The Wattpad Struggle


#61

I am not finding it very difficult. Mind you, I am not really lurking on chat threads and stuff. I just found them. I just review others peoples work and give them pointers if I can. Most people have proven very receptive and as a result I usually (but not always) get feedback on my own work.

Also, peering at other peoples work serves a double purpose. You get to see mistakes other people make and learn not to make them yourself. Mind you, it is a delicate balance. You don’t want to over criticize someone so much that you chase them away from writing and they get angry. You wan’t to give them just enough helpful advice that they feel grateful.


#62

I’ve been having the same problem lately and this thread had so much good advice, thank you!


#63

Unless you’re one of those overachieving teenagers who has five hours of homework every night, you probably have the time and energy to mess around AND write a novel.

I’m a mother who’s exhausted pregnant with the next. I can only write if I make it a priority: use my limited energy, carve out the time, and hope my kids stay distracted with some screen for at least thirty minutes while I bust out on Write Or Die.

I think this difference is what thins the herd of adult writers.


#64

Especially for young women writers.

Once you’ve got an empty nest it’s a lot easier. My mother didn’t write until she was in her 50’s, then she wrote prolifically for the next 30 years.


#65

I’m happy for you, but please remember that everyone is different. Comments like that only make people want to stop writing.

“I do it, so everyone else can” is just wrong.

Honestly, try to have a little empathy.


#66

Totally know what you’re talking about! But it helps if you have/keep a youthful mentality. In my mind, I’m still 23. :slight_smile:


#67

That may be what you read, but that’s not what I wrote. A more accurate paraphrase would be, “I can do it, but only with difficulties that didn’t exist when I was a teenager. So I can see why teenagers are more likely to do this than adults, at least on Wattpad.” I was empathizing with every adult who writes despite that!


#68

Teenagers have different issues, not no issues.

Then you might want to rephrase it in future. You’ll find plenty of adults on here to talk writing struggles with, but if you put down teens while you do it you’re going to find your audience and support severely lacking on a site like Wattpad.

Kind reminder that this site is mostly teenagers, and comments from adults DO affect them massively. If you wouldn’t want your child to be upset by someone online telling them they have nothing stopping them and that they need to try harder, then don’t say it online.

Everyone on here comes from different walks of life and different points in their life and the fact we’re all writing at all is great. It all comes back to empathy.


#69

Again, you percieve criticism where it doesn’t exist. Of course teens have issues; goodness knows I did. But logistically, it’s easier for them to devote time and energy to art than an average adult. They even go to schools that occasionally assign them to write short stories, for Pete’s sake! When’s the last time that happened at a factory, restaurant, or whatever most adults work?


#70

I appreciate that it might not be what you mean, but it’s how it comes across. Try having sympathy for all other writers rather than arguing who has it worse. That’s not what Wattpad is about.


#71

I agree with @minusfractions here - it’s not like what you said was that bad, but it did come across a bit condescending to teenagers and students alike.

Whilst this may be true for some students and teenagers, it may not be true for others. Surely you remember being at school and being swamped with work, after-school activities, part-time jobs, parents telling you to do things, and just being plain tired and lazy?

Yeah, sure, because being told what to write is the same as having creative freedom. Just because students can or may be asked to do an art-related topic during school hours does not make it their art. The same way graphic designers and illustrators spend hours at work getting paid to do their art, then go home and work on their own versions of what they actually, want to do.

IDK about you, but when I was in school I didn’t have a lot of free time until the weekends, overachiever or not. We had shit to do too, around home included. Some kids in my school did more at home than their parents, so your generalisations do come off a bit “I can do it when I am a mother, so why can’t these students with loads of spare time do it?”

I’m not a mother. However, as a non-mother, nothing irritates me more than mothers who act like it’s the hardest job in the world and no one in the world could possibly have it harder. Being a mother is a tough job, but so are a lot of other things out there - including, sometimes, being a student (depending on the circumstances).

My ultimate point here is that everyone needs to make writing their priority if they want to get it done, and they need to fit it in when they are tired, busy, and can’t be bothered. It’s not just you and not just mothers or working adults who need to make writing a prority to get any done.


#72

I think you said that better than I could, so thanks!


#73

Brooke said it better because she responded to actual parts of my comments, instead of putting words in my mouth. That makes a difference.


#74

Of course there are exceptions to the rule. But if in aggregate, it’s, say, 50% easier for teenagers to produce creative writing than adults, then that could explain why there are more teenagers on Wattpad than adults. Emphasis on “could” – knowing little of Wattpad’s history, there may well be other reasons for this demographic skew that I’m not aware of.


#75

I don’t think it’s the “ease” of writing that draws in the younger audience here. Writing is hard work no matter who you are. I’m not quite sure what Wattpad does to draw in a slightly younger crowd (and not even sure how true that statement is, the people I’ve been meeting here all seem to be out of their teens and well into their twenties) but if I had to hazard a guess I’d say it’s the community and social network aspects, like the forums, and the comments on books, that make the site more appealing. And I know for me, Wattpad sort feels like a safe place to try things out. I have certainly heard stories of popular authors here being the victims of negative and hurtful comments but for me, toiling away in obscurity, I really enjoy the judgement free zone I have to be creative, it’s not really something I’ve had anywhere else.


#76

I guess the question is: Does Wattpad skew young because that’s mostly who it’s reached though word of mouth/snapchat? Or is there something inherently youthful about the platform, which would cause it to skew young even if all ages knew about it?


#77

What I heard was an exhausted, pregnant mother who recalled her teen-years as being a freer, less exhausting time. :slight_smile:

I don’t have children - I married too late, but I know it’s a whole different ball game. Hang in there - they will grow up and it will get easier.


#78

When WattPad was first announced it was considered a ‘safe place’ for the young people than Authonomy, which was a much rougher venue.

Authonomy tanked for a lot of reasons - the forums was probably a big one. It was a rowdy brawl, gamed to death and it ended up being a mess, and the FLAME wars!

Being able to write on a cell phone is an amazing upgrade from ‘the old days’. Everything about Wattpad is sleeker and most sophiscated than Autho could ever dream of being.

Wattpad is complex in it’s social structure. VERY complex. The staff is VERY hands on and the Ambassadors are a great idea.

It’s just worlds away from the way it started - but from day one it was meant for a younger crowd.


#79

Before I had kids, I worked a string of McJobs. That created difficulties too. I don’t know how any retail worker can complete NaNoWriMo when it’s the same month as Black Friday. Since my store sold electronics, I worked a couple of 70 hour weeks leading up to that, only going home to sleep. Of course, when I was home, my time was entirely my own.

Employment and motherhood (because it’s often the mother who stays home) are two very different modes of occupation. Employment is eight hours of focus followed by sixteen hours of rest (depending on commute and other obligations). Motherhood requires far less intense focus, but it’s 24/7 (less if your kids are old enough for public school or you can afford childcare).


#80

I was never in a position where I could afford to have kids, all McJobs and didn’t get married until I was 39. I didn’t get a vacation until after we got married. So while you’ve got your hands full and it feels exhausting, you’ve got a wonderful journey ahead of you as well.

I got out of Retail and went to Tech Support - but when that became Sales it was a problem.

When I got laid off in 2009, my parents were old and needed me to help them. Now that they are both gone, I’ve been working on Mom’s short stories and publishing those as I get them finished. I’ll have to go back to work full time next year, but I’ve still got few months where I can write and publish.

So hang in there and don’t beat yourself up when you get tired because you’ve got a full plate! Just breath deep for a mini-break, and if you can have tea - take a minute for a cuppa!

Best wishes - and look for a PM from me.