The Writer’s Life … Revolution
Revolution … a rebellion, revolt, uprising, upheaval or insurgent insurrection. Otherwise defined as a transformation … one altercation becoming the critical focal point in the development of true change. Oh, Webster would be so proud!
I speak not of hand to hand combat or ballistic missiles flying through space, but of the recent revolution in publishing. I am a writer and all roads lead to the writerly life, to the conundrum, challenge and the daunting quest to tell a story.
In June of 2007, I joined a local writer’s group. After the first three weeks, and having read my first two snippets for their edification and enjoyment, I announced with glee that my “plan” was to self-publish my first amazing novel.
My first book was the “prequel” to my mystery trilogy and I was convinced a major New York agent would read it and jump at the chance to publish everything I wrote for the rest of my natural life.
I began flying through cyber space to discover other writers who might have made similar plans for fame and fortune.
What I found was a series of articles and blog posts that had nothing good to say about self-publishing. To the last all the experts agreed … self-publishing was a joke.
I was crestfallen and bewildered. Now what do I do?
Sometimes you know what the right thing is for you. You know those dreamy eyes are the ones you want to see long after they lose their luster. You know the minute you walk through a door that you have found home. No one has to tell you.
You don’t have to be told when that time presents itself. Don’t rush to get between the boards if your work is not ready. Don’t rush to listen to advice that seeks only to benefit another’s need to self-aggrandize or to profit from your inexperience.
Whether you think others have been luckier finding an agent and a publisher … don’t kid yourself into believing the hype that only self-published books can be poorly written. While I am a traditionalist, I do not believe anyone is above making mistakes. Random house has published some really awful stuff over the years. Conversely, many very good books have been self-published.
Had I acted on my first impulse I would have made one of the worst mistakes of my career. I would have self-published a book that I now see was not ready. Circumstances and nagging doubt forced me to be patient, to work harder, to never lose sight of what I want. Not merely to publish a book … but to publish a good book.
Somewhere in the vast configuration of the universe, the modern writer has been given an incredible gift, and with this comes a grave responsibility to cherish that gift.
The e-reader has revolutionized the way people will read for generations to come, and the explosion of indie authors and their ability to by-pass traditional publishers has given the power of what and who to read back to those who spend the bucks … the reader.
It has given the writer the ability to tear down the barriers between themselves and those readers. However, above the din of voices that threaten to deafen us, our greatest challenge is to write a good book.
Read, listen and learn. When the time is right you will arrive at your destination ready for what the new world offers.
On which side of the battle lines in this revolution do you see your future?
fOIS In The City