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Wattpad--Peril or Joy Pt 2
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Cellphones are here to stay and they are changing just about everything we do—communication, banking, ordering, booking reservations, and even reading.
A major change has been in the book industry. In the U.S., we are just starting to see this in mainstream, but changes are coming. We are just slower than much of the rest of the world.
Wattpad has been around since December 2006. It grew with a generation of children who took to it and now often prefer reading on their phones. But there has been web fiction almost since computers became a household must-have. The older serial websites are beginning to have some competition now.
I started reading on Wattpad before I became a writer, and I enjoyed it—most of the time. Here are some of my joys and perils with Wattpad.
Joys for readers
A crazy amount of stories. There is bound to be something you’ll like.
Most of Wattpad’s stories are free.
There are some really good writers on Wattpad.
Some well-known writers even upload a free story for their fans.
As always, nothing is perfect and there are things to watch for.
Perils for readers
Many stories are started but never finished. So check that they are finished or that the author is still uploading new chapters on a regular basis.
There are a lot of beginner writers. That’s a good thing. We all have to start somewhere. But if you are not able to forgive some grammar problems, typos, and even the occasional plot hole, it might be best to pick another story.
On Wattpad, readers can comment on stories. This is usually done as the company hoped it would be done, with kindness. But people being—well, people, there are some rude comments, or even out-and-out comment wars. You may find them distracting—or amusing.
If you are not into R-rated stories, you’re going to need to be careful. You can “turn off” adult content, but it doesn’t always work.
Joys for writers
It’s a cost-free, judgement-free zone (mostly). If you’re nervous about putting yourself out there, the place to do it is a site with thousands of other writers in the same boat as you.
You are interacting with your readers so if you write something they don’t like, you’ll hear about it. Use that as a learning experience. If you want to write for yourself, don’t worry what they think. If you want to write with a goal of selling someday, it would be good to pay attention to your audience.
Readers can “star” your story to bump it up in the rankings so it will be seen by more people.
When you get those first few strangers who like your story, it is exciting!
Perils for writers
It’s mostly a judgement-free zone. What you will hear is judgment on your story—right and wrong (Ex. I think it’s stupid MC went off that way. Any good writer would know that). An artist often has trouble with even the smallest criticism at first. If you don’t think you can handle it yet, don’t upload until you can.
There are a lot of stories competing for the same space on the top 1000. (But a good story will reach the top. It can be done.)
Some writers leave comments to help you, and they will do a great job. Other writers don’t know what they are talking about—at all. I can’t tell you how much crazy-bad advice I got from people who thought they were experts. If you would like help, find a credible group and trade chapters.
Unless you become a Wattpad Star, you won’t make money with your story. When you’re ready, you’ll need to go to another paid serial website. Or make your story into a novel and sell on Amazon or “go wide” and sell on Amazon, Kobo, Apple and many more. But that is another newsletter in itself.
What about you? Have you been on Wattpad? What did you think?
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Pumpkin Gourds copyright A Rogers 2021
On a recent trip to the closest Trader Joe’s (one hour), my daughter picked up some of these adorable pumpkin gourds.
Apparently, a lot of people love gourds, since feed stores to Walmart and more carry them every fall. And who doesn’t have room for these little mini ones? Gourds of any size always seem to have a homey feel.
Gourds go way beyond our American history. According to New Life on a Homestead, Gourds date back at least 7,000 years. They have been used in cooking, as containers, tools, musical instruments, fishing, prosthetics, surgery, and more. Large gourds were also used as baby cradles.
And yes, people still grow, decorate and use them for some of those things today. For lots of great info on gourd growing and use, check out New Life on a Homestead.
My mother has always been fond of gourds, more for one purpose than any other—for birdhouses. She has always had one, preferably decorated in some way, and is quite happy when a mama bird sets up house in one.
I mostly get them for decorations, but I did have a gourd bowl at one time. It held up very well. I’ve also seen a few gourd drums and dippers.
The article cited above got me thinking about hollowing out one and creating another bowl. But then I remembered how hard it was to cut up a butternut squash the last time my husband made chili. (It is an awesome recipe. If you’d like me to add it to the next newsletter, just leave a comment or click on the little heart below, and I will.)
How much harder is a gourd than a butternut squash? I’m not sure, and I’m worried I’m setting myself up for failure. Lol.
By the way, my daughter said she named all her pumpkin gourds, Gordy. And they are not at all confused by that.
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