The moment you realize you want to be a writer, what comes to mind? At first, there’s probably a sense of relief, knowing you have some sort of long-term goal in mind. Then maybe some inspiration will hit, and you’ll start writing like you breathe. Larger ideas begin to form. You pick up your phone, pencil, pen, journal, and jot ideas down–characters you plan to bring to life, worlds you want to create, plots that will leave your hypothetical readers on the edge of their seats. You begin to write this great story, get a few pages down, two, twelves, fifteen, twenty-three–and then it hits you. And you think “Holy crap. I have to write a whole freaking book.”
Maybe for some this isn’t intimidating, but for writers like me, this idea leaves you staring at what you’ve written so far and thinking “I’ve only written twenty pages; is this even good? Will this ever get published?” Everyone who writes struggles, and it can feel like a lot if you plan to write long works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, etc. But you are not alone, and there are many ways to get your foot in the door and your work out there without having to begin with this big, looming, project.
For all aspiring authors, one option is to use Wattpad. Simply put, Wattpad is a community of writers. This social media platform allows authors to share all different types of works with the world including, but not limited to…
- simply sharing your fanfiction with those who will appreciate it
- creating a larger audience for your already-published books
- (for those struggling writers) just to get your work seen!
Wattpad is available both as a webpage, as well as an app, allowing writers to conveniently update their work wherever they are. Although there is no tutorial, Wattpad is very easy to navigate, making it that much more simple to share your stories.
But just how legit is this website as a tool for serious writers? Some might see this as just a place filled with fanfiction and skeezy romance stories, but there is much more to it than one might think. Certain works such as Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, and other by these authors are added to accounts run by the Wattpad ambassadors themselves. As mentioned before, even already-published authors can choose to put their work on here to build their audience, one being Blake Nelson, author of Girl and Boy, whose work appears on Wattpad through RivetedLit.
Personally, I had begun a piece of fiction which, I must admit, only survived through two published and one unpublished chapters. While I tend to use Wattpad more for reading purposes, and have lessened my usage of it over the years, others have been much more successful. Recently published authors, such as Ali Novak, had their work discovered through Wattpad; in fact, publishers such as Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, etc, have worked with Wattpad and can take notice of work on there, even if it take a few years.
Although this is a lengthy and time-consuming project, if you are determined to put something out there, then this will be highly useful. Many authors who have experienced getting a book deal through this website provide tips on ways to use Wattpad to its fullest in order popularize your writing, such as how to keep your readers interested, and the interaction between you and your audience.
For those who don’t yet have ideas for content that would be put onto reading websites and apps, but still want to get themselves and their writing known, creating a blog is another way to do this. One option would be to use WordPress; however there are many other options available when it comes to finding ways to create websites or blogs. As someone who has difficulty finding the time to work on my own long work of fiction, and would not be able to keep up with it yet on Wattpad, this is an alternative way to show the world the type of writing we can create.
Idea for types of blogs:
- book reviews
- health and fitness
- DIY projects
Really anything that is a passion of yours can be made into a blog, just as long as there is enough to write about so the it will be engaging to those who are searching for your specific topic. As long as you are serious about it, keeping up with a blog is just another option for young writers who need a public outlet for their hand-written (or unwritten) ideas screaming to be heard.