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Four Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Writing On Vocal

by Reija Sillanpaa 5 months ago in advice

What I Have Learnt About Publishing On Vocal

Four Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Writing On Vocal
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Having read about some success stories where people were earning a very decent living from writing on Vocal, I had high hopes of instant success when I wrote my first story. But my story didn't get any reads. The same thing happened with the next few stories and I almost gave up.

My stories went unnoticed amongs the thousands of stories published on Vocal. Looking back, I'm not at all surprised.

So here are the lessons I have learnt.

Make Your Title Stand Out

What kind of titles are you likely to click on? For example, what made you open and read this story?

When choosing your own title, think about those that attract your attention. Look at what other authors are doing to get some ideas for catchy titles. Of course, I'm not suggesting you copy their titles, but researching what others do can help you format your own.

It is also important to give your introduction plenty of attention. You might have enticed your reader with your title, but if your introduction does not live up to it, your reader is likely to move on to other stories and writers.

Write and publish regularly

When I first started writing on Vocal, I made the mistake of not publishing regularly. You are more likely to build an audience when you post stories often. I now aim to publish one story a week, on a good week, two stories.

A while back I came across some advice about self-publishing your novel. It said that you should aim to publish books at regular intervals to keep you in the readers' mind.

I think this advice applies to writing on Vocal, too. With so much reading material out there, if you disappear of the radar, your readers are bound to find new writers to follow and forget about you.

Writing and publishing regularly has also had some additional, unexpected benefits. One of the reasons I didn't write regularly on Vocal, was that I didn't want it to take away time from writing my book. But it has had the opposite effect. Being more productive here, has made me a more productive writer over all. You can read more about this and other reasons for writing on Vocal, here.

Publish Polished Pieces

You are your own editor and proofreader when you publish on Vocal.

Nobody wants to read stories full of spelling and grammatical errors and poorly grafted sentences. Work that is sloppy will put readers off, probably for good.

After months of trying to find a writing routine that works for me, I now have found a process that works for me. It also helps me to publish polished pieces reasonably quickly.

I have learnt to write during my lunch breaks. Most days I can manage a full story while tucking into my lunch. Some longer stories may take a couple of lunch breaks to finish.

My lunchbreak writing sessions are done by hand. It may sound old-fashioned to many but works perfectly for me. There is no editing during the first draft.

The editing happens when I type the story up at home in the evening. After the second draft is typed up, I leave it to marinate for a few days. I find it useful to let it rest for a few days and then returning to it with fresh eyes. In the meantime, I use my lunchbreaks to work on my book, my blog or new stories for Vocal.

When I return to the story, I edit it for grammar and spelling. I use ProwritingAid but there are many other online programmes, too, that will help you to polish your story. That is draft three.

Draft four is the final draft when I edit for flow and style. Then, it is ready to publish.

Don’t Give Up

I'm sure I am not alone in thinking that writing on Vocal would bring me an instant additional income. I read about people making thousands every month from their stories and wanted my share of it. So I published my first story and expected readers to discover me overnight. How naive.

Of course there are writers who have become a success on Vocal overnight. But it doesn't happen very often.

For most of us, success takes time, hard work and building an audience.

Bonus Tips

Yes, I am aware I mentioed four things in the title. But I do want to share two more tips with you that can help you to find more readers.

- You can include links to your other stories. For example, earlier in this story, I mentioned another one I wrote where I focused on reasons to write on Vocal. I included a link to that story for easy access for those who wish to read it.

- Make sure you read a lot of articles on Vocal. You can get so much from reading what others are sharing and find inspiration for your own stories, too.

Read, learn and be inspired.

If you liked what you read...

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You can also follow me on Instagram for updates on new articles, short stories and the progress of my debut novel.

Reija Sillanpaa
Reija Sillanpaa
Read next: Why Denny's Is the Perfect Starter Job for a Cook
Reija Sillanpaa

Writer, reader, blogger, charity fundraiser. Find me on:

10% of what I earn on Vocal goes to Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

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