Why Write on Vocal
When you receive few reads and make no money
I joined Vocal about six months ago and put up one poem then completely forgot about the online writing platform. Then about two months ago with ads constantly popping up on my social media feeds promoting the "Little Black Book" challenge with a twenty-thousand dollar prize going to the winner, I decided to give Vocal some serious attention. Since my fictional short-story, "The Event" submission I have been writing and contributing to the platform consistently ever since. I didn't win that challenge nor have I been receiving a large amount of reads for my stories. To date I have made $16.67, with $15 dollars of that total coming in the form of Vocal paying me for my fifth ($5.00) and tenth ($10.00) stories and one lone tip for a dollar. This week I have finally reached just over 100 reads with my ten stories combined, making up the remainder of the money I have in my wallet.
I'm not receiving a lot of attention and have not exploded in popularity by having a top story or being listed as a 'Creator We're Loving'; However, I don't feel unsuccessful on the Vocal platform and I don't feel undetermined to keep writing and submitting stories. Before I was a member of Vocal+, I was writing intermittently, mostly in the form of academic research for papers in the classes I'm taking at the University of La Verne in pursuit of my BS in Criminology, which I'm four courses away from graduation. So to put it simply, I wasn't writing much of anything creatively before I started contributing to Vocal.
Vocal has given me motivation to write on a regular basis, I would never have considered writing a fictional short-story if it wasn't for the Vocal Challenge, I also would not feel compelled to write regularly if the promise of getting paid wasn't the ultimate goal of submitting stories to an online platform. I have always had a desire to write whether I'm actually good at it or not, and Vocal has been the conduit that keeps me in the writing spirit. When I started out as a writer I read the horror stories of those with writer's block and somedays the writers would love to write while other days they loathed it. I now understand the love/hate relationship writers have with their passion. If it wasn't for Vocal I wouldn't have found passion in writing again. Commercial success for my stories would be fantastic but just being part of a writing community has proven to be a personal reward in itself.
There are many of us on the Vocal platform that don't have much commercial success or have a mass following, leaving some to feel dejected and confused about why they continue to write and submit stories online. I assume if most of the members that belong to Vocal are anything like myself, they love to write and be part of a culture that appreciates those who write. Most of us may never become great story tellers or be sought after by organizations to be media content creators, but we can feel a sense of belonging in a group that appreciates the whole of us as writers even if only a few gain the all coveted recognition in the form of reads or a challenge win.
Another great benefit I've found in belonging to Vocal that is probably greatly overlooked and under appreciated by some is the amount of mentors their are to be found. There are many great writers that are sharing intriguing and important information that we all can learn from. Vocal has personally challenged me to write in different styles for different communities and I've found reading other contributors stories to be of great help and value for me when trying to write in different styles. The Vocal platform is not only a place for writers to submit content but also a great place to learn how to become a better writer by the influence of others that are having great success on the platform.
I used to believe that creating a piece of work that I felt comfortable for strangers to read was the hardest and scariest aspect of writing. Since joining Vocal I've learned that the self-promotion and working to get your stories noticed is actually the hardest part about writing and submitting content online. I believe the personality of many writers is one of modesty and therefor find promoting ones own work to be extremely difficult. I can attest to that being my biggest hurdle as I've also opened up an online clothing brand, https://www.theblacksheepshirtco.com/ that I have to market to the masses and find myself feeling very uncomfortable when I'm creating content for my ads. This is another area Vocal has personally helped with my online endeavors. Aamir Kamal, a successful Vocal contributor, has created the group 'Vocal Media Creators Hub' on Facebook where he gives space on that social media platform for us inexperienced writers and newcomers a place to get our stories out there while building up our confidence. Kamal has also written an extremely helpful article outlining the platforms to use that will help writers self-promote and get their stories more reads. He is just one example of the many mentors that are sharing their skills and knowledge with the rest of the group, trying to raise all boats with the rising Vocal tide. I am personally very thankful for his unselfishness in sharing the secrets of his success with us.
