By: Shelby Hillers, Online Editor
I’ve lost count the number of times I’m standing in line at the grocery store and I’m suddenly struck with an idea for an article or a short poem that I think is fantastic (even though it may not be). The struggle is where do you keep these random gems and better yet, where can you publish them instantly?
There are plenty of articles discussing the pros and cons of self-publishing and instant publishing. But in an age where publishing everything is the norm, it’s hard not to want to post your haiku or rough draft of a first chapter somewhere. Posting it means hearing feedback (both positive and negative) and feedback means knowing whether to continue or not.
So where do you publish these beautiful lines of poetry or intriguing chapters of your novel? Most people have their own blogs where they can post but that’s not always convenient nor does it guarantee people will see it. Instead people are posting their written creativity on apps like Wattpad, WhatsApp or through the social media website Twitter. And in the land of digital publishing, clicking the post button is easy, simple, and convenient. And it helps that you can always delete it later too.
Recently Wattpad has gained plenty of attention from The New York Times, Gigoam.com, Mashable.com and other websites. Founded in 2006, Wattpad was first a mobile app for users to download eBooks and to view them easily. When the app was struggling, the creators Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen changed the app to a more interactive community where writers could post their works along with following other writers and commenting on stories. The community also features a “What’s Hot List” that changes daily and a “Featured Story” list that promotes content reviewed and approved by staff and an editorial review board. That’s not to mention the community that comes along with the app. The more well-known authors will often receive fan-made art including graphics, playlists, comics, and cover-art (basically anything creative, fans will make). It even helps newbie writers become published authors and kick-start their writing careers.
The newest addition to online storytelling is WhatsApp, an app mostly used for cross-platform instant messaging for smartphones. While at first you’d never think the app could be used for online storytelling, recent article from thenextweb.com “Whatsapp is now a medium for storytelling” (a pretty obvious headline) states otherwise. Mostly through screenshots of conversation (perhaps the simplest execution of dialogue), readers are shortly told a story through text messages. The use of the app is still relatively new and awaiting for users to create stories through but if you’d like a test-try of the new storytelling platform, check out this story here.
Twitter has been around for years now and it seems like most people have an account. Recently, writer fanatics have been using hashtags when publishing their works, something that allows tweets to be easily found. With the limitation of 140 characters, Twitter really does make every word count. The limitation leads most writers to post short lines of poetry, mostly haikus, with hashtags like “amwriting”, “haiku”, or simply tagging the tweet with related searchable words. Tweeting is nothing new but creating beautiful poetry within a tweet is, and who knows-maybe it’ll stick around.
So whether it’s through Twitter, WhatsApp, or Wattpad, create something. And even better, post it. Allow others to see your work. Let them read your words and be inspired. You never know, it might lead to something a lot bigger down the road.