There are things in life I’ve learned that tend to be the complete opposite of what I was taught growing up. What I’ve noticed is it’s not the most talented or skilled people who necessarily find success. Much more often I tend to see that those who find success have a certain level of talent, but their ability to win the popularity contest in life is what puts them in high and respected positions. In many ways life is like high school, but in a larger pond. For writers it is no different.
Whether in film, acting, writing, or any other creative community the same rules of high school popularity apply. You can be the greatest writer that ever lived, and yet you won’t find success off of that alone. A mildly talented writer though, who is known by many, has a greater chance of success. It could even be argued that a lousy writer could find wild success merely because of who they know, or who knows them. That argument has been posed in cases with books like 50 Shades of Grey, and its author who had worked in the television industry and likely had a bit of help from those connections.
If I could do things over again, I’d likely put more effort into the social media or networking parties even though I despise them to a large extent. We’ve all heard the saying, ‘It’s who you know, not what you know.’ The older I get the more I realize and witness the truth in this old quote.
Unlike 10 or 20 years ago, there are more options available to people today than having to dress to impress and attending a stuffy party of suits. With social media we can network from our homes, dressed in our pajama’s, and slurping on a drink we really shouldn’t be having on the job. Although do note that you don’t want to post photos of yourself doing this! There’s now no need to worry about having an expensive suit or dress, or that haircut that you really meant to get a few months back but just couldn’t find the time to do with your busy schedule. With social media we only need to do that once, take the pictures, and present yourself that way on the internet for the work you share with others. There’s nothing more fun than being comfortable at home working versus the feeling of being stressed over appearances in public.
When it comes to sharing your work filmmakers have YouTube, Vimeo, and a host of other options to present what they do. Political activists have their usual array of websites like the Huffington Post, and many are finding success on Facebook. Google Plus also has their niche with what appears to be a bunch of network marketers. But what about writers? Where can they go? You can attempt it on Facebook although it’s not set up properly for writers. The same goes for Google Plus. YouTube and Vimeo, while offering a specific way to maybe market a book (Book trailer anyone!) aren’t fit for writers either. Don’t get me wrong, these are great tools for writers to use to help in promoting their work and building an audience, but they’re not built specifically for writers.
One of the great sites I read about was Wattpad.com. I came across it in an article about someone finding a publisher through sharing their work on that website. Wattpad is nice in that it has a whole variety of writers and readers to share your work with. Several writers there have even found publishers due to the popularity of their work within the community. The nice thing is it’s built specifically with writers in mind. Amanda Hocking, a paranormal romance young-adult fiction writer, who has been in the news for finding success as an indie writer on Amazon also happens to have an account their she posts stories to. It’s a perfect place for writers to gather, share their work, and network in an attempt to find their audience.
I’ve met some really great people there, along with reading some nice stories when I’ve found the time. Lindsey Clarke, who goes by LittleCinnamon as a username for instance, has a nice following there with her Dark Sanctuary vampire series which I’ve found to be a really fun read. She was kind enough recently to give me a mention that helped kick up my own readers list, and she writes like a demon! How she can knock out so much so fast is amazing. Many of her followers are talented in their own rights as well.
There are a good number of other sites I’ve also been looking into recently that lean towards different genres or types of writers. I’ll try to share more as I go through them myself. In the meantime you can find my work on Wattpad.com under Martin Douglas of course, or check out Lindsey’s assortment of books on her profile here.