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Anna Schultz / Her Campus

Destressing: The Joys of Writing a Book

At one point or another in life, everyone has written some sort of story, poem, or fanfiction. Whether it be an essay in high school that you are proud of, a short story for a contest, or something you wrote for fun. Writing can be a great way to express creativity and get out your ideas. There are many online platforms where you can ‘publish’ your work for people to read for free, just to get yourself out there! The platform I like to use the most is Wattpad. It is both a website and an app that allows you to customize your stories in regard to copyright, target audience, tags to get your book noticed, the cover, and more. I like this site the most because of these features. Other sites to write and publish on are Quora, Archive of Our Own, and Inkitt. 

What I like most about writing is the brief escape from reality. I’ve found myself getting lost in my little world as I spend countless hours working on writing. It’s an amazing escape where you can explore all types of writing styles, like fantasy, futuristic, realistic, non-fiction, and more. My first story, which only has just over 100 reads on it, was a fantasy-based fiction story involving angels. I’ve also dabbled with postapocalyptic themes and futuristic themes, too. Now, I’ve found my favorite writing style and stick to it!

Creating a cover for the story is another fun part. The cover of a book is crucial. Many authors chose to use it as a window into their story, while others use blank covers and plain colors to entice people. I use Adobe Photoshop to create my own covers, sometimes creating multiple designs before selecting one. For my most recent story, I created two variations of the cover before finally selecting one. 

Returning readers are your biggest goal. You want people to read one of your stories and get so hooked they read all your other stories (like I did with all the Sarah Dessen books). You can never let the haters get to you. I’ve had people tell me my stories are trash and have horrible plots, and I’ve had Wattpad ambassadors reach out to me and tell me my stories are phenomenal. Yes, some of the older works are cringy and do have bad plots, but you grow, mature, and change with age. So do your stories. You want to make sure to hook your target audience early on and have them follow you through your entire career!

Finally, the most rewarding part is seeing the success of my stories. I never thought I would reach 1,000 reads, but out of my 22 published stories, 15 hit 1,000+ reads. My favorite day ever was the day my story, Unexpected, reached 1 million reads. It was absolutely mind blowing and the overwhelming support from my followers encourages me to continue writing, even when the haters were fierce. The story currently has 1.7 million reads!

I strongly encourage everyone to at least give writing a book a shot. It may take a few tries to grasp a solid concept and gather a following, but make sure to never give up. Feel free to check out my Wattpad (accordingtocastiel) and I hope everyone reading this article gives writing a book a chance!

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