When I saw the ads for Vocal , I was a bit wary although my interest was piqued. It posited that you would become more disciplined with your writing and therefore be able to write better and more often and maybe even get paid for it. Anything that says you can make money is another red flag, very often the first thing that happens is that you are asked for money, then you don’t make enough to cover what you have paid out and the only people who profit are the people that you have paid.
Vocal allows you to join and post for free and receive rewards but for $10 a month you get significantly improved rewards plus extras such as free entry to paid writing competitions where you can win up to $1,000 which is fairly tempting.
I am still on the free pass seeing if I can potentially start making money from this platform.
One of the main benefits is that your pieces are exposed to the membership and you are rewarded when they read them and that in turn makes you want to write more.
This year I was intending to cut back on my blog writing , but since I joined Vocal I have posted about 15 pieces since I started on the 18th of April.
Prior to joining I would write on my blog, each post being around 250-300 words, but Vocal requires a minimum of 600 words for an article so that is something that I need to be aware of when I am writing.
This was my first ever blog post on sevendaysin.co.uk on 18th February 2007:
This is just a start. Everyone seems to be blogging , so it’s just to set down some thoughts and observations.
The aim of the blog is to
Tell you about my website
Post articles on things
Make comments on stuff that I've seen and heard”
So that was less than fifty words and for a long time I thought that was acceptable.
Eventually it grew and my posts were usually directly into the blogger but with Vocal I realised I needed a new discipline , which I am following as I write this.
I tried actually dictating my posts but this required so much post editing and formatting , any time I saved, was lost getting the post into an acceptable format.
Next I thought I would use Microsoft Word so I could see a word count as I typed but it seemed slow and cumbersome to create the posts. I also like to include links to relevant products and an appropriate music video , as music is probably my most indulged with hobby as you would know if you follow my Instagram or Twitter channels @mikeydred96.
As I type this I am listening to a “Best Of” Spooky Tooth. Music often makes words flow from my fingertips and certainly makes writing easier, but others may prefer quiet.
Although isolation is best for writing , you cannot be totally isolated in life otherwise it is unlikely you could write about anything.
Even if you are writing fiction you need some form of inspiration , a Muse , contact and experience. These all provide inspiration for what you are going to put on your electronic page.
We are in a far better place for creativity than ever before. I am writing this using free online software and publishing on a free platform where others can read for free.
Even if I didn't have a home and computer I could use a local library to put this together. That probably wouldn’t have been an option even ten years ago , although to be honest we could have done it as I have been blogging since 2007.
Google Docs, which I am using to write this while listening to “I Am The Walrus” by Spooky Tooth, has a lot of helpful tools to make your writing easier , and the document is stored online so you can find it anywhere and it has just let me know I have it 675 words which is more than I need to actually submit this for publication on Vocal.
This is another thing , I would nether have thought about writing about writing before I joined Vocal, so it has instilled a bit of discipline in me that I don’t think I had before.
So I will finish this by sharing “The Weight” written by Robbie Robertson for The Band , covered by Smith on the “Easy Rider” soundtrack album but this cover is by Spooky Tooth.
Enjoy your day