I go on Wattpad infrequently. For a social networking site, it can be pretty quiet. I don’t have a lot of readers or friends there but if there’s ever a story in my head, Wattpad is where I go to write and release them. It’s the safe haven for writers and readers.
On the flip side, there’s a lot more activity when I become a reader, not a writer. Through this, I learned that you’ve got to give in order to get.
My reasons for giving are pretty shallow-I want more readers and followers. I’m giving with the intention of getting something in return. I can’t change this about myself or force myself to not want these petty things.
So what’s the solution?
Stop reading because I’m doing it for the wrong reasons?
The only problem with this is as a writer, I do get something out of reading. After all, if you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the tools to write.
But what frustrates me about giving is feeling lonely. Everyone is looking out for themselves. Even saying “Hello” on someone’s wall is always followed by, “please read my book”. They’ll only talk to me if when replying to a comment that I write on their book. When is it my turn to feel the spotlight, the glory, the recognition.
And yet, going undetected can be a good thing. As I’m learning the hard way, I’m not ready to have beta readers. I’m still writing and that’s a long process that takes dedication and intrinsic motivation, not comments and reactions.
Another benefit to giving is that I enjoy the giving. Even as I am frustrated with waiting for my turn that may never come, with waiting for reciprocity that again, might never be realised, I enjoy reading. I’m not reading any stories for the sake of popularity. I’m reading stories that interests me. Stories that are exciting, gripping and turns their own pages.
After I write this post, I’m still going to have my frustrations, my impatience, my loneliness, but I will remind myself that I’ve got to give before I can receive. And truth be told, If I’m not reading a lot, then my writing isn’t going to be so good either.
So, I know this might be cliche, but really, who’s giving who? The reader or the writer?