crack out a romantic short story every once in a while.
In reality, I don’t like to just focus on one specific genre. Part of that has to do with my own mental abilities. I’m the same way as a professional. My interests stretch all over the place, which is why I have writing, gaming and fitness blogs.
To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll ever narrow down my writing to one specific niche or genre. I know it’s probably not the most marketable in the grand scheme of things, but I like to jump around and write something that piques my interest from day to day.
However, I do like the idea of seeing what style of work generates the most interest from readers. I’m all about quantifiable data, and I’m sure I’ll create a spreadsheet for Wattpad once I get more of my work published on the site.
Something Online I Can Point To
Lastly, I often use Wattpad as something I can point to in online applications. For example, I mention the Wattpad account on LinkedIn and in my resume. This is because I want potential clients to see the body of work I complete online.
I want to be more than just a freelance ghostwriter, and my library on Wattpad lets others know how much further I can go with content.
Plus, it’s pretty cool that I can embed my stories in any given outlet to show it off like a book on a shelf. For instance, here is my current piece of work that I’ve been writing since 2016…
And yes, you read that right. I’ve been putting VII together since 2016. To be honest, I’m not sure why I haven’t finished it yet. A lot of factors contribute such as:
- Forgetting that I want to write it.
- Getting too busy to put in the effort.
- Too lazy to work on the story.
- Not enough readers to justify finishing.
- I just don’t feel as though I am good enough to attract an audience on most days.
And in reality, all of these are “excuses.” As you can see, most of these are all mental blocks. And I really won’t know how much of a success I can become if I never put in the effort.
However, recent events have lit a fire under me and have revitalized my passion for writing. I hope I can get VII done soon, but the next chapter outline involves a train, of which I recently lost my son. So, I don’t know if I can finish it just yet.
A friend of mine told me I should work on something else for the time being and come back to VII later.
When Will I Get Back to Wattpad Writing?
One of the biggest reasons why I haven’t put up much on Wattpad is that I keep forgetting throughout my day that I want to be creative. I often get quite busy and keep putting my imagination on the back burner.
Right now, I am developing an outline for my next piece of work. Using online tools like Asana helps me structure my day, and I’ve set aside time specifically to work on my Wattpad novels.
Now, I just need to follow the plan and put in the effort to get done everything I want to work on. Which for me, is easier said than done.
My future Plans with Wattpad
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons I like the idea of Wattpad is that it lets me create fan fiction without worrying about legal repercussions. I have a lot of interests, and some of my future plans involve fantasy worlds such as those with Dungeons & Dragons as well as Fallout.
In fact, I have ideas for doing cross-overs just to see how the audience accepts the material.
For me, what-if scenarios are quite fun. And it lets the imagination run wild.
Eventually, I’ll get to a point where I’ll feel comfortable publishing a real book. But until then, I will put more effort into Wattpad and having fun.
Because in the end, that’s what really matters…do you have fun as an author?