I originally built this site to support the release of The Writer’s Guide to Weapons back in 2015 (Writer’s Digest Books). That morphed into regular blog posts, which in turn brought more than 600,000 people to this site. I kept the content free because I enjoy helping people, and I like plugging into the writing community at large.
About two years ago, I stopped making regular posts due to other commitments, but I decided to keep this website up and running. While I’m happy to do so, keeping the lights on costs me time and money. Rather than grovel through a Patreon campaign, I’ve decided to take a different route.
Simply Put: Like This Site? Buy My Coffee
That about sums it up.
I started Writer’s Block Coffee® last year, and it’s been doing very well ever since. It’s a specialty coffee subscription with a literary bent. It’s made from the top 5% of coffee beans on Earth, and every purchase supports a literacy non-profit.
It also, of course, supports me, and therefore helps me maintain this website. I’ll be honest here: there isn’t much bandwidth left in my life for this site. But with a little help from you, I’ll be in a better spot for keeping things running.
Last Friday, it was announced that one of my novels, Black Eye, a sequel of all things, won a Watty award over at Wattpad. The Wattys are the world’s largest online writing contest, and this year brought in 140,000 entries from a site that draws 45 million readers. From that, a handful win Wattys as determined by Wattpad itself.
It’s an incredible honor that brings a lot of opportunity with it. Past winners went on to fantastic success. Whatever comes out of this is going to be big. Bigly big. But even larger than that is my sense of gratitude to Wattpad, my readers and everyone who, through support or sacrifice, kept me going to get to this point. Writing is isolating, but it’s not an island. Continue reading →
Note: I’ve veered from the focus of this blog lately, but this is still my primary online home for my writing, and the news lately is too good not to share. Your regularly scheduled programming will resume shortly.
The 100 MPH Wattpad ride continues. Today, I was accepted into the Wattpad Stars program, which is like winning American Idol and the Super Bowl and finding 20 bucks in the laundry on a social reading site with 45 million readers. There is no level above this, and it even comes with a free T-shirt and a morality clause (really) and high-buck sushi served with white gloves (not really).
The Stars program is where Anna Todd, a fanfic writer, inked a six-figure book deal and scored a contract with Paramount for the adaptation. Other writers moved 240,000 books through deals like this one. It’s also where there are more opportunities like the writing I did for The Exorcist and FOX Television. It’s the real deal.
To be frank, I was skeptical of Wattpad when I originally joined. Why post content for free? How does that get me anywhere? But in a little over a year since joining, back when I was certain the amount of damns to give for my fiction fell somewhere between “meh” and “maybe,” I’ve learned that my approach needed to change instead of my writing. In fact, the entire online publishing model is changing. And it’s changing into what Wattpad is proving out day after day.
I always tell writers who ask about Wattpad that it’s a long game, a slow burn, something that demands patience. But some things are worth waiting for. I’m excited to see where this new path leads, and not for a minute wondering if I made the wrong choice by publishing there.
A couple weeks ago I was contacted by FOX Television via Wattpad Studios to do some writing related to the new The Exorcist TV show debuting Sept. 23 on FOX. Specifically, they wanted me to write an alternate ending that played along similar themes in my short horror story on Wattpad, When the Black-Eyed Children Knock.
This was an incredible opportunity to have my writing reviewed (and approved!) by FOX, and that this came together in the way that it did is still shocking. It happened so fast. You can bet I got this in ahead of deadline.
Wattpad: Opening New Opportunities for Writers
That little 10,000-word short story took on a life of its own on Wattpad, with more than 350,000 reads. The opportunities it pulled into its orbit, facilitated by the Wattpad staff, are incredible. This is the third major movie/TV studio I’ve had some sort of involvement with via Wattpad. (The others I can’t say too much about for now.)
Cool factor aside, writer-wise Wattpad’s model is one I think will eventually disrupt the current publishing market as much as the Kindle did not long ago. Tying sponsored content to well-read stories on social reading apps like Wattpad satisfies the younger generations of readers’ appetites for free content inside of a social experience while simultaneously paying writers to write. When I compare this Wattpad experience to some of my others in publishing, it’s clear to me where the puck is headed in the next three to five years.
Also: The People Behind the Scenes at Wattpad are Terrific
Seriously. Count yourself lucky if you ever get the chance to work with them. What a great group of people.
Don’t Forget to Watch the Show
The Exorcist debuts on Friday, Sept. 23, on FOX. I’ll be watching. Will you?