Okay, I’ll grant you that. There are some self-published books out there that aren’t really all that high on the quality. There are some books out there that are little more than web scrapes of sites and blogs with horrible cover slapped on it and sold as supercheap Kindle ebooks. There are others that are a bit better in quality that mean well, but…well…
But I’m not really going to talk about those.
I’m going to talk a little about the Little Novels That Could. The ones passed over by agents and editors because it didn’t catch them on the first couple of pages.
I always feel a little bit of a twitch when I read about writers who’ve plugged along, wrote multiple books but never received a bite from agents or publishers for years. I always think, but what if those books were actually good, but the author gave up on it because of rejections? There’s always that little bit of me that can’t stand that publication bottleneck. That gets irritated by reading articles by agents and editors who dismiss a submission after two pages. [To be honest, I think it partly stems from my deep irritation with faulty teaching methods, in this case the ‘I want you to do X but I’m not going to show you how to do it or give you any context’ method that I’ve encountered many times in my life. Again, that’s just me.] I always feel bad for writers who go their whole life trying to get published only to fail time and time again. I can’t help but think it’s not because they’re bad at it, just that their work doesn’t fit into the pre-cut shapes and expectations that mainstream publishing wants.
I know part of this twitch is also the indie nonconformist in me waiting to scream out oh yeah, well we’ll show them! I know it’s a lot more than that. It’s showing them by way of writing the best damn thing you can and putting it out yourself. It’s the payoff when you get new readers and fellow writers telling you they enjoyed your work. It may be a much smaller readership, maybe a few hundred readers instead of a few thousand, but it’s still worth it. Your story is out there, and someone, or several someones, have deemed it enjoyable.
Why do I keep harping on about how awesome self-publishing is? Well, one of the reasons is that I’m trying to help get rid of the stigma that’s been placed on it. Another is that — yes, I’ll say it yet again — it’s become a more respected outlet, especially over the last few years. And most importantly, I’m trying to tell other authors out there that it really is worth a try. That story that the pros weren’t all that into might be the same story that avid readers love. It may be a bit more expensive, it may require a lot more work, but the end result is more your vision, and something to be proud of.
See, I’m not entirely sure what I should be posting about. I’m worried that I’m starting to blog the same things over and over again. On the other hand, I’m at the back end of the Bridgetown Trilogy project, so I’m worried I’ll run out of fresh blog ideas. I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE, DAMMIT.
See, I’m writing this at 7:30 on a Sunday night, and thanks to my horrible homework habits as a teen, this means that I’m making a right hash of this entry. Instead of focusing on writing something of interest, I’m thinking of what my Day Job workload will be like now that I’m back from vacation. I’m thinking about what I’ll need to do for most of November since A will be away on her own work-related trip during that time. Half of me is thinking, technically…I did say I’d return in November, but tomorrow’s October 31, so I don’t really need to write this. The other half is thinking, WILL YOU JUST STFU AND WRITE THE DAMN THING ALREADY?
So let’s pull ourselves together here a bit, shall we?
Don’t get me wrong…my writing habits are a hell of a lot better than they used to be. I’ll give myself a bit of a pass tonight because this was my first day back from a week-long trip (and a night flight that got us back to our apartment near midnight). I spent most of Sunday afternoon cleaning up a few hundred personal and work emails. We had to do some grocery shopping today, considering the refrigerator was embarrassingly bare. And the weird San Francisco weather was sunnycoldwetwarmovercastrainywho the hell knows and the humidity gave me one hell of a migraine. Not to mention the irritation of the recent news cycles. So I’ll forgive myself for being half-assed today and slipping into distraction mode. My brain has no idea what time or day it is right now.
What usually happens come Monday morning is that I’m rested up, focused, and ready to go. The frustration and the stress of Sunday night has been dropped and forgotten. What remains is renewed dedication to forge ahead and a bit of embarrassed acceptance that all this stress was a bit of a waste of time.
Day Job system crashes. Unending emails to work through. Client fires to put out. A drive across the Bay for an office visit. I missed a few writing days. I’m late in getting this post out. I’m just about done, and it’s not even noon on Friday yet.
I gotta do it. No way around it.
I gotta write. I can take a rest day every now and again, but I gotta pick it up again when I’m ready.
Perseverance. A stubborn will to hit my deadlines.
Even if this post is a half-assed one with yet another anime picture as the header. Heh.
Gotta get my work done.
Despite all the roadblocks. Despite the raving case of the Don’t Wannas. Despite really needing a beer right now because the Day Job’s been that much of a pain in the ass.