I was twirling around the Facebook world the other day and saw a quote from an author I really respect. She took a really hard slam at independently publishing your book. All but calling those who put their work out there fake authors who could never get their work published in the real world. I admit the words stung (they were way nastier than my above paraphrasing). This isn’t just an author I respect, it is someone with whom I communicate with quite regularly. I wouldn’t say we were friends but close enough in this world of social media.
All of my old insecurities burst out of me like an erupting volcano. I am petrified of releasing my books on my own. Wondering openly with friends and family if I am dooming my chance to be a professional writer. Now someone in the industry was slamming my choice and, of course, in great Facebook fashion all of the comments below were piling on. It was a tense minute or two in my brain.
The decision to go it on my own has not been an easy one. I have been torn about it from day one. I used to work in bookstores, self published books were looked down upon. I know lots of authors who think self publishing a book is one short step away from masturbation. I also know there is a lot of crap out there and some of the feelings they express are not without merit.
Having said that, I admit that shortly after my initial moments of despair and panic anger set in. Anger over the self-righteousness of the comment. As if the publishing industry is the only arbitrator of the creation of words. Don’t get me wrong I think editors are important. I wish I could afford one but the truth is no one wants to look at my YA fantasy. Almost every rejection letter I have received has looked at no more than 5 pages and the few that actually looked at 50 pages sent me a real note on why the book wasn’t for them (no form letters).
I don’t know where I am as a writer. I try not to be delusional. I think I can strings words together fairly well. I don’t think what I am about to put out there is crap. I look at what I am doing now as trying to find a crack in the door. Looking for other ways to express my art and my words. If I was a musician no one would care that I was going the independent route. Are there a lot of independent musicians who put less than great music out there? Of course there are.
I have been told all my life I would never be able to make a living at writing. That I wasn’t good enough. It hurts to have people in the industry mocking my attempt at breaking through one more door. Maybe I put it out there and it becomes clear quickly I don’t have what it takes. Well, at least I will have tried. I will not have rolled over and let someone else control what has been a lifelong dream and pursuit.
So I am going to suck it up and move forward. I am not hoping for any miracles other than a few people liking what I wrote. Maybe enough of them will want to see the rest of the trilogy to make me feel like I have enough skill to keep moving forward. I love to write. It makes me feel whole. It makes the nerves in my fingertips tingle every time they touch a key. I don’t think what I wrote is crap but it is time for me to find out. Hopefully, my writer friends will respect me in the morning.