I've been writing for most of my life now, and I've been writing online since 2012 (that's over 5 years for those of you who want to do the math). I've made an incredible amount of progress from 2012, moving from a fictionalized blog to a few novellas on Figment to finishing up my 13th novel in just a few days and having thousands of followers on Wattpad.
I've worked insanely hard since around 2013, when I started seriously promoting my writing. Nothing has come easy for me so far, but I don't plan on stopping now! I realize I've never shared with any of you my long-term goals for writing, so here they are.
The best thing about goals is that they're flexible. When I first started writing, I had plans for this to only be recreational. Then, I got really excited about traditional publishing and did some work on that. I've had an educational time delving into the traditional publishing world through a variety of jobs and internships, and I've learned a lot about marketing to my strengths.
What sets me apart from most writers who try to get traditionally published is my base of followers. Most people querying or attending writing conferences don't have this, so I've been thinking about the best way to use this to my advantage. With a lot of research, I've come up with the following goals:
1. Continue writing on Wattpad
Ultimately, Wattpad is how I continue to meet amazing readers and improve my writing skills. It would be stupid to quit now, and I'm not interested in leaving. Lots more books will be coming soon, and I'm so excited to write them.
2. Branch out to Radish
For those of you who don't know, Radish is a writing community a lot like Wattpad—except I'm allowed to earn a revenue for my writing. You can check out this link to learn more about the app, but it basically exists on a "freemium" model: I'll post a chapter every week, two weeks (whatever I decide) for free, but if you want to read before the next chapters are posted, you can pay with tokens (which convert to money for me) and read all in one sitting (or two, or three).
I will continue to offer content for free on Wattpad, but updates will be posted first on Radish—so if you're a Wattpad user who's itching to read the next chapter before I post it or who wants to go on and read the whole book, you can do that through Radish. Seems like the best of both worlds, right?
I may also offer some sequels/spin-offs novels exclusively on Radish. We'll see.
So when will this shift happen? I'm not entirely sure—I'm still doing some research on the site and then I have to apply to be a writer—but I'm hoping by winter 2017 and if not then definitely by the beginning of 2018. Stay tuned for more updates!
3. Join Swoonreads
While Radish will hopefully be a way for me to finance my writing and gain more of a following (it's an up-and-coming platform that I predict will compare with Wattpad one day even though it's relatively small now), it's not my end goal. This end goal has, and always will be, traditional publication. I don't ever plan on giving up my dream of picking up my novel in a bookstore and feeling it in my hands.
SwoonReads is a website run by Macmillan publishers that uses an online platform to select its books for publication. Authors have had incredible success and have been heavily marketed, so I could get a book in print at most bookstores around the world—through a traditional publisher.
SwoonReads is my more immediate goal right now, and I'm prepping Unveil for submission. How can you help? Once I submit my manuscript, I will be asking you all to read over to SwoonReads to read & rate. The books with the highest ratings are considered for publication!
I'm foreseeing submission of Unveil in winter 2017. It should be completed in September but I'll need a few months to edit and polish it to perfection. More details coming soon!
4. Pursue Traditional Publication
With hopefully a novel under my belt and a large following (love you guys!!), I will start looking for an agent and more traditional forms of publishing to kick off my career. My goal is to eventually have a full-time writing career, and I'm doing everything I can to get there.
Once I get to this point, I still see myself posting on Wattpad and Radish. Wattpad will receive drafts, previews, and spin-off/novellas (they'll still be completely free to read)! while I'll offer other novellas/drafts/non-publishable material on Radish. Hopefully by this point, you will all be able to read my work in bookstores.
My biggest, biggest goal of all is to have a super-successful novel turned TV show, and for me to eventually start a YouTube channel highlighting my writer life/book updates in a vlog style. Who knows where this crazy journey will lead me, though? I've made it so far in the last 5 years, and this is what I have in mind for the next 5. We'll see where I am by 2022!