I sit here in the surreal feeling of seeing the screen saying I am published. After over 3 years I finally finished and published my first novel titled Running Northwest today. It is a weird feeling being a published writer. It is never something I really “saw myself” being however it happened. The ride, in itself has been fun and interesting. I learned a lot about writing, the writing world but even more about myself and what I am capable of and things I need to get better at. I learned things in the writing and publishing of this novel that I will remember on the next one, which is already being worked on.
Some would say that self publishing isn’t real publishing, that I or the others that self publish their various writings are not real authors… or writers at all some think…they can kiss my ass. The internet and the fast movement in the world around us requires quick action not months or years of waiting for someone to finally say yes. I spent over 3 years writing Running Northwest(formerly Stepson), and I did the whole sending manuscripts and query letters to literary agents and publishing companies big and small. Some replied and some did not and I got 3 “maybe but not right now you need to change some things”.
I made changes yes, but changes I thought needed to be made or that my editor Kate thought should be made. I am NOT going to re-write and change my story, the characters and its heart for every single GD publishing house and lit agency that’s says “this” or “that” needs changed for people to like it. What would be left if I did that…..not my book, not the one I wrote, stressed and sweated over but the one they made me turn it into so it fit a specific ideal and genre goal. I am not going to wait years if ever for a publisher to finally decide my book (this one or others) are finally perfect enough to publish….I do not believe in perfect. I am a writer NOT a panderer…like I have said before in another blog, when I started writing Running Northwest back when it was called Stepson yet I never even planned on trying to get it published.
Would it be cool to be published by a major, moderately sized or even small publishing company…yes…is it the end all be all…hell no.
When you are a writer, as with anything you have to believe in yourself and what you do, trust your gut and have faith in your abilities for telling a story and relaying a message. I understand the major publishing houses and big time lit agents still have a strangle hold on the publishing world, the ones who get through to them generally get farther but not always and this is a trend that is changing. That old antiquated strangle hold is getting looser and not so suffocating. We as independent writers have options now, many options. We just have to find them and be willing to go out and do the extra work that an army of people at publishing company usually does for an author. Will we measure up to that kind of army, no… not always, unless you are already famous, but being a writer is about more than that. In the end I think being a self-published author is very much like being an entrepreneur, there is a certain amount of adventure and chance taking when you do it, and maybe that is why doing it my way, publishing this way is ok with me…its familiar territory in a way.
Do I hope that people buy Running Northwest, yes very much so, but more than anything I hope they like it and tell people about it, I hope they remember me and read the next book I write and the one after that.
I am a semi-private person, with writing, I have the ability to share little insights about myself, who I am, what I think, how I feel, and what matters to me. In words, in a story, long or short, I can voice the side of me that is hard to show in my everyday life or that I just do not know how…so in the end I think writing for me…is about hope.