Thursday, May 12, 2011

Warning: This is a long one :)

I can't begin to describe how good it feels to be writing again. I've been editing and revising and talking with beta readers and revising and editing for months. That's part of the gig. I'm okay with it and even happy to do it. Those last bits of writing a novel are hectic and scary and, at times, brutal as all hell. But when you're finished...

What a feeling.

I've been looking around a lot at book reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Especially, indie book reviews. I've also been looking around at blogs and forums to see what types of things folks are saying. Wow, is it ever polarized out there?!!

A common thread on one side out there, is the belief that all indie authors have self-pubbed because their writing wasn't good enough to get published traditionally. Is there some merit to that? Yeah, of course there is.

When you give everyone the means to put their ideas and opinions out there for the world to see, a lot of what goes out is going to be crap. People who don't know the first thing about world or character building, spelling, punctuation, editing, etc. can now write anything and call it published.

So, yes, of course people will take advantage. Every teenager who writes a poem about how badly his girlfriend hurt him and how no one in the world has ever felt that way before and how the darkness is crushing and the world is fading... They all believe that they are writers. Good writers.

Although, is this true of every indie author? Of course not. Joe Konrath is an amazing writer. Read something from him, I dare you. It's great stuff. He has a general rul, that I think makes a lot of sense. You can't be great at anything, unless you've put 10,000 hours into it. I think he's right.

Writers, real writers, know that it takes time and work to create something worthwhile. There will be failures (oh the failures) and missteps along the way. You will crumple pages full of writing and never look at them again. You will cuss and pound your head on the desk because you have to delete thousands of words that you wrote when you were full of coffee and cable tv. You will finish stories that you spent months on, and then realize that they are garbage.

So, will some indie authors be horrible? Yes. Will they learn from it and get better? Maybe.

On the other hand, do you really believe that agents and other readers of the slush pile the world over will always give every book a fair shake? I don't think so. I do believe that most folks in the writing industry truly love what they do. They have to. Anything to do with writing will swallow time like a fat kid with cake.

But everyone has bad days. Everyone with a job looks at the clock at the end of the day, just wishing they were somewhere else. I know that there are unpublished books out there that would have been great, but were never given a shot.

There are problems with both sides of the issue.

Writers: Write the best book possible, and then get people to read it. Not your family or your friends. Strangers. Find people you don't know that will read your book and tell you the truth. Find lots of them.

Then listen to what they tell you. Revise, edit, do it again. Find new readers. Once you know that your book is at its best, make your decision. I chose to self publish, not because my manuscript was rejected.(I didn't really try the traditional route, other than half a dozen queries I sent out to agents right after I finished my FIRST DRAFT. Don't do that!) I chose this route because I think things are changing, and I want to get in before it's too late.

Could I be wrong? Yes, but I could also be right. I'm happy with my decision and I know that I am going to keep on learning. The day I decide my writing cannot get any better is the day I stop writing.

Thanks for reading through my rambling,
buh bye now

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