Sunday, January 22, 2012

Temptation of Self-Publishing

Temptation of Self-Publishing

If you are a writer, a truly dedicated writer who wants to make a dream come true with a novel or two, then you have researched the endless, wireless, mindless space called cyberspace for the answers to your quest.

First, you want to do it the right way, or dare I say that pun, “the write way”?

Second, you write those nasty little query letters to the gatekeepers. You re-write them more times than you re-write your novel. You pray. You beg. You cry.

Then, you read about the success stories of the “few” exceptions to the rule, you know, the ones who made it successfully to the heights you dream about, by self-publishing.

You wrestle with your conscience, your pride, and your reasoning. By now, you are so totally confused about it all that you chuck it all aside and write another novel.

Yet, while writing the exciting new novel surely to be a best seller, you are haunted by that dark cloud – Publishing! It is an omniscient haunting feeling you just cannot shake. Should you? Dare you? How could you? How could you even dare to venture into the possibility of…self…publish. It sounds so weak, so much like surrender. It sounds so much like defeat and inferior to the enemy.

(pause for reflection)

Then, after writing that next novel certainly worthy of at least a movie on the family channel, you begin to reason the reasons why self-publish is not a bad idea after all.

Then you doubt your reasoning.

Does any of this sound familiar? If you are a writer who cares about writing, works in progress, and the whole reason for writing, it should.

When you boil the cabbage down, it is simply cooked cabbage. That sounds simple, doesn’t it? Is there anything wrong with simplicity?

Simplicity in publishing is this: Self-publish in today’s world of publishing is made so easy that is seems wrong to do it. Yet, in the end, simplicity may be a valid reason for self-publishing. For many years, I have resisted submitting my short stories and poetry to periodicals or magazines because of complicated “rights” to the work I wish to put into a book. If someone has their claws deeply embedded into my work, I have to ask them permission to publish them in a book later. (please correct me if I am wrong)

Simplicity is pure and uncomplicated. Simplicity may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back swaying me towards self-publishing. If I upload a novel to Createspace in Amazon, I become the publisher retaining all rights. If I want to rewrite it, sell it to a mainstream publishing house, a movie company, etc., it is mine to do so. Simple. No complications.

I welcome anyone’s argument pro or con on this topic. Enlighten me, please, but I ask that you back up your opinions or judgments with legitimate sources.

(Just in case you think I have not searched the fiery hoops of publishing, bettered my writing to be accepted by the “traditional” avenues, I have done it for several years now. I want my writing to evolve into the very best it can be. I never have liked the expression, “I am just how I am” with an attitude of refusing to improve. I want to improve my writing and have done so to the point of blushing when reading the first book of mine currently in print. I welcome feedback and constructive critiques.)

Put Your MC up that tree

As painful as it may seem, we must put our main characters (MC) up that tree, and then find a way to help him down without killing him, or the tragic kill our MC.

Since coming out of the dark, I recoil at the idea of returning to it. However, that is life. So, today, a little spirits, a little opera, and I am ready to put my MC up that tree. He will have to run until his young lungs burn with fire to save a girl's life.

Question is this...will he make it in time? Will he be able to get down out of the tree and be a hero, or will he die inside all his life knowing he failed? I love writing.

Oh...btw...he is also running to save the life of the "monster." Such a paradox.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Eating Words

When we read, we think. When we write, we think, and we think about what a reader thinks. Does a reader ever wonder what a writer was thinking while writing what the reader is now reading.


Think of reading and writing as food for the mind. We can eat junk or healthy food. We can also eat for fun, whether it is healthy or junk.

If we only chew our food without swallowing it, it does our bodies little good. That may not be a bad thing to try with that chocolate cake and ice cream.

Same as when we read, if we do not act upon a truth, or if what we read does not make us think at all, then the writer has not entered our head and it does little for our minds.

Even reading for entertainment can make us think about our lives, our neighbors, people we work with or playmates.

Thinking deeply about things will take us into the realm of philosophy where we contemplate the universe, our existence, and our reaction to it all. Reading what a philosopher has written takes us on a journey inside not only their thoughts, but also our own.

Hope I made you think a little today.

In the front of my first book in print, there is a poem I purposefully wrote for that book:

As I Write

If I write about the insanity of life
Then I may intrigue you

If I write about the passions in life
Then I may move you

If I write about the joy in life
Then I might lighten your load

If I write about the truth in life
Then I may cause you to think

If I write about the pain life gives
Then I may touch your compassion

If I write about the love in life
Then I may reach your heart

If I write about the beauty we share
Then we can connect with peace

If my writings never touch you at all
Then I have failed