Reverb13 Day 11: To Boldly Go
What challenges lie ahead in 2014? How might you meet them boldly?
I feel sorry for anyone reading these posts who may be tired of hearing me mention my writing. But I am, after all, a writer, and though there are several challenges about which I could write today, I think writing is still the most appropriate.
Maybe I should amend that somewhat. Maybe I should say, publishing is my challenge for 2014.
I have thought for most of this year that next year would be the year I finished my “final” revisions in Flowers for Dionysus and began to immerse myself in the publishing process. Which means I will have to decide quite soon if I am going to self-publish, seek an agent, or attempt both over the course of the year.
For those who don’t know, both routes have essentially the same amount of backside pain involved. Particularly in marketing. Agents and the traditional model take far, far, far longer to boot. But for some there is a relief with such involvement.
Now is not the time for me to debate the merits of one method over the other. (That will come.) Rather today I mention only that the concept of getting my fiction, particulars my first novel out there to readers will be one of the top challenges for me in 2014.
So, how to meet this challenge in a bold manner, as per today’s prompt?
Probably by ignoring more than acting, at least at first. Boldly ignoring the significant part of my mind that finds the entire mess confusing and distasteful. To not think a great deal about the elephant in the room when it comes to either getting an agent or self-publishing. The elephant being that I’m not used to, or adept at selling things. I must pretend I am not feeling what I feel for a while.
But I can’t just ignore parts of my own mind. I will also have to boldly ignore the conventional wisdom of either method of publishing, in favor of what makes sense to my own mind. Some of it may work, and some of it may not, but I must plow through the general advice and “requirements” of publishing dictated to me, and all writers by the establishments in either camp.
Targeted marketing, finding niches, data analysis, platform growth, charts, graphs, sales projections? That all sounds fantastic. But so does solar power, and I don’t have the slightest ability to build or even procure solar panels for my home. So I stay warm with what I’ve got, and hope for the best as time moves on. I’ll have to do the same with publishing and marketing. Use what I have, not what I don’t have.
I will be seeking some advice. I will have to. But I already know a great deal of what professionals will say, (I’ve read up on the topic for years) and much of it will only upset and discourage me anyway. If it means I plow through certain conventions and expectations at the cost of one avenue or advancement, so be it, but I have to do this worrisome, unpleasant task my way if I am to get anywhere at all with it. And if you ask me, that’s not being stubborn or obstinate. That’s not flipping the bird to those who have come before me, nor is it refusing to learn. It’s simply couching what I learn in terms of what I know I can do, instead of beating myself into submission in order to do something I know I cannot.
In other words, it will be more about this author getting his works out there, and less about evolving and becoming something totally different at my core simply because it is trendy to do so.
If you ask me, that’s rather bold.