Author Mindsets on Story Traction: POLL

Hi, everyone!

I’ve been mulling over this question in my head and I’m curious to know how Wattpad authors feel about it. We all know that success on Wattpad doesn’t determine good/bad writing, but many authors who fail to make instant success or fail to be recognized seem to feel discouraged, but I’ve only spoken to a few.

So, I wanted to take a general poll to see what the mindset is about success and recognition on Wattpad if you’ll humor me for a bit.

Thank you!

Do you feel your writing is good if it gains reads/votes quickly?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Do you feel your writing is terrible if it picks up reads/votes slowly or fails to get reads/votes?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Do you feel you need recognition on Wattpad such as becoming a Star, Featured, Paid, Books Author in order for your writing to be “good”?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

0 voters

Do you feel you’ve failed if you have lots of reads but not recognition?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

0 voters

For Stars, Paid, and other recognized authors: Do you feel more successful after being chosen to represent Wattpad as their best books?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

0 voters

I’d greatly appreciate you allowing me to take a demographic of the mindset among authors on Wattpad in hopes of perhaps creating a more positive mindset about “hidden gems” (books with low reads but great stories) and promoting the idea that you don’t need to be an insta success to be good.

I do want to note, this is in no way meant to attack or demoralize anyone, especially Wattpad programs. They are great opportunities for those who get in. I add them in simply because they are a new level and layer now added that I want to consider when asking authors about their thoughts on success.

Thank you for answering, and feel free to discuss more in-depth personal thoughts below! Please keep things respectful. Attacking people will not be allowed. :dizzy:

Not a part of any programs, but for me, it’s not recognizition, read count, or even votes and their slowness/quickness that decides I am a good writer.

For me it’s those who have chosen to express their views for better or worse. Comments and criticism, actual words mean more to me than numbers, everything else is just a bonus.

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Love that mindset! As someone who struggled to turn from read counts to viewing my writing as a method of growth it makes me hope I can maybe show others that the read count is cool, but don’t put your stock in it.

You are not defined as a writer by what people think. You are defined as a writer by how you grow as a writer.

I’m also really hoping the mindset is more prevelant than I currently see, hence the survey. :grin:

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Exactly, if I have five people that come back each new chapter and tell of me of their adoration it makes my day. If someone dislikes how I handled a situation in a chapter and tells me why, it gives me something to think about for the next draft.

Words are better than numbers here. Maybe not in the real world as numbers means money, but here, I take my rewards in comments.

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Amen to that! :clap:

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Between all of my books, I have several several million reads. I have one book inching closer to half a million reads, one about to hit 100k reads, another is about 200K away from hitting 1 million reads, so I’ve definitely done very well on Wattpad in terms of people finding my work. That being said, i still question if my writing is actually good. The reads haven’t changed that feeling that people are just being nice when they say they would love to see one of my books published.

Imposter syndrome is a very real thing and I don’t think there are any amount of reads you get that will take it away. It doesn’t go away if you’re invited to Stars either because I know someone still suffering from it. Even traditionally published authors has that feeling.

That being said, i would’ve been tickled pink if I got invited to any one of those programs. It would’ve especially been helpful this year when I’ve been struggling to find a reason to keep writing even through all the muck in my head. It would’ve been very much a “see, maybe you’re not as bad as you think you are” moment. And I will 100% admit it hurt when all my closest friends got invited and I didn’t and they wondered why i didn’t. So I certainly won’t discount I would’ve loved to have made it into Paid or Stars or any other program that shows I was recognized. But it wouldn’t have taken away my feelings of being a total hack of a writer. All it would’ve done is temporarily muted it, but it still would’ve come back.

Only I can fix how I view my writing and all the recognition in the world isn’t going to make me magically fix how I see things. I don’t know what the formula is yet, or else I’d done it so I could stop seeing my word as bad LOL So reads don’t mean a writer is good any more than the lack of them means a writer is bad, a writer is only as good as they see themselves.

