How Wattpad Is Changing My Life

WattpadOrangeWattpad is my latest big adventure, and it’s changing my writing life.

I joined Wattpad seven months ago to follow Katie Cross, who at the time had just serialized her novella The Isadora Interviews and was preparing to start Bon Bons to Yoga Pants. I wasn’t sure what I thought about it, back then. Raw, unedited writing? Authors giving away whole novels for free? Anyone can join and post random stuff? Uhh… But I needed an account to read BBtYP — Wattpad is good like that, you can’t read unless you’re registered — so I signed up.

When I read Katie’s blog post about how Wattpad has extended her author brand, I realized that my assumptions about Wattpad were wrong. It’s not all fan fiction and erotica (although those are well represented), and even well-known authors have taken to the platform (all kinds, from Margaret Atwood to R.L. Stine), enough that Wattpad has an orange “verified” checkmark for them. I also had a chance to chat with Jing Jing Tan at Wattpad (honestly, it sounds like the coolest place in the world to work); she was super encouraging, and I learned that it’s truly about connecting readers and writers.

At the core, it’s a social media network, only instead of cat pictures and linkbait, everyone there is sharing and discussing stories. I’m loving the feedback and support and conversation. Where sometimes trying to connect with new people through Facebook and Twitter feels like work, Wattpad is making it fun to reach out again.

But… changing my life? How can that be?

Look, I don’t share my work easily, so I don’t have much to show out there for the length of time I’ve been writing. I find excuses for why I don’t submit stuff, and why I don’t self-publish, but the truth is I’m just scared. Wattpad is making it easier for me.

  1. It’s easier with a buddy or two. E.D.E Bell started three days before I did, which gave me the courage to post my first chapter. T.J. Lockwood said she’d do it if I did it, and we both post on Fridays.
  2. Reads and vote stars are addictive. Yes, it’s true. I now live for reads and those little vote stars (top right corner of each chapter, yo!). Posting a new chapter sends a notification to all my followers so they can read it… and the number next to the little eyeball goes up, and the vote count next to the little star goes up, and I float on a cloud of happiness.
  3. Public commitment works for me. The main page for my work-in-progress says “updates on Fridays!” That’s a promise. No matter how my week goes, and no matter how fraidy-cattish I feel or how I convince myself it’s not quite right and needs more editing, Friday rolls around and that chapter has to go up.

plsvote4me-smlIn the two weeks since I posted the first chapter of A Husband for Deva on Wattpad, I’ve more than doubled my total public word count (TPWC = words available to the general public, whether for free or by purchase). The best thing is, I feel fabulous about it.

Wattpad can’t and shouldn’t be a working writer’s only platform, but as part of a wider author-brand strategy it’s brilliant, and for those who fear jumping into the pool, it’s an awesome way to get our toes wet.

Give Wattpad a try, if you haven’t already!
Share your profile in the comments.
I hope you’ll follow me
and give A Husband for Deva a read.

And remember, on Wattpad you make a writer’s day every time you click that little star in the upper right corner of a chapter.

15 thoughts on “How Wattpad Is Changing My Life

  1. Oh that sounds cool! I’ve never heard of it but I definitely want to check it out. I’m putting it on my to-do list right now. Hopefully I’ll have time next weekend to sit and play with it.

  2. Katie Cross says:

    I’ve loved your story! I just caught up with it last night during our late night feeding sessions. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Wattpad 😀

  3. I will check it out. Thanks!

  4. tkrimms says:

    I tried Wattpad a little over a year ago. I fell off of it, and your post is now making me think it over again!

    • I think it has a lot to do with the readers and writers you follow and the kinds of people in their fan circles. There’s everything on Wattpad, so there are awesome circles of it and less-awesome ones. I’d be happy to connect with you there; either post your profile link here or use my contact form if you’d rather send it privately.

  5. Constance says:

    I agree with all of this. I love Wattpad. Writing can be a bit lonely, but Wattpad puts a great social aspect to it, and no one is judgemental (at least not yet) so I can put up drafts and not have to worry about it being perfect.

    and yes, those damn stars are addictive!

  6. I feel the same way about Wattpad. So unsure and wary at first, but my story is only 3 months old now and I have severel new readers each week that I never would have found otherwise. It’s a magical place 🙂 thanks for posting this! I’m excited to read more from you.

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