When I was younger, like 5th grade younger, I had a slight crush on the New Kids on the Block. I lived, breathed, ate, drank, and soaked in everything I could related to the five. In addition to buying ever Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, etc and taping every single poster I could to my wall… (ok, I couldn’t tape. We lived in military housing and I had to be very careful that I didn’t ruin the paint… but they were up there and my room was COVERED in them) I also wrote about them.
Every day. For hours.
I would pull out my trapper keeper and write on lined notebook paper every dream I ever had of myself and NKOTB in fiction form.
(I also did this with the group, The Party. Remember them?)
Any who. I wrote. And I wrote. And my best friends were written into the story and the story I lived in my head was written on paper.
My dad told me he would help me publish my books – because there was enough content for more than one – and so I stared to type my story into the computer so he could edit them.
And then one day, we were out at the book store and there it was on the shelf. Someone beat me to it. Someone else had already published a series of fiction books about my guys. My dreams were crushed. At least those I wanted to publish for all the world to read.
I never wrote another word about the fictitious life of Heather and NKOTB. And really, I didn’t write much after that until I was older… and none of it has been fiction.
Had I been writing like that today, I could’ve been using an app called Wattpad. Wattpad is the world’s largest community of readers and writers. It has connected over 40 million people around the world who share a love of reading and writing.
Last spring, the 25-year-old One Direction überfan parlayed her love of reading and the British boy-band to create After on Wattpad, a free social reading and writing app, under the nom de plume Imaginator1D. The plot of After revolves around young Tessa and her on-again, off-again relationship with Hardin Scott, inspired by One Direction singer Harry Styles.
Every few days, Anna used Wattpad to publish a new installment. Her fanfic love story swelled to over 2,500 pages and has been viewed more than a billion times. Yes, billion with a ‘b!’ and more than 6 million comments (and counting!)
Anna Todd’s After—which she originally wrote entirely on her phone as a hobby—is now being turned into a four-book series by Simon & Schuster, with the first installment released in October. Paramount Pictures has acquired the film rights to adapt the After story for the big screen.
This could’ve been me.
I’m sure Anna Todd wouldn’t have found all this fame if she were recording her book in her trapper keeper with the large cat of some sort.
So maybe that’s what I’ll work on now… setting up an anonymous Wattpad account in order to write my book. I have it in me. I know I do.
I participated in the After by Anna Todd blog program as a member of One2One Network. I received compensation but all opinions are my own.