So in my life I’ve gone through various phases in regards to my relationship with writing and publishing. At one point, I just wrote stories and had no reason other than compulsion and joy. And then I wrote because I wanted to be a Writer. And then I thought I would never be a Writer because I wasn’t good enough. Then I realized I was a writer, no matter what. But I still wanted to be a Writer, and even though I didn’t admit it, I believed there was a difference. A Writer was Published. I wasn’t, not really. So I was just a writer. (Following me?)
Then, a few months ago, I said DAMN IT I am a writer, and there is no such THING as a Writer. And I believed it, mostly. And I said I was going to self-publish The Poppet and the Lune. And I even went so far as to commision artwork for the cover (see the background of this blog?). But something was still off- that part of me that didn’t want to budge about the difference between a writer, and a Writer. A Writer wasn’t just Published, but it was validated by Official Writer Validators, who decide if your book is Good Enough to Publish.
Then, what I really, really realized is that… those “official” people who decide these things about your book? They have no power. Not really. They decide what they can sell, not what’s good. (*ahem*Twilight*ahem*)
Those are very different things. That’s like Hallmark deciding what’s a “good” sentiment to have on an occasion. It’s not real- their decisions hold no real weight.
I write, still, because I am compelled to. I write because I have stories to tell, that sing through me until I have fleshed them out completely on the page. Do I want to make a living from doing the things that I love? Of course. But do I write to create something that will sell? No.
Will my books sell if I write the best story I can, truest to my heart, and take the best care I can to edit, format, and design the book, and then publish it myself?
I believe so.
To emphasize my commitment to this understanding (deep in my bones and screaming through my blood): unless I’m offered an AMAZING contract and an agent I think is one of my plutonic soul mates here on earth, as soon as I get a confirmed pass or whatever on the networking happening on my behalf at the moment in NYC I’m going to get going on self publishing The Poppet and the Lune. Because putting it out into the world under my own terms is better than waiting for someone else to decide that they can use it for their own success, and waiting for other people to tell me when I can begin my career as a Published author… when really the only difference between a *Published author and a published author is that the former has a lot more hoops to jump through. And frankly I’ve never been able to hula hoop, let alone jump through hoops. (joke? eh? haha?)
And then, I’m going to fix up The Hierophant and put that out there too. You see where I’m going with this?
Basically, I’m taking back my power. In the immortal words of Sarah to David Bowie/Jareth: “You have no power over me.” And boy oh boy, is that refreshing.
*disclaimer: I have nothing against traditionally published authors. More power to them. But if I’ve written books that “just aren’t a match” for the agents who read them, even though they love them… then I’m not waiting for them. I’m going straight to the public.