I had a much different post scheduled for today… much different. For the past year, I’ve been dealing with the politics of being an indie author. It’s been a rough struggle. Indies are more acceptable today than ever, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still those that shun us. I’ve been accused of writing solely for profit, not being a real writer, and being inferior to other writers and I’ve listened to the hype with mixed reactions. Sometimes, it pissed me off. Sometimes, it got under my skin and made me wonder if they were right. Sometimes, it just made me feel bad. So, for most of 2015, I have wanted to do anything but write a book.
Yes, I did write 3. They were all late for my self-imposed deadlines. They were all akin to being tortured. And each one of them tore at me just a little more. I kept asking myself if this was what I really wanted? Then… Yesterday happened.
Yesterday, I went to a writer’s meeting, the focus of which was supposed to be handholding for NaNoWriMo. It turned out to be a support group for Hadena James, as I discussed why I was struggling with NaNo, I had to admit all of these things, not just to myself, but out loud to a group.
After I had showed this wounded part of my soul, the group was supportive. They reminded me why I was an indie. They reminded me why they wanted to be indies (this was even more important and helpful than why I was an indie). By the time I left, I felt like my soul had been healed.
I’m not a hack. There are times when my books skyrocket onto the Big 100 Amazon bestsellers list (I’ve had as many as 12 at one time on that list for as long as 9 days). My books usually stay in the top 100 rankings for their respective genres and classifications. I do make money off my writing. Enough that I do not have to have an office job in a cube farm full of coworkers that spread melancholy and work that sucks my will to live. I should not be ashamed of that. I am living the dream. I am living my dream. I am not inferior to any other writer. I may not make as much as some. I may not have the following of others. But I am not inferior, just different.
All too often, I’m finding writers tearing each other down. Shredding each other’s work (without reading it), simply because publishing books is competitive. We are all striving to grab part of the reader dollar.
It is ridiculous. We do so much better when we help each other. I know when I post a book I liked on my Facebook page or Twitter account not written by me, but that I liked, my readers will check it out. I also know that my readers appreciate the suggestions (they tell me so). I don’t post books I hate (except a handful that I didn’t like with the disclaimer that it was all me, not the book and Anna Karenina rants). Imagine how much better the world would be if writers (all of whom are readers) did the same… Readers would know our preferences for books and authors, but they might also find new books and authors they might not have otherwise heard of. There’s no reason we can’t share readers. There’s no reason for us to be nasty to each other. Imagine the boost a new or unknown author could get if Writer A read and liked their book and then posted on social media: Just read this… Loved it!
That would make a world of difference for writers and readers. (CJ Weiland and J Ahrens have both released great books lately in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres, just FYI)
As for me personally, I have decided to ignore the divide. The writers who treat me badly and call me fake probably haven’t read my books or taken the time to get to know me (I’m passionate about indies and writing), meaning, their bias is based upon the fact that I call myself “Author.” For those that applied mystical bandages to my unseeable wounds, thank you so much.