Writing Online: The Good, the Bad, and the Impact


By AN

Writing has changed a lot in my lifetime.  Newer and more advanced digital technology is continually changing the way we write.  It has changed the amount of people reading annually, blogging and writing websites, and it has affected other people.  I’ll start with a story about my own experiences with writing and technology.

When I was young, I wrote a lot.   In a school where I often felt lonely, I would write and create worlds that I could get lost in.  In grade three, I wrote a fifty page story that was about a herd of wild horses.  I admit, sometimes I would daydream about those places instead of listening to my teachers drone on about stuff I already knew.  Since I was a history nerd, I would get obsessed with different events or past cultures.  You could usually tell by what stories I wrote which culture I was currently obsessed with.  World War ||, Ancient Greek gods, the Titanic.  If it happened, I probably wrote a story about it.

When I got my iPad, my writing switched from paper to my device.  It made it easier to store and save my stories as well as edit them, but I still rarely shared them with anyone.  This is when I discovered Wattpad and gained a new friend through mutual interests in YouTubers and one Wattpad story.

When I started writing on Wattpad, I was blown away by the feedback I received.  I was finally able to share my writing with people who would appreciate my humour and potential.  Although I’m far from the most popular writer on the site, I have good status.

My personal writing experiences aside, it’s common knowledge that not everyone likes reading or writing.  Studies done by Huffington Post in 2013 show that less and less people are even reading after they leave high school, much less writing after high school.  Their statistics show that 28% of Americans have not read a book in the past year.  Of course, this was 2013, so who knows how much that has changed?  Some of their other stats show that 41% of Americans 18 and up have not read any fictional books in the past 12 months and 42% of Americans 18 and up have not read any non-fiction books in the past 12 months.  For more information, you can visit the Huffington Post blog site below.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/07/american-read-book-poll_n_4045937.htmlhuff.png

The world of writing is changing dramatically right under our fingertips through blogging and writing websites.  Creative writing online can be wonderful, but there are also some cons.  Some of those cons are that writing can be really popular, but really bad.  Your work can be easily stolen, although some websites have a block so that you can’t copy-paste someone else’s book.  The hate that you can get can be enough to stop people from posting their stories, and after you post, your writing is out there forever.  It can put a dark mark on future job opportunities, especially for people who write graphic smut.

The positives, in my eyes, weigh out the negatives.  Your readers can give you instant feedback, which allows you to improve your skills.  Publishing companies can discover you and help you become a professional author, which is a dream come true for many writers on these websites.  But the best part of all of this is that you can write about the things you love and share it with other people who love the same thing.  The support you can get from your fans is astonishing and can brighten a very gloomy day.

Blog posts are completely different in their pros and cons.  Some of those cons are that good blogs require regular updates, which can be difficult for those with jobs.  Amateurs can start them and negatively affect their readers by giving them false information, being a poor role model, etcetera.  Being too honest in a blog post can lead to trouble, and if it’s done badly, it can be a bad reflection of your business or personality.  You can read more about this at: http://www.elledecor.com/shopping/best-stores/news/a3383/the-pros-cons-of-blogging-a-70424/

However, starting a blog is easy and can help you or your company get noticed.  It can create a great sense of community and the outreach is amazing, so if you have some tips or tricks that could help someone, feel free to start a blog.  It could be great!  There’s one point that could be a pro or a con, and that’s that it could help or hinder your ability to get a job, just like creative writing online can.  Think before you post!

wattpad

I decided that one of the best ways to understand how people are affected by writing online besides my own experience was to interview a Wattpad writer.  Wattpad is a website where people can read and write books of any topic.  Each month, 35 million people visit the site.  Among them, there are over 2 million writers.  The site has over 100,000 stories, and 30 of those belong to my sister Hope.  She has been on the site since April 6th, 2014 and has accumulated 1905 followers.  I asked her a few questions about her experience, and here are her answers.

Me: What has been your proudest achievement so far on Wattpad?

Hope: Getting 600,000 reads on one of my books.

Me: What’s your favourite part of being on Wattpad?

Hope: I like getting support from my readers and gaining feedback.  It’s a very interactive community.

Me: Have you ever gotten any hate?

Hope: Yes.  It’s all ridiculous and I can ignore it.

Me: Do you ever plan to quit Wattpad?

Hope: No.  At best it remains a hobby and I’ll just keep it around for when I’m older.  I plan to keep writing for a while.

I think that online writing is more of a positive than a negative.  People’s lives have been changed, mine amongst many others, for the better.  I know that life would be very different if I hadn’t started sharing my stories online.  Sharing my writing online taught me that I can be who I am and that I don’t have to change my personality to fit the mould that everyone else is desperate to fit.  Being yourself is one of the most important things to be, and through writing, I can show everyone that I believe it.

Works Cited:

 

“POLL: 28 Percent of Americans Have Not Read a Book in the past Year.” Huffpost Books. N.p., 7 Oct.
     2013. Web. 22 Jan. 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/07/
     american-read-book-poll_n_4045937.html>.
Price, Ariel K. “8 Online Writing Communities to Know about.” AKP. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.
     <http://arielkprice.com/8-online-writing-communities-to-know-about/&gt;.
“Wattpad.” Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
     Wattpad#Usage>.
McKeough, Tim. “The Pros and Cons of Blogging.” Elle Decor. N.p., 16 Aug. 2011 \. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.
     <http://www.elledecor.com/shopping/best-stores/news/a3383/the-pros-cons-of-blogging-a-70424/&gt;.

 

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