Photo by Andrea P. Coan

Published on 25 May, 2020 by Kyla R.

So… This has been requested a whole bunch. Not only through direct messages but basically four times every Instagram live I do. So I thought it was best to make a list of my tips so that I could send everyone who asked to this post. Let’s get started!

Don’t Compare Yourself, At Least Not Too Much

This is harder said than done. We all do it whether we want to or not. And I’m in no way saying you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people at all. Sometimes, that’s what gives you an extra push. If you realize someone else has more reads and started at the same time as you, see what they’re doing that you aren’t. See if you want to do that same thing! And if not, stick to what you’re doing and you’ll improve to that level in no time.

Remember that even if someone started at the same time as you, they may have had more practice, focus on a different genre, posted more often, posted in chunks, etc. There are so many reasons that make certain people more popular because all of us are different. Even if you copied someone’s exact update schedule and did everything in a similar manner, it doesn’t guarantee you anything.

This is one of the reasons why I don’t celebrate many milestones. For me, hitting one million was crazy. It took a really long time and was really slow after 600,000. And then in no time, I hit 2 million, and then 2.5 million. It goes up all the time too. And I’m not saying this to brag and I don’t hide it to “be humble,” but rather I don’t mention it so that people can like me for me or a story, not the fact that I have “lots of reads”. Even when people say that I do, I remember how many others have that amount and even more. While I am extremely fortunate and have more reads than many, I’m not the best, and I will always acknowledge that!

Practice, Practice, Practice

Remember to be kind to critics. I haven’t always been the best with this one. Not necessarily because I disagree with things they say, but because some people say it so rudely. So try to stick with the type of author you wish to be when you get criticism.

I know that so many people bring up the importance of practice in basically everything, but it’s especially relevant for writing in the Episode community! The portal is challenging to use, the coding is difficult to get the hang of, and finding backgrounds, customization, and all that jazz is even more irritating. There’s a lot more to writing an Episode story that many people don’t understand. If you are lucky enough to be part of the payment program one day, the money is nice, but the hours that it took to get there were not all sunshine and rainbows, I promise.

Invest in Your Story/Career

One thing I always mention to new authors is being willing to invest in your stories. Whether that be art for your cover, working on updating your social media, whatever. In particular, I always recommend saving money so that you’re able to buy a decent cover for you story. You can get some for free from artists you may not like as much or just an edit as well. I’m not saying these are bad, because they aren’t. But I myself didn’t like the art I was seeing when it came to free art. And it’s extra unlikely someone skilled will give you art for free, especially if you don’t have a following or monetary incentive.

My advice is slightly discouraging for those younger authors. I get why, but it doesn’t change my advice! I am here to tell you guys the truth. You need to be eighteen (I believe) to be part of the payment program. If you don’t have a bank account, debit card, or a job, I’m not sure if this is for you. When I was sixteen, I already had all three of these things. So when I was eighteen and first started writing on Episode, I was able to make an investment in my future as a writer and I will always stand behind it. There are many authors on Episode that didn’t stick around long enough to get the reads they wanted, and I don’t want that to be you.

Make Your Brand

How do you want to be recognized? There are many authors known for so many different things, and you need to keep this in mind when starting. Do you want to be the author who hates on other authors? The one who only writes stories about pregnant teenagers? Only romantic comedies? This is your choice! And it’s important that you keep it in mind.

This is where Instagram plays a large role. Being friends (and finding friends) in the community not only makes being in the community more fun, but also allows you to network quite a bit. It’s likely that your friends will try to read your story and share it, just like you would hopefully do for those friends. And the more shares your story gets, the more likely people will read it! Readers love recommendations from authors and other readers.

Hate is Everywhere

Note: The top one is for sure one of my rudest and most irritating fanmail. If something like this spread (just a btw) it would be considered libel!

It’s true. Especially if you’re younger, and even if you’re not, if you aren’t good with handling hate and criticism (whether warranted or not) then this career/hobby may not be it for you. It takes some getting used to, but I was lucky enough to write on Wattpad and a site named Quotev far before Episode. I was accustomed to hate mail and responding to it (if necessarily) or ignoring it. I don’t want to recommend that you write in the Episode community if you don’t think you can handle it, because even though who think they can, can’t handle it very well (including me).

