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Wattpad – the self-publishing training wheels

I first joined Wattpad back in 2012. When I found it, I swear I heard angels singing in the background. For me, someone who didn’t know of self-publishing at the time, this felt like the highest form of liberalization of the industry. It felt freeing. If you wanted to share your work with the world, now you could. That was the dream for me back then. I wasn’t ready to think of going professional yet. I was only dipping a toe. That’s why a supportive social media platform was the best thing that I could have come across.
Now that I’ve been on Wattpad for over 5 years and I’ve written two books there, I look back on the experience with new eyes, especially in light of starting my self-publishing journey. Now, I look at all the overlaps, all the transferable skills I’ve gained while being active on Wattpad for the past few years. It was somewhat surprising to me, but I found more parallels between posting your work on Wattpad and professional self-publishing than I expected.
The first one is interacting with your audience. On Wattpad, I’ve learned to handle my first bits of criticism. I also realized the importance of posting regularly and building up readers’ trust in you. It was hard for me at first, but I’ve also experimented with how much of my life I want to share with readers in personal author notes (great training for building an authentic style you’re comfortable with).
I’ve learned about market trends and fads, writing to market, even the proper use of keywords. I’ve tried out a collaboration with other authors first hand and observed the results from it.
Most of all though, because Wattpad is so interactive, I’ve grown accustomed to sticking with it. Writing and sharing my work is a part of my life now – a part I’ll never give up. That realization, I feel, will make the biggest difference as I move into self-publishing. It doesn’t matter in what shape or form I will do this in the future, I will be there, I will keep on writing, improving and sharing the words I produce with readers.
This is just a little recap of my learning experience so far. To take things to the next level, I will be interviewing some successful Wattpad authors to hear about their learning experiences and how being on Wattpad has helped them to self-publish.
My hope is that those little interviews will be of use to anyone who’s considering going professional, as well as the many extremely talented Wattpad friends I’ve made over the years, who may not necessarily believe they have what it takes to make it in self-publishing. Being an author on Wattpad is a great starting point and I’d love to help fellow Wattpad authors realize they are already well on their way to making things happen. It takes a mindset shift to go professional, but I feel the seeds are sprinkled on fertile soil.
I’m speaking to you, Wattpad author out there, you can do this.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll find the upcoming blog articles and interviews here useful.

Published inMindset