These are just some mind wanderings on winning or placing in Vocal Challenges as well as the almost daily multiple Top Story awards.
I have a feeling that everyone, including me, joined Vocal because they felt they had a chance of winning one of their lucrative challenges. Then I very soon realised that I was unlikely to hit that, but there were bonuses for various targets including Top Stories and Awesome Stories. While the Awesome Stories gave you $5 there was no promotion via the main page like for Top Stories so though I got a lot of Awesome Stories I felt Vocal did see me as good enough to share my work on their page and if that were so I would not be considered for a Challenge.
That Was Then But This Is Now
Awesome Stories seem to have disappeared and Top Stories are now extremely common. One of the groups I administer Vocal+Assist have recently had an amazing number of Top Stories created by members and that makes me feel as though I am part of a successful team. We know how good our creators are and it is great to get recognition from Vocal for that on a daily basis.
In tandem with this are the Vocal Challenges. While I promote Vocal on Social Media, and have promoted some of the Vocal Facebook Groups, Vocal have seldom reciprocated. I have never placed in a Vocal Challenge and while I feel that my work is continually worthy of a place I doubt that I will ever place, so I have changed my perspective to use the Challenges as a prompt. I tend to just enter one piece (though sometimes there are more) and a few of those entries have been chosen as Vocal Top Stories though have not placed in Challenges, so I am happy for the $5 bonus and the reads that I get from featuring on the Vocal Top Story feed.
I do write a lot and submit a lot to Vocal, and have lost count of the number of stories I have published on Vocal that have been chosen as Top Stories (three so far in 2023) so while I would love to win at least one challenge, I know I am recognised well via Vocal’s Top Story feed and the number of reads that I have received (over twenty three thousand at this moment in time), but I have spoken with serial winners who seldom receive Top Stories which I find very odd.
The other thing is, I feel incredibly privileged to receive so many Top Stories given that there are over seven hundred thousand Vocal members (I am not sure how many are Vocal+ ) and that makes me feel that I must be doing at least something right. I also know that a lot of my writing actually helps others and that really makes me feel good.
I feel that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from being on Vocal in many ways, especially with friendship and empathic support , and then with the bonuses there is the opportunity for a little coffee money. Then if you win a challenge you can buy yourself a big present, but while that may happen for me I will not count on it happening. That’s not being negative, it is just a little realism.
I would love to win a Vocal Challenge, I have four or five friends who have won Vocal Challenges and I am very happy for them, and would like to join that wonderful group of friends, and who knows , one day I might do.
This was partially inspired by The Saw Doctors “To Win Just Once” and you can read a bit more about them in the story below.