I know those carefree writers exist in the same way I know Australians are real: academic certainty but without ever having met one in person.
The truth is, most of us share work so it can be consumed, preferably devoured
, by eager readers. In the jostle of NoSleep, this often leads to other writers trying to sabotage one another with downvotes. The issue is compounded by Reddit’s algorithm which heavily favors the first hour of a post to determine where it ends up on the Hot track. Early downvotes can smother a story in its crib.
So, if you are a writer posting to NoSleep, don’t downvote other stories without good cause. I know it sucks when you see your own percentage dip right out of the gate, often before anyone could possibly finish reading your story. Don’t be tempted to pass along the negativity. #highroad
That’s not to say stories should never be downvoted. If they are offensive or completely inappropriate for the subreddit or plagiarised, go ahead and slam that little blue arrow. My rule of thumb is to only downvote a post that I’m also reporting, which is not something I do often.
Even if you manage to survive the hail of sharp, angry downvotes, making your way to the top of Hot isn’t easy. You need a title that hooks, a strong posting window, and lots of luck. Writing a quality story also doesn’t hurt.
I’m working on a posting guide for NoSleep and other creative writing forums that details everything I learned in the last year. The guide will be three sentences long. Please keep an eye out.
Yet again, the frustrations of knives out competition comes with perks. It feels good
when you finally have a post click and take over the top spot for the day. Sinfully good, like it should be illegal, or at least immoral. The tough road also keeps you on your toes as a writer, constantly tweaking, experimenting, grinding out a readership that will stick with you. We’ll talk about that in the next blog.
Now, the third and final major obstacle to learning how to stop worrying and love NoSleep: rampant IP theft and copyright infringement.