How on earth are we up to Part V already? Time flies when you're making memes, I guess.
It's been over two years since the first Vocal Memes for Established Creators article was published, and to-date it's still my most read Vocal story of all time, although I'm determined to beat that record this year with something new.
With the abundance of new and upcoming changes to Vocal over the past few weeks, including the addition of the much anticipated Humour Community, there’s never been a better time to release a fresh batch of Vocal-themed memes.
I'll leave the grand opening there and just get to it because, let's be real, you're here for the memes, not an essay (plus, it's less work for me so really it's a win-win).
#1 Vocal's brand-spanking new CONTENT WARNING tag
I have a great deal of admiration for creators who've developed their own 'brand' on Vocal. You know, the ones who make their own cover images, and write about consistent topics or themes. There's something really satisfying about seeing those neat-and-tidy profiles (maybe it's the OCD).
But alas, my profile is not like this. One minute you'll be reading a dark fiction story about a woman that murders a serial killer, or a horror story about a bird-monster that steals children, and the next you'll be reading, well - this.
Anyway, the point of this meme was actually to advertise the new content warning feature. Thanks to a lot of suggestions and pioneering from creators like Donna Renee we're now able to add a "CONTENT WARNING" tag before we publish to give readers a heads up for those occasional Wednesday Adams kinda stories. Thanks Donna (and Vocal, and everyone else who suggested this).
#2 Shout-out to Justin@Vocal
With all these new changes, there's been soooo many new articles and comments and suggestions for improvements and requests for feedback etc. etc. (which I love), and as a result, Justin has seemingly been e v e r y w h e r e across the platform lately. Posting updates, asking questions, responding politely to angry rants (some of which, ok, were justified to an extent).
The point is, I've been with Vocal for a few years now and this is the most dynamic and responsive to feedback the platform has ever been. Of course, change isn't always a good thing, but I think most of the new additions have been for the better, in my opinion at least.
One last thing - sorry almost done rambling, there’ll be more memes soon I promise - I must confess, I got the inspiration for this one from a recent Top Story by Novel Allen (which I'm now just realising I didn't even comment on so I'll share it here instead as a shout-out) - a perfectly on point and humorous poem titled Hi, I'm Justin @ Vocal (Parody). Thanks Novel Allen for breaking the ice, and sorry Justin@Vocal for making you the topic of this meme (and the next one...)
#3 I promise I'm not making fun of you, Justin@Vocal
Even with all the changes and updates though, I don't think it'll ever get to the point where everyone is 100% happy and there will always, always, be people complaining about something. Sorry Justin@Vocal, but it’s true.
I confess, I too am one of those people who occasionally complain and ask for changes *insert bombastic side-eye image*.
BUT, on the other hand, I think feedback is important - good or bad, and unfortunately sometimes it can lean more heavily towards one or the other.
Ok, I've already given a long explanation in the previous meme-paragraph, so I won't draw it out further. Moving on.
#4 Pesky Plagiarists
I'll keep the ranting about plagiarism short - don't do it or one of the many good people of Vocal will hunt you down, post your profile on the various Vocal-related social media pages, shame you and then condemn you to he-
Ok maybe not that far, but basically it'll be embarrassing for you and you won't make any money off it, and it's a waste of everyone's time including your own so just don't plagiarise. Thanks.
#5 Just... no
Also, while we're ranting about annoying things people do on Vocal, can we please stop doing THIS. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for supporting other writers, and when people read and leave comments on my stories, I do my very best to return the favour, if not straight away, then at some point in the future when I have a few minutes to spare.
I think someone commenting on your stories asking you to read their’s is like when you know you have washing up to do, and you're planning on doing it, but then someone asks you to do it and then it just feels like it's a million times more work even though you were already planning on doing it anyway. Yes that's a real thing and it's not just me... I think.... I hope...
Oh, and another thing, please don’t go posting those in-genuine AI generated comments either please. They’re extremely obviously AI generated and they won’t get people to return reads because it’s obvious you never read their stories to begin with.
Ugh, I’m ranting again. My bad.
Well, may as well finish strong. The point is - don't read in order to be read. Read because you're actually interested in what someone wrote. If I post something, and you're bored after the first few lines and don't want to read more - then don't. I really don't mind. Hell, if you don't even open the story to begin with becuase you don't have time, or simply aren't interested, then that's perfectly ok as well.
At this point I'm basically just regurgitating what Naomi Gold so eloquently said in her Vocal Etiquette article so I'm going to leave it there, but if you haven't read this article I'd highly recommend it because I stand by every word she wrote.
#6 Please tell me other people feel the same way
Does anyone else have this issue or is it just me?
Funnily enough, I had a quick skim through some of my previous Vocal Memes for Established Creators articles before I wrote this and realised I hadn't replied to most of the comments on them (sorry everyone). It's been several months now since most of those were written so it's just a bit weird to go back and respond now. But yet, I had to physically stop myself from typing out a reply to each of them because if anyone doesn't get replied to I feel incredibly rude. Ironically, if people don't reply to my comments I don't even realise like 90% of the time, and the other 10% I just don't care. There is no logic, I know.
Even more ironically, I know I’m probably going to respond to every comment that gets left on this article because it’s so engrained into me and I just can’t help myself.
Anyway, rumour has it that Vocal is working on a new feature that lets you like comments and to be honest, this is going to be a life saver. Finally, a way to acknowledge someone's comment without having to write a reply every single time. Perfect.
#7 As I keep saying in these articles, "when life gives you lemons"
Moving on to a more personal meme, I had a crappy fortnight. My car broke down - no - it DIED (born 2001, died 2023 - may she rest in peace), I absolutely f****d up an experiment in my lab that took four weeks to get done, and my student loans increased by a disgusting amount that I don't even want to talk about. It was... yeah…
Anyyyyway, on the bright side, I had a keyboard to take my anger out on and an abundance of Vocal challenges (holy crap there are so many Challenges at the moment, right?) to write for to keep me distracted. Thanks, Vocal.
#8 Dammit I just want to be original
The amount of times I've whacked that "publish" button, glowing with excitement because I think I'm about to become the Stephen King of Vocal with my entirely original idea, only to scroll through the other Challenge submissions to see everyone else had the same train of thought is ridiculous. And sad. But I mean, it happens.
They say the first idea you have for a story is often your best idea but I disagree - sometimes you’ve got to sit and really brainstorm for a while to come up with a niche angle, and that means scrapping or reworking a lot of your initial inspiration. If you keep digging through ideas you’ll find a diamond eventually.
#9 Gotta add a bit of spice to the story
Well, I figured we’d conclude this batch of memes with a little zest and share a meme that’s not *technically* a Vocal meme. It IS a writing meme though so I’d argue it’s still relevant.
I have a strange feeling that someone else has made a similar meme before, but I felt inspired to write this caption when I saw the image so I did it anyway and, well, here it is.
Thanks for sticking around, I hope you've enjoyed the latest batch of Vocal memes, and the random rants, shout-outs and announcements I've chaotically scattered amongst them.
Catch you at the next batch of Vocal memes,
P.S that last meme was 100% a joke - I’d never write an autobiography, I have far too many secrets 😉.
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