7 Likes

I have a few books above a million reads.
For one of them, I am quite proud of since it was my first one and I have had to edit it many times to reflect my increased knowledge of writing (with the help of some friendly Wattpad readers who acted as editors to help me learn). (When I first posted the rough draft in 2016, I barely knew how to use a comma. lol.)

A different story happens to have over 3 million reads, but I cringe whenever I open it because it has grammar problems and typos in almost every paragraph and has absolutely no plot. Yet, it has more reads than some books that were posted earlier with decent plots, spelling, and grammar.

So, for me, reads don’t really mean I’m a good writer, but it does show that there is a spark in that story that has potential. (Although, for stories I’m proud of, having higher reads is flattering since it proves that others also enjoyed them.)

I have noticed that the reading/voting trends does vary quite noticeably between different genres/subjects.

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The only thing that discourages me is the absolute absence of anything. Reads/votes/comments don’t change the way I see my works, but the lack of anything can lead me to stop pursuing a project here (while I will keep working on it outside of WP).

2 Likes

I can relate to this. I don’t mind if I only get a dozen reads on a book each month, although I truly enjoy the comments readers sometimes leave.

That being said, it took me 6 months to get my first 2 followers (and I had completed 2 stories by then), and it didn’t really bother me. I was mostly writing because I wanted to try it, and found it relaxing.

As I tell newer writers, Wattpad is a slow burn. By the time you see smoke, you’re already on fire. (Yes, it can take 3+ completed stories and over a year for your particular niche readers to find you.)

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I definitely feel this! If a book feels like it’s floundering sometimes I prefer to take it down and work on it on the side. Sometimes it’s a sign something peetered out and sometimes it’s just a personal project.

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They are so difficult to find :sweat_smile:

Definitely. It’s the reason why I’m shifting from my HF series to a low fantasy one :sweat_smile:

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For me, even though I haven’t written in years, my biggest show of “Success” or good writing is when the readers show how actively engaged they are. I used to be really big on Fandoms, so seeing people engage with the story by commenting on either my writing or what’s actually going on with the story, always made me feel good.

2 Likes

Just gonna drop a note and remind everybody that being an amb has nothing to do with how you write - so if you’re not picked to be an amb, remember, it has zero things to do with writing. :sparkles:

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I have no desire to be an Ambassador.
Too much responsibility for this writer. :laughing:

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My bad. I knew that I just couldn’t think of the right one. Featured was what I was thinking of. Sorry for the offense.

Hahaha, or is it the power that scares you? :eyes:

I’m kidding. We get no power :frowning:

@sarakbeeksma oh it’s no offence. But some people do genuinely believe you have to be a good writer to be an amb, and that’s definitely not the case. :smile:

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You know it’s Christmas time when Frey breaks out the Santa hat.

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:christmas_tree: :santa: yaaasssss :sparkles:

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I don’t judge my stories on reads or votes except they’re consistent for every chapter. If a lot of reads ans votes are on the first few chapters and they drop, the numbers don’t count because it means I can attract but fail to deliver. Comments and reads and votes on the latest chapters and how fast they come after an update is what I count as real reads and votes.

I don’t think I would label it a failure if I don’t get recognized because sometimes they can just missed it, but for everything I have against the trend of WP readers, I can see HQ picks have quality, and so if my book is so popular that they can’t possibly miss it and I don’t get recognized, there’s a high chance there are elements in my book that aren’t good enough for people with high standards that casual readers don’t care for and I consider it not a success, because there’s a chance publishers would probably feel the same. I also don’t want to write a big hit story like 50 shades and have many ppl say it’s crap. So popularity says less to me than being approved by people whose standard I respect.

Then again, there’s “no negativity” aspect of it that WP admits to take into account in recognizing writers and I highly suspect there’s a lot of great writers who don’t get recognized because of this so in a way you can’t underline your book as a failure if you don’t get recognized due to this reason. So in this area, I would say it depends rather than yes,
No, or unsure XD

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With one of my books, it gained traction very quickly and I knew I had done something right. But at the same time, I wanted Wattpad to recognize it. I needed that confirmation to know whether I was truly a good writer or not.