Tag Archives: Wattpad

The Wattpad Writing Contest Sucks

Two weeks ago I recieved a message from the Wattpad staff about some writing contest. Something about writing a short story about “a time where you stood up for the truth” or something. I totally disregarded it. If you’ve read any of my writings over at my other blog you should be well aware that there is no “truth” to anything I write. Everything is foggy, unclear, hidden, and there usually isn’t any sort of plot, theme, or reason behind any of my writings. It seems I channel my useless and directionless feelings into my stories so any idea about me writing about “a time where I stood up for the truth” was a lost cause.

Let’s also gripe about how the contest required a story that’s less than 500 words. This is nothing and with my typical paragraphs of about 100 words meant I’d have to write a story of only five paragraphs. How can you write a story about the truth in five fucking paragraphs?

Anyways, I ignored it for a week and then received another message from Wattpad: the same message about a writing contest. Well, would there be any downside to writing some 500-word drivel just for the fuck of it? There was nothing to lose besides time, and maybe I could churn something out in 30 minutes or so. I thought about it for a few days but didn’t care too much about it.

And then something happened on Thursday while I was sitting at my computer. The thoughts started to flow, the YOLO channeled through me, the idea that there was nothing to lose by bullshitting 500 words about “the truth” taking hold of me or some shit. I set to work carefully crafting a 500 word “story” about losing your mind on drugs, having a crisis, questioning the fabric of everything, and coming to no conclusion whatsoever. If you’d like you can read the final product here: I’d love to have some viewer support in this failed endeavour.

A fun thing happened when I checked the story on Wattpad today. It was ranked #142 in the tagged stories for the contest. Huh? That’s pretty high, isn’t it? Surely thousands and maybe millions of people submitted something so how the fuck was I #142? There was no way that was correct. I clicked the link to view my ranking and the #142 was out of like only 288 stories in total. What?! Shouldn’t there be thousands of thirsty people chasing after the glory of winning a contest? Apparently not.

It reminds me of a few other writing contests I somehow won before really pretending to be a writer, both at my local community college. The first one was about “what college meant to me” or some shit. I bullshitted an essay and won like third place or something. How? Why? I don’t know. I wrote something about college “making me into the person I was meant to be” or something. Once again, I don’t know. And there was another writing contest, one from an organisation called Transform Rockford which was hell-bent on turning our shitty run-down town into something of note here in the midwest. I wrote an essay complaining about the “lack of community” by noting that there’s a lack of grocery stores, doctor’s offices, and anything else to note in my predominantly African-American side of town, while also noting that liquor stores and bars seemed to exist in a greater frequency. Totally shitting all over the positive vibes that Transform Rockford seemed to be going for.

And I won…something. Second place, third place, I don’t recall. I won $50 which was the first cash I ever received for writing something. Even worse, I had to read my essay at the college in front of people. Jesus. That was awful, but luckily I was in speech class and knew that pretending I was a confident badass who had a point to make was just as good as actually being a confident badass who had a point to make. I read my critical essay, got a round of applause, awkwardly shook some hands, and walked back to my seat.

One of the my more awkward photos. Obviously. But I should be proud I guess.

I wondered why I won something in these two contests, once again thinking it surely wasn’t due to talent or skill or anything. And I think I’ve stumbled upon a slight bit of truth to why I won because of this silly Wattpad contest: no one actually submits anything.

The rules of the Wattpad contest are straightforward enough, but also convoluted enough that I assume a bunch of people halfass reading the actual requirements misunderstood it. The message links you to a page that gives the rules of the contest, and this page gives a link to a tag that you must click on to properly tag your story with. Basically, writing a story and manually tagging it doesn’t seem to fulfill the contest requirements. How many people wrote a submission and failed to read the rules and tag it properly? Thousands? I don’t know. Maybe people are just slackers and think they’re failures and don’t even submit anything.

So the chances are improved by people not reading the rules like a lawyer would or being too sheepish to even try. 288 people? That’s all I’m up against? Well, fuck, I might have a shot based on pure chance alone. A 1/288 chance is magnitudes better than the fucking lottery, and any skill you actually have only improves your chances. And simply submitting something and overcoming your natural self-hatred and suspicions that others are miles better than yourself also improves your chances. Maybe everyone thinks they’re shit and how many people are discouraged and never submit anything? I really don’t think I’ll win, but any thought I have about the matter is out of my hands. I got off my ass, wrote something, submitted it (properly too!), and put myself out there. As with the other contests that I somehow placed in, I think the fact that I actually tried was a huge factor in being successful. If you never try, you’ll never win, right?

