I found this writing site called Authonomy, created by the crew at HarperCollins. Unlike sites such as Wattpad, this site is built around a commercial objective: to discover unpublished or self-published authors and to publish their stories under HarperCollins.
This is all very exciting, I thought, so I’ll join. But after I did, I checked out what people had to say about Authonomy. Along the way, I discovered a new term, the slush pile. The slush pile is basically a pile of query letters and manuscripts from hopeful writers. If your manuscript is in the slush pile, there is a very tiny chance of getting noticed by the editors, who read them as fast as they can.
As for what people had to say about Authonomy, your story manuscript will only get to be seen by the HarperCollins editors if you know how to navigate the social media part of the site. You must bully, bribe, and say you have a terminal illness. You also need to read as many stories as you can and post reviews on them.
Okay, I thought, there’s almost no way my story would ever escape the Authonomy slush pile, because I’m not willing to use those tactics.
At that, something in the back of my head told me to go check out my post from long ago, called “Why I write”. Back then, I’d written that I write to pour my imagination out. I wasn’t willing to be a professional writer because I was afraid it would add pressure to all the fun. (No offense to the professional writers out there.)
And Authonomy is a testament to that post. I write because I like it, not because I want to get noticed. The writing site was a chance for me to reaffirm this belief.
I still have my account on Authonomy, because I have yet to explore what it is like for me, but my description on the site states that I write not to get published, and I still write.