Like I said in my last post, self-publication was never a route I wanted to pursue. I always thought that self-publication was the path taken by those who could not impress a publisher—those who didn’t have the skill or the talent to wow an agent or an editor, and who desperately wanted to put something out there anyway.
But after years of being just one in the thousands of query letters, synopses, and first sample chapters cluttering an editor’s desk; time after time of reading rejection letters that leave you feeling crushed and worthless after repeatedly being told “no, thanks;” you start to consider other options.
Not that I haven’t had some success before now. I’ve had poems and articles in print, and even co-written a historical fiction novel and some short stories that were published electronically a long time ago: BC (Before Children.) But never a break in the traditional route that I yearned for. I got close: I got one editor really excited about my manuscript. Then she misplaced it. She actually asked me to send another copy at the publisher’s expense, which I did. (Those were the days before electronic submissions.) The novel made it to where several high-up editors in the company looked it over. And then someone said no again. Ouch.
But I didn’t stop writing. I can’t stop writing. And recently I realized that I wasn’t writing for other people anymore. I was writing for me, and it didn’t matter whether an editor liked it or not. It was fun, and fulfilling, and I didn’t want to come out of this world I had created. Instead, I wanted to bring readers into that world with me. And that’s when I gained the confidence to say, “You know what? I’m putting this out there!” (After lots and lots of self-editing!)
I write the kind of thing that I enjoy reading, and the writing process is relaxing and enjoyable—for the most part! If you read what I wrote, and you like it, then I wrote it for both of us.
So even though I might see the level of respect on someone’s face diminish when I tell them that I am self-publishing—and yes, sometimes people make it quite obvious—I’m going this route because I want to. And I’m excited about it!
And if someday I manage to break into that traditional publishing field, great. Until then, all I need is me, and a computer, and You.
Because sometimes, you have to stop waiting for someone else to believe in you, and just start believing in yourself.