Update #3 or 4 (or Something)

I’m still trying to churn out my post on vaping, but I want to do a good job and actually research it and not simply dish out my hot opinions. So that’s taking some time. In the meantime I’ll plop out one of these easy “update” posts because there are a few notable things that have happened recently in my writing journey.

Subscribers?

I recently surpassed 150 subscribers. This seems like a shitty number to note by being halfway between the landmark numbers of 100 and 200, but fuck it, it still feels good.

As always I’m surprised that people actually read what I write, and I don’t think this feeling will ever go away. It makes me feel so lucky that, wow, anytime I post something 150 people I don’t know personally know are notified of it and choose to be notified. A handful of the 150 seem to be dedicated readers who regularly like/comment on my posts and the biggest shoutout goes to them. Thanks for engaging with my stuff and I appreciate it greatly! I also have much love for those people that aren’t regular readers; I’m not expecting anyone to look forward to my next post or anything and I’m glad for any readers at all. And if you’re one of the 150 that never reads anything I write, well, thanks for following anyways and pumping my subscriber numbers up!

Wattpad?

I currently have two stories going on my Wattpad account: the Morrowind Fanfic as well as the ‘Subconscious Story’ (or whatever it’ll be called). The second story is also posted on my other blog — the Wattpad version is just reposted stuff — while the Morrowind story only exists on Wattpad. A few things to note here. I’m about eight chapters into it and the story is barely underway. I noticed I’m going very slow with the story but it makes sense because I don’t want to make the chapters too long on Wattpad. I have about 70 views, not too bad, not too good either, but it’s raking decently. In the ‘Morrowind’ category it’s ranking 16th out of 116 stories; this places it in the top 14%. Pretty good right? In the general ‘Elder Scrolls’ tag category it ranks 187th out of 1,300; once again 14%. These numbers usually improve early to mid week as I post new chapters on Sunday. Seeing as it’s been a week since I’ve posted anything new on Wattpad, it makes sense that the rankings might be lower than midweek. I do clearly remember breaking the top 10% a few times on ranking. That feels good.

Book Sales?

I’m slightly discouraged by my Amazon Kindle Publishing numbers but I’m trying not to put to much thought or anxiety into it. I only have two things published — one an options trading guide and the other a rant about Facebook — so why would I have more viewers and more book sales? These are definitely niche items so it makes sense. Now if I ever get around to publishing fiction and that also falls flat, that’ll hurt a bit more.

I still get a slight trickle of pages read here and there. The past two months have been very dry, but February has had about 50 pages views in the Kindle Selects program. That’s cool and should earn me like $0.25 or so in royalties. As always, not enough to live off of but it is money. Always be positive right?

I checked yesterday and was surprised to see this: a new bar on a chart that hasn’t had any data since I published the books. What is it? It’s actual book sales. Wait, I actually sold something?!

This instantly pumped my mood up. Someone actually purchased the damn thing, and I checked and it was my ‘Bitch About Facebook’ book. Wow! Very cool. Sure it was only one copy, but even the most successful authors have to sell their first book; they don’t just jump to selling 100,000 copies instantly. So I’ll take the minor success and be happy with it. Bonus points here because selling an actual copy nets me a ton more in royalties than the Kindle Selects program does. I think I get a flat $3 from this one sale. Once again, not rich, but money is money. Luckily I’m not doing this to get rich.

As always to any aspiring authors, artists, bloggers, and whatever else you do to be creative, I can’t stress the fact enough that progress is not fun. Most of the time I feel like I’m getting absolutely nowhere. I’m churning out one or two blog posts a week, a few chapters here and there weekly, with nothing to reassure me that I’m actually getting somewhere. You really need to do this stuff for your own gratification and not because you think you’ll be famous or rich or something. It’s doing the same shit over and over blindly just because you feel like you need to do it. But eventually maybe something comes along like you selling an actual copy of a book and it makes it all worth it. It’s a tiny victory, but it’s a victory that you can be proud of. It’s a sign that maybe all the hard work could pay off someday, a sign that you actually are somewhat making progress, and it’s a sign to keep going. So do that: keep doing whatever if is you’re doing even if there is no success. That was as much for any readers as it was for me by the way.

And, as always, thanks for watching reading.