Twenty years ago, I would never have thought I could write a book. Talented writers write for a living. They reached into their souls to show us truths that shine bright enough to compete with the sun. Not everyone can write a masterpiece. That is self-evident. Another thing that was made clear, if you can’t write a stunning book, you shouldn’t call yourself a writer, and you certainly shouldn’t try to get your hobby-books published.
Fast forward twenty years.
You find an old, tired lady with her head in the stars, dreaming of grand adventures. She picks up a pen and starts to scratch out a story. The old hag likes what she reads enough to keep trying, and eventually she comes up with an idea for a series of stories. She writes and writes, her fingers rattling across the keyboard late each night. Nearing the end, she wonders if anyone else will ever read her stories…
Vanity presses dot the internet landscape, luring the old lady to part with her hard-earned money so she could print her book. Yes, she thinks, this is how I’ll publish my books. But she hesitates. What do I need them for? Surely I can do this myself…
Okay, maybe not good writers, but writers!
Here are my truths:
- I can’t write well. I can write okay. There might even be some flashes of mediocrity thrown in there for good measure, but anything I will ever come up with will not be worthy of traditional publication.
- I don’t intend to ever be traditionally published. Yes, I may dream about EVERYONE ON THE PLANET bowing down to my hidden brilliance, but that’s really more of a delusion than a dream.
- I do want to share my story. One way I can do that is to embark on the path of…
I know, it’s such a dirty word. I’m gonna self-publish my book, and force it upon my friends and family. They’ll buy it. Look at it. Some might even try to read it. I know it’ll be a sad thing. But you know what? It will be my thing.
Over on Jaye Manus writing blog, she regularly doles out advice for newbie writers. She said something this past year that made me want to self-publish more than anything. Here it is:
What the New Writer does is set standards based on what is within the writer’s control.
In that lovely post, Ms. Manus goes on to detail the things we can control; the quality of our writing, how often we write, finishing what we write, and getting what we write out to the reader.
All that other stuff (agents, publishers, contracts, marketing, reviews, etc.) is all superfluous.
So, here’s my big decision for 2012 (which I made sometime late last year): I will self-publish my first book by December 1st, 2012.
It may not be very good. It may even be horrible. But it is a goal I have complete control over, and I know it will make me happy.
Once that beast is done, I’ll work on the next books, all the while improving my craft and skill.
Wish me luck, and happy writing!