(Image is CCO and I added the text)
The new look for my blog is almost done!!! I hope you like it! I tried to make my page look more professional and create a standalone theme from my stories. In the past, my website theme was based on Clash of Tides. You know, with all the blue, but since I pulled my stories down, it’s time to change.
Today’s post is going to be more serious than normal, but don’t worry, I’ll get back to the funny posts again later. After taking my stories offline, I did some reflection on what I learned from writing online. Feel free to read my list, and then let me know your thoughts.
- My writing wasn’t as good as I thought it was
When I first started writing, I always thought I could write a story that everyone would enjoy. I’ve read other writers state the same thing in their blog posts. That between comparing yourself to other writers, getting rejected by publishers or agents, or by the lack of reads you get online, you learn you weren’t as great as you thought you were. I won’t lie, after I worked hard on my stories and saw a poorly written story getting more reads than mine, it broke me. I was depressed for days, and even cried over my lack of ability to gain traction. However, I kept going to see what would happen.
- Readers will barely comment on your work
I won’t lie, like other writers, I loved the comments I got on my stories. Comments not only let me know readers were enjoying my work, but also helped me view my stories from their eyes. When readers commented with their theories, it helped me view my work from different angles. Alas, I also learned readers rarely commented. For every 100 reads, I only got 4 comments. That’s only 4%. In other cases, I would get 300 reads and only 3 comments. Needless to say, I learned readers don’t comment. I even looked at stories from popular writers and their results were the same. I suppose readers online just want free stories and don’t want to offer reviews. If you have readers who review, please appreciate them because they are rare.
- Writing online isn’t about quality, it’s about wish fulfillment.
This may not be true of all writing sites, but I’ve noticed on websites like Wattpad and DA, most of the popular stories are all wish fulfillment. What I mean is cliché stories about some random girl with a dark past being saved by the hot guy. Ok, to be fair, Clash of Tides uses some of those elements, but I did make my story bigger than that. I tried to have a deep message about racism and growing into a strong person despite what you are born into. Anyway, continuing, yes, wish fulfillment. Maybe it’s because most readers online are teen girls, but honestly, it’s depressing to see what gets popular in this day-in-age. If this is the future of literature, then count me out.
- It’s easy to lose sight of your goals
Unless you are a focused person, it’s easy to get lost in other things when posting your stories online. Between all the different writing sites, it’s only natural to “become a part of the community”. And by this, I mean getting caught up in the social side of things: reading other people’s stories, being active in the threads, and starting groups, etc. Soon, it’s less about the writing and more, how many readers can I get? Or, if you do become popular, it’s “I’m one of the top writers on this site, and I don’t have time to help others anymore” – This is a true story, and I’ve seen it happen too many times. In fact, on Wattpad, a group of authors who used to barely get reads got featured, and now they call themselves, “The best writers on Wattpad.” The haughty attitude disgusts me, a lot. Even when I was popular with my fanfictions, I never once said I was the best fanfiction writer. It’s stupid because I know I’m not the best and never will be. I always tried to be humble, but meh, being humble hasn’t gotten me anywhere.
- It’s a means to an end
I won’t discuss this one too much, but yes, it’s a means to an end. It’s not about popularity so much as it’s getting your work out there. Think of writing online like testing the waters and trying to grow a fanbase.
Writing online has caused me to be depressed, to turn into a monster (worrying too much about reads and popularity), and to lose sight of what I love. I love to write – plain and simple. I want to make readers happy, but I need to remember readers don’t feel the same for me. In the end, my stories are just another text file online used to pass the time. However, to me, my readers are the ones I want to bring into a new world and share my imagination with.
I am the failed writer,
The lonely writer,
Part of the forgotten