I want you to know what you’re getting into and prepare for it. For example, short chapters or writing about basically anything. You can and likely will get backlash (especially as your story gets higher and more popular in the ranks) for anything and everything. Just be prepared! But don’t let it discourage you either. 🙂

Also! Check out my Ko-Fi link on the welcome page or HERE! I have opened up donations for those of you able and willing to donate. I’m a regular university student taking on a good amount of debt, so truly anything helps!

Remember, if you ever have any questions and requests, feel free to send me a DM on Instagram or leave a comment down below. If you have requests, follow my Instagram and submit it when I ask for requests on my story!  Not all my article posts are to be Episode Interactive related.

As always, I recommend all of Joseph Evan’s tutorials and DaraMarie’s templates for starting help. As I always mention, the forums are your best friend! Unless your question specifically asks for help regarding this article, please do not contact me about it!

Published on 23 December 2019 by Kyla R.

Are you currently in college? Maybe you aren’t planning on going to any professional schooling. Do you already have a associates, bachelors, or graduate degree and are interested in what to do next? Or are you still in grade school with a set 8-4 class schedule? Whichever of these you classify as, this post is for you.

I’m currently a student at a four-year university who has changed career goals mid year. What do I know about succeeding in a career? Better yet, how am I qualified in anyway to be giving you tips? Let me tell you something… If I can go through a career change crisis and look poised doing it, so can you.

Tip One: Always be on the lookout for opportunities. When I say this, I don’t mean stand around and do your everyday schedule and just be open to opportunities when they fall into your email or someone mentions it. I mean search for them. Especially if you aren’t in an internship or don’t have a job, don’t just sit around! You could be using your time much more effectively and it will help both you and your resume in the long run.

When I was a freshman, the first thing I did was call up doctor’s offices in my area to see if they offered physician shadowing. This is one of the major criteria necessary to medical school applications. Several places didn’t respond, and typically, I would keep pestering them until they would (you’ve got to show your eagerness somehow), but I was contacted by one place in particular in about a weeks time. They mentioned they didn’t have any job opportunities and connected me with the lady in charge of student affairs. She then set me up on a list of people to email in the future. A few months later, I received an email from the Head of Human Resources at this company. They wanted to invite me in to interview for a Executive Administrative Assistant Intern role. I got lucky! I took up the opportunity and have been working here for a year ever since. I’m only now leaving to the limited room of improvement.

“Networking is an investment in your business. It takes time and when done correctly can yield great results for years to come.”

– Diane Helbig

Tip Two: Network! By network, I do mean talking with the individuals around you. But I don’t only mean that. I mean online communities such as LinkedIn, WordPress, you name it! Building your network with people may seem useless now, but in a few years when you are looking for a job (or now!) finding the names to companies you didn’t know of is a lot easier. You may even become close friends with your contacts due to a shared interest or project!

I, for one, love LinkedIn. My university also uses this network named Handshake. It doesn’t seem to have as many opportunities that I like and is limited to people expecting college students. See how you compare with regular applicants! You can apply to jobs on LinkedIn, learn more about companies, and meet new people. I have grown my network an extra thirty people these past few days due to a shared interest!

Tip Three: Focus on your classes above all else. If you’re going to college, it’s likely that you’re wanting to get a degree. For some jobs, BA degrees are required and not just “suggested,” plus they give you more leeway and are an extra accomplishment onto your resume. I let my grades slip freshman year. I can tell you, it’s no fun to try to fix your earlier mistakes. Getting off on the right foot is a lot more relaxing.

Tip Four: Have fun…But not too much fun. I’ve seen my fair share of students who only party or only study. I haven’t seen many of both. You should aim to find a steady in between so that not only are you getting the most out of your professional schooling, but that you are enjoying it as well. This goes for individuals that are done with school as well. Just because you have so many responsibilities, does not mean that you don’t deserve a day off to relax. Just don’t make it so often.

“University can teach you skill and give you opportunity, but it can’t teach you sense, nor give you understanding. Sense and understanding are produced within one’s soul.”

-C. Joybell C.

And lastly… Tip Five: Don’t expect too much. I feel like people go into university expecting it to automatically give you a job at the end or give you all the skills you need to be an adult. Guess what? That’s completely wrong. There are people who go straight to work after highschool, if they even go to highschool at all. They get to experience the world first-hand on their own. You? You are still or were sheltered by a school that gives you the support you need as a student. Take this opportunity to breathe and learn more about yourself.

Take the opportunities as you see them. Smile, laugh, cry. Be happy… or not. No one is judging you. But if they are, who cares? It is your life. Remember that even if the moment may feel like the end of the world, in a few minutes, it’ll all be over.

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