Expressing The Writing Identity and Self-Publishing
Posted on June 22, 2013
Last night, I attended a dinner party with a bunch of my husband’s colleagues. Inevitably, at some point someone asked me politely what it is I’m doing these days. Last year, I felt comfortable telling people I had an editing business. To me, that was a solid identity. This year as a full-time writer, I found myself almost making excuses for my job because I haven’t produced a solid product…yet.
Because there’s been so much fighting of traditional versus self-publishing, I prepared myself to defend my choice when I said I was self-publishing a book soon. What surprised me was that all the insecurities were my own, perhaps reflecting that attitudes amongst general readers are changing.
Yes, there are naysayers of self-publishing. However, for the first time at a large event, many of the people I talked to actually understood not only that it was a great choice for getting my work out there but also that it’s something that it’s a viable business. Many people possessed more knowledge about what’s out there in the self-publishing world, and that’s a new phenomenon. One person even talked about how they like having so many choices to read for not only themselves but also for their children.
The total openness got me thinking that maybe while the war about the publishing business happens out there that the real movement isn’t the bookstores, the bookseller businesses, or the publishers. It’s actually with the readers themselves. The more they are accepting of any book available to them and their own ability to choose what they want to purchase and read, the more the war of publishing won’t matter anymore.
As a writer, I tend to either write in “isolation” at my own desk in my house or elsewhere. I pick the instrumental music for background inspiration, plug in my headphones, and let myself get immersed in the world in which I’m writing. If I go outside of that world, it’s typically to commune online with others of my ilk like on message boards. Talking with people who are very much outside of that world and getting as much enthusiasm and comprehension as I did makes me excited for the opportunities afforded to me.
Because I’ve recently made some choices and commitments with my publisher‘s hat on, there’s a lot of movement with my writing going on – more than I would have thought. It’s got me excited. But for the first time, I feel as if there are no excuses that need to be made and no reason not to smile brightly and proclaim that I am a writer who is also self-publishing.