Reading people's immediate visceral responses is awesome and terrifying. I am blessed that my interactions have been 100 percent positive. I realize that not everyone is and will be this lucky. As an experienced social media manager, I am quick and ready with the delete, mute, and block buttons.
But I have been blessed, and it's amazing to see what resonates with people, what make them cry or yearn, what scenes fall flat, and what surprises you about what surprises them. People tell you when they've learned something about themselves through your book, and that immediacy is something that other reading platforms can't (yet) mimic.
My just-completed book on Wattpad, The Billionaire's Prince, began with the idea: "What if the billionaire CEO was a woman?" I thought it up while I was visiting my parents in California, laptop free, and was so intrigued by the concept that I posted a cover and a blurb to Wattpad -- from my phone -- with no sense yet of what would exist beyond the cover.
"Three days a month. That's all the billionaire wants from him. Or rather, three nights. Three nights a month for a year, and at the end, she will divorce him with a settlement large enough to save the small European principality that means everything to him. All the wealthy CEO wants? Three long, hot nights a month in her bed. And his heir."
All those details -- three nights a month, the settlement, the European principality -- I literally thought up in the five minutes it took me to write the blurb. I tacked on "and his heir" as an after thought.
The concept received so many votes and comments right off the bat that I knew it was an idea that had promise. Wattpad, with its 65 million monthly visitors who spend 15 BILLION minutes per month reading, is a wonderful place to try out a title, a chapter, an idea, and see if it has legs.
Find a writing community
The fears I had of showing my work to a critique group, a writing friend, or a judging panel were quickly overcome by the "show it to the world" nature of the Internet. I originally wrote under a pseudonym, but don't anymore. Wattpad forced me to be brave and get over my stage fright.
And in revealing myself, I've found a community of supportive, kickass writers who cheerlead me through chapters, create fanart for me, advocate for me to their readers, and invite me to new opportunities.
Wattpad superstar Fallon DeMornay has mentioned me multiple times in interviews as one of her favorite writers on Wattpad, an honor that knocks me out every time it happens. I will re-pay her one day by showering her in diamonds, cocktails, and attractive men who know how to salsa.
In 2015, I was invited to take part in a Wattpad Valentine's Day anthology by USA Today bestselling author Michelle Jo Quinn. It forced me to write the first short story I'd written in years, and The Phone Call became one of my favorite babies.
Keep ass in chair
My bio mentioned that I've always been my worst critic and that critic can lead me to take loooooooooong breaks, breaks when working for clients or planning family events or cleaning the fridge can all seem more appealing and compelling than finishing my book.
But Wattpad readers have this pesky habit of letting you know when they love you and your work. "Update please," "Update soon," "Update now please soon," are all comments that make Wattpad authors climb the wall. Now, instead of just a dusty keyboard, I have actual human beings telling me that I'm being a slacker and I need to get back to work.
There is NOTHING more motivating to keep my butt in the chair and my hands typing away than the pressure of readers excited and anxious for my words. It's awful. It's terrific. It's awfully terrific, and I'm so grateful that Wattpad has given me the opportunity to connect with readers who give a crap about my writing.