My Advice After 500 Vocal Stories
My advice and experience after writing 500 stories on vocal.
This has been four years in the making. When I first joined Vocal in 2017, I didn’t really have an idea how many posts I would make. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to stay on Vocal. I kept having my stories rejected for ‘low quality’ pictures that weren’t the right size, broken links, under 600 words, spelling and grammar and their personal favourite; vocal does not accept religious content. The only work I’ve not been able to publish was a poem was was an open letter to God. Just the mere fact that I’ve mentioned those words is enough to my work to be rejected. I’ve seen it happen to others and it happened to me lots of times. Other than that, I’ve had no problems uploading my writing on Vocal.
I actually think that Vocal has become more relaxed over the years as it’s gotten bigger. In my last post, I said I don’t know anybody on Vocal that has had over 500 posts and today I have been proven wrong when I found this cool post by Cheryl E Preston who has written over a 1000 posts on Vocal.
I think it also helps that I’ve been writing on his platform for four years so the staff trust that I will always do my best to share content that I’ve put a lot of effort in. So as a person who has written 500 posts, here is my advice to you writers. Some of this will apply to writing outside of Vocal as well. If you are also a content creator on other platforms like Medium and Wattpad, I hope you can find this just as useful.
Don’t let rejection get you down.
Rejection is a part of life: a necessary evil. What’s good about Vocal is that unlike other places which tell you to try again in 6 months or never again, they will tell you to keep editing and submitting until it is approved by their team. I actually found this encouraging when I started and eventually I got personalised reasons why ther content was rejected and examples of were the bad typos and sentence errors were so I was able to fix them. I don’t think they are able to do that anymore because there are many more writers now, but I think it also depends on which member of staff review your work.
Write what you want to write about.
You may not think that your work is worth anything, but there is somebody out there who will. With Vocal you can write about anything you want bar religion and illegal content, but if you want to write about your playlists, extensive collection of rubber duck or charity shop finds, this is a great place to do it.
Take advantages of the free resources online and in person.
The internet is a great resource of information. Vocal has Unsplash built in for commercial image stock that you can use or free. Canva is a great site to make banners for your work, which many writers including myself use. I also find social networking platforms are a good way to get your work seen.
It’s okay not to write everyday.
I think this one is an important one. I used to believe in the advice that we have to write a certain amount of words everyday, but this is not always possible when you have a thing called a life. Sometimes we get ill, or we go on holiday or have to take on extra duties at work. Things happen and I wish I didn’t beat myself up so often if I don’t write anything. I have a bad habit of having the urge to be productive all the time when I’m not working and it’s even worse when I’m sleeping. Yoga and meditation helps though. I’m slowly getting better at it.
Being in groups can be a great motivator.
I don’t think I would have come this far without the help of writing circles. I don’t think I would have been able to grow as a writer about feedback, community spirit and reading books. I believe fan fiction has saved the book industry although I’m not a big fan of some of the more popular fan fic turned novels.
If you’re stuck on what to write, find something to read.
Whenever I’m stuck and can’t write, I walk away from it and comeback to it when I have the motivation to start it again. I have many unfinished works because of it, but in my experiance, it is better to leave something unfinished than force out crappy chapters that spoil a story’s legacy. I also find that when I am reading something I enjoy, my writing muse springs up.
It’s okay to try different things
Don’t feel trapped into one genre or one thing. I write poetry, fan fiction, novels, flash fiction, songs, reviews, blog posts and silly rambles. I would like to try writing a script or a proper play at one point.
So my 500th post has become the most natural for me. Sometimes it takes me ages to think of a post, but this one only took me less than half an hour. Thank you for reading and supporting my work over the years. You rock!