Many of us may never win a challenge or make much money with our writing. It may be easy to also feel discouraged when success isn't being achieved while watching those around us being advertised as top contributors. Rather than feeling the negative emotions of failure or contempt I see it as a resource we can all use to better our writings. The writers that have consistently continual success on Vocal are talented writers and story tellers that we all can learn from. Their articles contain a lot of techniques that by them sharing them to the world is actually them given us a lesson to learn from that can ultimately help us get to their level someday.
Finding my true authentic voice has been difficult for me and Vocal has helped give me the opportunity to explore different subjects that I would never write about on my own. Case in point is the 'First Date' challenge, I may not ever actually get a story finished to submit as I'm having a difficult time with the subject matter because it's not really my favored flavor of writing, but what I am gaining from the challenge even if a story never comes from me is the thoughts it's developing in my mind. I actively try to think up blots that fit the required themes of challenges. Again this keeps my fire for writing lit, that otherwise would be extinguished without my membership to Vocal.
The biggest take aways that I think can be had and appreciated by being a Vocal member even if only very little or modest success in readers and followers is achieved, is that one should still feel a great deal of satisfaction and happiness just belonging to such an outstanding platform that helps keep writers doing what they love to; while also challenging us to get out of our comfort zones and right in styles we normally wouldn't write in and about topics we never would consider writing about. Many say it's not the destination but the journey in life that is the reward. Being a member proves this saying to be true. Getting highly recognized and making money from submissions may be the destination and ultimate prize for writers on Vocal; however, what really should be appreciated and viewed as the reward is the journey of just belonging to a group of writers that freely accepts us all for who we are and what we write about. I am just extremely happy and content to have great writers around me and belong to a group that gives me motivation to stay focused on writing while giving me an outlet to get my writing out into the world which helps moderate my feelings of being terrified of letting strangers see my content.
If there's any advice that can be taken away from "Why I Write for Vocal: When I get few reads and make no money" it can be that monetary achievement should not be the only matrix used to measure success on the platform, but rather the experiences gained just by being a contributor are also very valuable in one's growth as a writer and we should look at the latter as a great achievement in itself and don't get too dejected if the money isn't rolling in fast enough or if ever. I feel very lucky and privileged to be part of the Vocal platform and group of writers that submit works and it's this spirit and mood that Vocal has put me in that makes me feel eager to keep up writing consistently, even if my articles never see more than just a few handful of reads. In this regard Vocal has become somewhat of a journal in the cloud that I try to contribute to daily.
I hope those of you that find it tough and a struggle to gain attention for your writings can find some solace in this article and know that you are not alone in the land of mediocracy and will find that being a medium grade writer is better than being no writer at all. Feel accomplished that you have the courage to open up and be vulnerable by allowing strangers to read your stories and hear your personal voice. Many of us struggle to find our authentic personal voice when writing because we are always getting lost in trying to write to what we think appeals to the masses; however, Vocal gives us so many opportunities to find out who we truly are, thus allowing us to find our authentic voice no matter what style of writing that ends up being in. Vocal is just an overall great platform for writers that looks only to be growing better and stronger as more contributors join. Sticking with Vocal will see you improving your writing skills and techniques even if that isn't reflected in reads or money earned.
My fellow Vocal members I encourage us all to keep up the great writing and bravery to keep submitting stories for the public to read and don't let the lack of reads or money discourage you from doing so, or allow it to have you not to trust your authentic voice or what and how you're writing. I have found Vocal to be a group of decent and sharing contributors that are here to help those of us that are struggling just as much as they are here to gain recognition and make money. Overall I'm a Vocal member because I love to write even when I struggle to feel any good or making no money, although it's heavily advertised as an easily attainable accomplishment. That's just the lure that hooks us an reels us writers in but I'm glad it does because I wouldn't keep up writing if not for Vocal's methods and that's what has always been missing in my life's career as a writer, was the motivation to keep at it with consistency . So to that I thank Vocal and believe that's the positive approach and mind set to take when no one is reading your stories. Kamar has given us a great platform to read and comment on each other stories. I recommend that we all start reading more of each others works and leaving comments on the Facebook submissions to let each other know that we're supporting each other and that we'll then return the favor. I believe we all on Vocal have a basic desire to write and communicate with people and I encourage those that like myself aren't experiencing much success to keep working at it, because just gaining the experience of being part of the Vocal community is a reward and writing anything is commendable.