The first time I had heard of Wattpad was during high school. My friends would fan-girl about the different chapters that were updated the previous night, and that they could not wait for the next chapter.
I found it funny.
It felt like being teleported to the 19th century when people would wait for days to read the next chapter of Sir Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.
I never tried using Wattpad for a couple of reasons. One, I was not sure if I would enjoy reading works of people who have not gotten their books published ‘for real.’ Two, books online could never compete with their paperback versions.
Could I be more wrong?
The following summer break caught me in a whirlwind of surprises. I had exhausted all the books that I owned and even the ones I had borrowed from the public library. With still over ten days to go for the summer break to end, there was no way I could survive without any literature to chew on. I was desperate to find anything that could provide me with any reading material.
That is when I reluctantly created an account on Wattpad.
Making an account and plunging into this ebook world of the unknown, was perhaps the best thing that happened to me at that time.
The first book that I read there was The Bucket List by Neve Adams. Since then, I’ve never looked back. I’ve had the fortune of reading some of the best works there – from some of the best writers.
About the Home of Stories
If you have not heard of Wattpad, let me do the honours of introducing you to the ginormous virtual platform – which was created for the sole purpose of uniting readers as well as writers on a common site. Wattpad is a completely free of cost story-telling platform that has over 65 million active users who spend over 400 hours every month on this website.
The writers and books published there are phenomenal. Each book is completely different from the other. There are over 400 million different stories on Wattpad – from 20 different genres, in 50 different languages – that gives readers all kinds of choices they want to make use of. There are a multitude of books even from well-published writers, who have granted access to their books free of cost.
After reading about a couple of hundred books from different genres on Wattpad, I realized that initial perception was completely wrong.
Reading on Wattpad made me realize that, just because a book is not written by someone who has not gotten their books traditionally published, that doesn’t give me the right to judge them without reading beforehand.
This platform taught me that writers are not born. Rather, they are created. And that every writer works very hard to give a structure to their thoughts, a meaning to their work, and a purpose to their story.
I got the opportunity to interact with many readers who were writers, who like me had come to this platform to find their voice. Being on Wattpad made me understand that each one of us has a unique story to tell. We just have to find the courage to tell it out loud. And Wattpad provides just the perfect place to do so.
My experience on Wattpad has humbled me in so many ways.
The Wattpad Experience
Wattpad is a social platform that enables readers to be in direct contact with their favourite writers. As a reader, you get to follow, vote, comment, and support your favourite authors and their books. You get to belong to the journey in the creation and development of your favourite book – as opposed to simply reading the final piece of the publication.
Inspired by creating magic through words, I started writing a book of my own on Wattpad. Being a writer, for a change, opened new gates for me, if that was even possible. There are many perks of getting started as a writer on a platform like Wattpad.
For starters, you have the option of publishing your book chapter by chapter. After publishing each chapter, you get immediate feedback from your readers about your work, thereby making you aware of what’s lacking in your storyline and what makes your story stand out. Sometimes, readers even come up with different ideas for the continuation of the story and what possibly missing from your story.
Also, there are multiple contests offered by Wattpad for budding writers to showcase their work and get nominated by the readers as well as writers for their work. The Watty’s Awards has helped many writers on Wattpad to get a kick start to their careers as well-established writers. The platform already has collaborations with Sourcebooks and HarperCollins that lookout for new talents on the website.
However, Wattpad would require their writers to slog a number of hours in completing their story in a given period. The bottom line of gaining a huge audience on such a wide platform with millions of readers is consistency. This also proves as motivation in getting that book of yours, completed in time.
As someone who has just started exploring the whole writer aspect, I have understood one thing. If you are simply starting out, even if for the first time, you have to start somewhere. And Wattpad might just be the perfect place for you.
Tell us about your Wattpad Experience. How has it shaped you as a writer?
About the Author
Fareeha Arshad is a forager of meaning, a reader by passion, a writer by choice, and a scientist by vocation. The Arab born, confused Desi lives on the Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia with her parents and siblings, where she spends most of her time studying, teaching, writing or cooking.