Shout out to WATTPAD!
I recently took the TRINITY TRILOGY down from Wattpad, and it was such a sad moment that I felt the need to eulogise the company who have done so much for me!
I joined Wattpad way back in October 2013, and I can't remember how I discovered it but, looking back, it was probably one of the best things I've done for my writing.
Wattpad is an amazing community, filled with amazing people. It's given me goals to work to, has helped with my confidence, and has actually taught me to shape and refine my work so much better. (I find I can see the 'empty' scenes more clearly when I know someone is going to give their time to read them!)
It's a fantastic way to make friends with similar interests. I didn't have any writer friends until Wattpad! (Rob May - my writing Husband, and Hannah M King - my official #1 commenter - I'm looking at you guys!)
Posting that first chapter was possibly the scariest thing I've ever done. Up until then, it had only been me (and on occasion, Andy) reading my work. Did I really want to upload it to the internet, where trolls and other horrid creatures lurked?
I think I hovered over that 'publish' button for about a week, before deciding that I didn't really have anything to lose.
I regretted it the moment I did it (of course!) and vacillated between leaving it up and taking, it down for the whole three days it took for the first person to read it. But then, they voted for it, and my heart threatened to beat out of my chest in happiness.
After that, I was addicted, checking every five minutes for new likes, new comments, new updates...
I added chapters, replied to every (amazing, wonderful,) comment I got - and felt like a bonafide rock star.
This is it, I remember thinking, with stars in my eyes, This is how I will make my mark.
Wattpad comments are, like, the best thing ever.
The feedback I get is invaluable. When you write for yourself, it's very difficult to see other ways your work might be interpreted. Wattpad opens the door to a wider view - which can sometimes be very surprising
(For example - I took Andy's advice to 'man up' one of my characters (Christian) and all my readers told me he was passive aggressive!! Thanks Andy :P )
But the comments mean more than just feedback, to me.
As a writer, I find that I am half egotistical maniac, half insecure child. I bounce between thinking I am the next big thing after a glut of high praise from readers, and wondering what the hell I think I'm doing calling myself a writer, after my dad asks me, yet again, when I'll start making money from it.
(I have now, dad, so you'll have to start taking it seriously!;P )
I'm not alone - this is a very common theme amongst the writers I know.
I am lucky enough to have a very (very!) supportive boyfriend, who lifts me up when I need it, and drags me back down when I'm being stupid - but Wattpad has probably helped most with my self-doubt.
The comments I receive are wonderful 99% of the time, and there is nothing better in this world than checking your email and finding new comments from real people who love my stories. On the days where I wonder what the point of all my hard work is, these comments serve to remind me.
On the flip side, it can sometimes be too much of a good thing - as Wattpad is so full of praise, you can start to view your work through those wonderful rose-tinted glasses.
Luckily, there's that pesky 1% to keep me grounded...
Wattpad has changed a lot since I first joined. It has gone from a small community of writers looking for feedback, and grown into a huge franchise, offering annual wattpad events.
(The Uk WattCon's are held in bookstores in London - hosted and assisted by some fabulous writers such as Vic James - author of The Guilded Cage, Taran Matharu - author of The Summoner Series, Nikki Kelly - author of the Styclar Saga, Laure Eve - author of The Graces, and Rob May - author of The Dragon Killer Series.)
It is now flooded with some incredibly talented writers - traditionally published, indie-published, and those who write for their own amusement - and readers flock to it, to find their next favourite book.
And just because the Wattpad Journey has ended for the Trinity Trilogy, doesn't mean I won't be posting in future. I hope to publish new works, new stories - gain feedback and a new audience - for as long as the community will have me!
Interested in knowing more about Wattpad? head to their website www.wattpad.com
Have your own Wattpad.com story to tell? I'd love to hear it!