When my young nephew stopped logging on to YouTube every spare minute of the day to find footage of people falling off rollercoasters and to view the newest posts from a multitude of vloggers (you either love ‘em or hate ‘em), we all thought something had “got” him.
In between sitting quietly in his bedroom; lying subdued across the sofa or gazing thoughtfully out of the kitchen window, he started cobbling together stories; feverishly tapping away at the craft of fan fiction and creating introductions to his own stories. Acquainted with Wattpad, the online place to discover, share and create stories and poetry, he and lots of other kids like him are literally literary unstoppable. As imaginations flood with countless possibilities, creative energy is like an electrical current coursing with high voltage, producing an off the scale wattage. Thousands of sentences are interwoven like wattle, interlaced into frames of beginnings, middles and ends.
But, along with this is the desire to be “liked”.
So, are you a Wattpadder? Open to anyone over the age of 13 years old, does this creative chocolate box really sate your appetites in gaining a wider audience for your own writing or are you just hungry for the creations that others upload for public viewing?
I’m a bit of a pessimist sometimes and my experience of social media avenues has me believing that figures equal popularity and cultivating them is something that must be worked at like a full time job in the form social media etiquette. Are Wattpadders conversing in the bid for bartering a like for a like? A follow for a follow? How do you know if what you produce is sincerely quality reading? From what I have seen, some of it is really great stuff and some of it is complete trash yet still earns hundreds and hundreds of views/likes/follows. These figures must attract hundreds more until the work whether good or bad, is being hailed as something a publisher should get their hands on, if they can wade through the blanket of writers saturated in popularity.
Feeling that my work does not exactly fall into a particular genre (yes, it’s only rock and roll but I like it) curiosity got the better of me and I signed up to Wattpad. There are some rock n roll stories up there but most fall into “chick lit” territory and although I wrote a book which could scrape this genre, I would have to say that my first novel, “Rock Harder”, falls more into the genre of “chick lit with balls”.
So, my experimental Wattpad profile is here – www.wattpad.com/annaghislena . I have uploaded three of my older poems so far just to see what would happen and to be honest, not a lot has. I get a lot more positive feedback from performing face to face at spoken word events (giggles, applause and everything) so I know I’m doing something right and I shall still wattle poetry like the wattage is so high it doesn’t even exist. Although I champion the enthusiasm that so many young people have for writing creatively and agree that Wattpad is a tremendous platform for promoting this, I’m not sure that wattpadding is right for me. How about you? I would love to hear about any experiences you have had with Wattpad or similar writing platforms.
Thanks for reading and long live the fans!