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Presented by State Library Victoria

Why I Decided to Use Wattpad

For those who aren’t aware, Wattpad is a website/app or as Wikipedia describes it, ‘a community of readers and writers’ who write and read user-generated stories/books. It was first created in 2007, and has since as a platform gained over 65 million users. That’s absolutely crazy, right?!
Personally, I first heard about it in about 2012. One of my friends from High School was telling me all about these books that they were reading on the app by readers just like them! At this point in my life, I had already decided I was probably never going to use Wattpad. The books were all unpublished, so why would I spend my time reading them?!
Oh hello there smol Jessica. How are you? That’s great. Now retract that statement and go and use Wattpad. Thanks. Future Jess out~
I honestly can’t believe I thought that. Well, I guess I can. I understand where smol Jess was coming from, but boy did she have a lot to learn. I’m mostly just sad that I had at that point already decided that reading was a chore. The fact that I only wanted to read published books for the sake of Goodreads and public opinion is in retrospect really sad. It took me until the beginning of this year to really consider what it meant to enjoy reading and not view it competitively or as a possible job prospect. Whether I wanted to turn it into a job into the future shouldn’t have meant that I had to sacrifice this ability to read other user-generated content. I hadn’t even considered the idea that I could have been one of the users sharing my own work, which brings me to my next point of discussion.
At the beginning of this year I ‘re-discovered’ Wattpad. I’d recently gotten into reading romance and I wanted to find a platform to read these stories simply for my own enjoyment when I suddenly remembered that Wattpad existed. I immediately downloaded the app, created an account and started reading. Whilst I found that there were typos and the odd mistake because people didn’t have editors behind them, the stories were there for the sake of reader’s pure enjoyment. You weren’t reading a book for the sake of putting it towards your Goodreads goal. Not for commercial benefit. Nothing like that.
It was a new world.
A few months after this initial rediscovery I started writing again. I’ve always been someone who has loved to write. I get easily distracted when I write, but I still write, and I’m very passionate about it. I started just writing everything up on Microsoft Word and sending myself updated copies of my work, although with my small attention span I didn’t end up writing all that much. But it was a start. I let that work rest for quite a while whilst I got through exams and the like, and then I had that craving for a good romance story come over me again. I opened up my app and couldn’t find anything that I wanted to read that night. BUT, I’d had an epiphany. Or at least something that had a similar effect – scientists will never actually know. I decided I had to write something on Wattpad. Why hadn’t I done it before! It was perfect. I could update my writing on a platform where people really cared about what they were reading. People who were interested in reading things for fun and who would give me support in my writing journey. It was a community within a community that I could use as a launch-platform for my own enjoyment, whether I ever wanted it for a career or not, it didn’t matter. It was something for me to use here, right now. And it made me extremely happy. It makes me extremely happy.
I still haven’t written that much, but I am so excited for my future on the app. Whether many people read my writing or not, I am happy. I will learn, I will improve and I will ultimately enjoy myself and that is all I can ask for.
That is why I decided to use Wattpad.

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