9 Comments

  1. I liked this article quite a bit. Creative freedom has never been this unrestricted, commercially speaking. Similarly, excuses for failure have now fallen to the wayside. As a writer your responsibility is to put out there the best possible product that you can create and to try and enjoy the process as much as possible. By continuously focussing on producing the best, you keep improving your skills and that is never a bad thing.

    At the end of the day it is just you and the reader. I heard someone say that there is a reader for every writer. They just have to find each other.

    • Thanks Woelf – Wonderful point about excuses for failure. I count myself as a great procrastinator and the agent/trad pub system ironically aids and abets anyone who has a penchant for falling into a “woe is me” mindset: after twenty or thirty rejections, the temptation to believe that your writing is just an exercise without a goal begins to take over.

      Self-publishing takes that prop away and pushes you out of the nest. The feeling is scary and exhilarating at the same time, but to paraphrase something someone once said, “the greatest growth occurs at the point of the greatest adversity.” With self-publishing, I’ve never felt more responsible for both the work required and any (hoped for!) rewards that may come.

  2. I think meaning in work is far more important than the financial rewards for most creative people. For me it’s about staying true to yourself; writing what you love. That in itself is meaningful. I’d love to make a living from it one day, but for now, I’m happy to find a few people who like my stories and follow my blog.

    • Hi Narrative – Thanks for stopping by. I agree, most creative minds will find rewards in the work itself.

      I think the recent success of e-publishing has shown, however, that traditional publishing as it exists today artificially stood/stands in the way of any other rewards, as well. When the channel by which the vast majority of people see your creativity is controlled by people only interested in monetary gain, a lot of creative freedoms go out the window. Taking back that control allows us to have our creative cake and eat it, too. :)

  3. I agree totally, I gave up a well paid but unsatisfactory job to carry on with my writing, I have never been happier, I Illustrate as well as writing short stories for children and poetry, Self Publishing gives you the freedom to do as you please, hence enriching your life and others around you. I am officially self-employed and loving it, the money is coming in slowly, but I don’t do it for that, it is a labour of love, extremely beneficial.
    Thanks for the great post….

    • Hi Baarbara – Thanks for dropping in! It’s great to hear you’re doing something you love and are realizing some of the fringe benefits (enriching your life and that of others), as well.

  4. Great post…once again. I just attended a writing conference over the weekend and this issue came up. Most of the authors and agent there of course “poo-pooed” self-publishing as the worst thing a writer could do. However, the oldest author there (with 63 books under her belt with a publisher–Gloria Szurzinski–I probably just massacred her name there) was all for it. One of her writing friends has got their rights back from their publisher and is loving self-publishing. She encouraged it (which I thought was very open-minded of her; of course, she was a pretty progressive writer even with publishers, writing in different genres and getting away with it). She said she is looking into self-publishing (she sounded tired of certain publishing houses–National Geographic for one).

    • Hi Char – While I don’t agree with those who denigrate e-pub/self-pub, I understand it’s a fashionable and natural thing to do for those on the other side of the fence. If you think about it, for most of them it would represent a complete defection, an admission that the way they chose to write (or, in the case of agents and editors, the career they’ve chosen) is inherently flawed at some level.

      It takes someone who’s been around the block multiple times–like your 63 book veteran–to stand up and say, “Hey, this is just a new way to sell books. It empowers the writer, cuts out middle-men, and benefits the reader. Get over yourself.”

      It sounds like she has the wisdom and experience to keep from personally identifying her writing with the method in which it’s published, which I think too few authors slamming e-pub do (see Dave Gaughran’s recent post about Jodi Picoult). To paraphrase a comment of mine on that post, how you *publish* your work is not what determines if it’s junk, it’s how you *write*.

      • True. It was nice to see one on the other side of the fence promoting self-pub though. You could tell she was kind of fed up with the ‘system.’

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