A Level Playing Field
Really pay attention to this: You are competing on the same level playing field as most other authors right now.
This bears repeating.
You are competing on the same level playing field as most other authors right now.
This may change in the future. Who’s to say? But right now we all have the superpowers, and it’s on.
Think about it. You are not shut of any resources any other author has access to. You can produce a professional quality ebook using free software. You can build your audience using free platforms. And you get the same 24 hours a day that every other writer gets…including Mr. James Patterson.
You have everything you need to be successful at this writing gig.
But, you protest, you have small children, a long commute, church obligations –
You are a free-thinking, free-willed individual.
Let your kids watch “Aristocats” for the fourth time that day and write. Take public transportation or carry a digital recorder on your commute…but write. Take 15 minutes of “prayer” time to sit alone in the pews and get in a couple hundred words of your vampire chick-lit story. Trust me, God wants you to write.
If you are truly a writer, you will choose to write.
But what about Luck, you want to know?
Well, yes, there’s luck. Look at Konrath, that lucky bastard. Money just raining down on his blessed little head. Has nothing to do with the hundreds of bookstores he personally visited for his traditionally published books, or the thousands of books he’s signed and mailed off, or the thousands of handshakes, exchanges, and chats he’s had with readers…not to mention the impressive number of books he’s written. And I’m sure it has nothing to do with the tremendous resource he has provided to writers for free, with honesty, generosity, and passion, through his incredible blog, “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing.” Some blokes just have all the luck.
Riiight. Here’s the truth. Lady Luck is not some fairy-dusted fickle goddess one must attract through shiny baubles and pretty poetry. Oh, no. Luck resides within, like a thorn jammed right beneath your unworthy little hide…and she’s no lady. She’s the voice that tells you the truth…that you’re not working hard enough, you’re not working fast enough, you’re not working smart enough. She’s the foot in your ass, and she takes her offerings in blood, sweat, and tears…but she pays in spades.
So make your own damn luck.
But you worry it’s too technical for you, it’s too complicated, it’s too hard.
If it’s not fun, don’t do it.
I get that self-publishing is not for everyone. If it’s not for you, why do it? And I mean that. There’s nothing worse than forcing yourself down a path that’s not right for you, and nobody will judge you for not doing it or sticking to your guns on the Traditional Publishing Dream.
But if you really want a piece of the digital publishing pie, best to quit your whining and suck it up. Hire out what you don’t want to do. Just figure it out. And don’t forget to…
…Love Thy Work.
For someone like me who is eager to cut to the chase, this new industry is a godsend, truly. Trust me, I have no antagonistic feelings towards the traditional publishing world. In fact, I don’t feel I have turned my back on it. I’m just pursuing a new option, one that really fancies my tickle.
I’ve been running on a nervous energy of possibilities these past few months, my fingers drumming, pressed up against the thundering pulse of the indie movement…no, dug in deep, tangled in the tendons. Perhaps I’m being overly dramatic, but I dream in feeds, no lie. I can hardly express how much fun this all is for me. I feel more creative than I’ve ever felt in my life. I’m smiling all the time. I feel like I know something HUGE nobody else knows amongst the 3D people in my life.
The best part is I’m not worried about the results so much as I’m worried about the work; the edits, the cover, the copy, the extra material, the formatting…all the wonderful new things now under my control. And I love it. I had no idea how much fun this could be. I have direction with my work. I’m figuring out production details of future e-releases. I’m writing today’s stories and worried about the ones waiting to be written. I’ve never felt so much freedom in my life…and I haven’t even gone live yet! Digital Publishing has taken the long treacherous road between writer and reader and shortened it to a clickable link. I can reach out and touch readers all over the world. I truly feel all powerful.
So this article series — hell, this blog! — is dedicated to anyone who’s got a dream. You really are all powerful, and your own limitations are yourself. You and each of you know exactly what you need to be doing, so get off your ass, quit reading this blog (after you’re done, of course — and thanks for reading! Come back tomorrow!), and take a step down the road to your own bliss. If you do this, you cannot fail. Listen to Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SUCCESS.
So go, take the plunge. Do your honest best…and then try harder. And good luck. I wish you the very best good fortune and fair weather. Come back and let me know how you’re doing, give an interview, share war stories, offer tips and shortcuts, any happy reason to cheer you on and talk you up…and I will do my best likewise. Wish me luck!
Here I go-o-o-o!