First of all, the title quite clearly is a rip-off of Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, which inspired the title of the memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by my greatest influence, Haruki Murakami, and both in turn named my flash fiction short "What We Talk About When We Talk About Growing up" because it is sort of the default fall-back option for titles if you can't think of a better one. And subsequently, for this project as well because I'm lazy like that. But this certainly is nowhere close to any sort of literary prose, mine or others. Here, we will delve into what many have been doing or trying to do: discuss matters of writing and strategizing on Wattpad. I am by no means an expert and this is written quite crudely, but I will be striving to provide very shrewd unique insight and personal opinion. Bear with me here and let me take on the persona of someone who knows what they're talking about. :)
Since I pioneered the cell phone novel in the English speaking world six years ago, organized and led the forefront of online communities and collaborative projects, running events both virtually and in real life in various cities, now a featured Wattpad writer and having seen some degree of success via my literary fiction pieces, participating in various interviews by magazines, sites and published authors, officially kicking off the first Wattpad meet up movement in Toronto, coordinating the ongoing @TorontoMeetUp events and founding the @LiteraryFiction Network and hub, as well as various multimedia, "transmedia", cross-media and social media initiatives with thousands of followers - and as a graphic and web designer and onwards - my experience maybe of some value.
I am no marketing or business major but I may have a thing for sensitivity or intuition on psychological response from target audiences and on community-building. Community is my greatest passion other than creative art. And we deal with people really, everywhere we go.
The first fundamental concept even before we get into the details of Wattpad-specific strategy, is to understand that if you write, you write not only for yourself but for others - which is to say we are in the business of inspiration. Pride yourself on that and hold yourself up with dignity. By being an artist, you convey messages to those who come in contact with your work.
Understand this: you have a mission with your art. You have a power and a talent that carries the ability to influence and change lives, touch hearts and uplift souls. Ultimately, art is the life stream of the world and holds the power to change the world. You are not a commercial machine, you should not taint the noble cause of art with purely profit-making goals, or are you only doing this for self expression or escape. Many times people have expressed how they were at a hard time in life and my work had inspired them, provided new insight or revelation and saved them from that moment. This gives me tremendous encouragement and this is the entire essence and meaning of my work. This is our purpose.
You don't know where your readers are coming from. Once your words or other forms falls onto a page and is available for someone to perceive, this is a form of human communication. You convey a message, whether it be themes, morals, ideas, dreams, hope, love, emotions, conveying an energy of some kind, whatever it may be, and you may convey a message even through your actions and behaviour. The reader comes in with their own perception and upbringing and background and thousands of factors and interprets your work, joining you in a collaborative dialogue with your text as the medium and the channel.
Therefore we hold great responsibility. You don't have a choice in this regard. No matter what content you create, even if it is not meant to be serious, for example comedy, it still has a serious effect and a serious potential. - i.e. is likely a form of satire. Everything perceivable has serious effects - which is why people are hurt by the careless tongue. Don't be one who creates careless pointless art. There is no pointless art. You leak parts of your self into the work as it comes out of you, whether you are aware or not. If you cannot understand the processes and the power with which we work with, then it's best to reevaluate your work.
But if you believe in these things, that means you also wish for your thoughts and messages and convictions and passions to reach your audience, and a wide audience if possible. You will need your audience to respect what you have to say, which means you must first respect yourself and what you have to say to the world. And we must press forward and discover how.
Onwards from here I hope to get into the extensive details, some will be psychological strategy, or new challenging ways of thinking and others maybe simply reminders, and hopefully these things will help not just practically but also help inspire and grow you as a Wattpad community member, as a writer and as a person.
This is not the ultimate exhaustive guide as I don't have all the answers and social media and the industry can be a confusing uncertain and inconsistent place sometimes, especially while technology changes constantly - but if just one thing from my personal experience helps you, then it's all worth it.
Please add to your reading lists and stay tuned for ongoing additions to this article.
Table of Contents
1. Word of Inspiration #1
2. Prompt #1
3. Branding & Identity: Name, Photo, Following, Profile, Bio...
Your Core and Your One Thing, Graphics, Text, Art vs Business, Subliminal Messages, Update Word Count and Schedules, Interaction, Gift Economy, Social Media, Leadership and Community Engagement, The Trends and the Waves...etc
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Wattpad Guide: What We Talk About When We Talk About Wattpad (Tips & Strategy)Non-Fiction
"We are in the business of inspiration." How to Wattpad successfully. Sharing my hopefully unique insight, philosophies, thoughts and experience on success and gaining a following on Wattpad. A guide for writers who are ready to be serious about the...