How Vocal Influenced Me As A Writer
I never thought I would end up here
I never thought I would want to be a writer.
Growing up I had no interest in books, grammar, literature or writing. I never felt well educated in English as a subject and it deterred me from exploring it.
Life, as it always seems to do, will give you a nudge in the right direction when you least expect it.
My freshman year, I had a lot going on and needed something to ground me. I turned to reading after stumbling across a few really good books. The obsession only seemed to grow from there. By the time I was a senior, I would be reading the book I brought in from my collection, while answering my teacher's questions about the book she was teaching. Pretentious, I know. I had luckily already read most of the books in my school's curriculum by senior year, so it was easy to follow along in class while also reading my own choice of literature.
A few years after graduation, I fell into a reading slump. I found myself reading crappy book after crappy book which just became depressing. To get out of this disappointing pattern, I started reading fanfictions or fictional stories by smaller authors.
Wattpad was an app I often found myself on. I did find a few great pieces, but it still wasn't what I was looking for. At that time, I also got really into 'bookstagram'. The only issue I found with 'bookstagram' is it is geared toward YA or Fantasy novels. Of course I’ve read a few good books in both genres, but it is still not the type of book that I gravitate towards.
Eventually, I found myself saying the same thing that I’m sure all writers have said before. “ I bet I could write a better book than that!” A bit cocky, huh? Regardless, that's how I feel and hopefully one day I might get the chance to do it.
The issue that I have faced is the absolute lack in support offered to those who want to be a writer. I didn't go to college and I do not plan on going to college. Writing should not need a college degree. Editing might, but you can’t teach creativity. When you don't go to school for writing or journalism, you are not introduced to the resources necessary to become a writer.
If you post on a platform like Wattpad or Archive of Our Own, it doesn’t offer a lot in terms of exposure. Neither does Instagram, Facebook or YouTube, unless you are able to post to them like it is your full time job. Don’t get me wrong, I know it takes time, handwork and a little bit of luck. It is just very easy to get discouraged when you are not seeing any progress.
I want to be an author, not a social media icon.
I am a gold star kind of a person. I don’t need a lot of recognition, but a little will take me a long way. One day I was scrolling on Instagram, saw an ad for Vocal, and against my better judgement, I signed up as a member. I posted my first story and, at the end of that day, my story had been viewed a whopping 4 times. I made two cents! By the end of my first weekend on Vocal, I had posted five stories and became absolutely hooked. I think I had a total of twenty views on all my stories by the end of that weekend, and although it may not seem like a lot, it was more than I had ever been able to achieve on a different platform.
Also, the support that I am given on Vocal is tremendous. I have received tips from other users, numerous likes on my stories, and bonuses from Vocal itself.
Vocal has a bonus program in place so you get little rewards for the accomplishments you make on the site. I was given $5 for publishing my fifth story and then $10 for my tenth. I also got a $5 reward for a story I wrote that was chosen as a top story. I was even given a reward for writing a story Vocal thought it was ‘cool’.
I have published close to twenty stories, even after thinking I would never get this far on any platform. I am so excited to have found Vocal and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for me next.
I never truly thought I would be a writer until Vocal gave me the confidence, resources and motivation to try.