Perhaps the title should read Why I May Never Self-publish A Paperback Again. Or maybe, Why I May Not Share My Work With Others. Now that I think about it, it should probably read Why Self-publishing Is An Insane Pursuit That Can Make A Crazy Writer Even Crazier.
This business of writing and then publishing one’s own books is a world of extremes, a contradiction of terms.
- One moment you are perched high upon a peak in all of your glory while the next you wallow in self-doubt. And that can all happen in a day, an hour, five minutes even.
- It is believing – finally – that you are doing all of the right things to get your book to market only to realize you haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg. Publishing constantly evolves, and you will always have more to learn and will never truly master it.
- It is the accomplishment of a dream (to be an author) which quickly morphs into a nightmare (of becoming an editor, typesetter, cover designer, publisher, promoter, accountant, blogger, website creator, and more).
- It is the utter and complete ecstasy of typing THE END to a manuscript and seeing it in print. And it is tumbling into the deepest depths of depression when no one actually reads it.
- It is the confidence in your ability and the story you feel compelled to tell, and the blistering reality your work and efforts as a writer are futile, worthless.
- It is finding solace in the freedom and outlet of creation. And it is a detachment from and discontent with everything around you.
- It is the exploration and discovery of new worlds and ideas, the expansion of your horizon to a place beyond your imagination. It is total confinement within invisible bars.
- It is experiencing love, support, and understanding, and then masking the hurt of feeling ignored or rejected.
- It is the epitome of the roller coaster of Life. One moment you are Up; the next you are Down.
Thankfully, throughout much of this journey I have been Up far more than Down. Yet still, for me, the Downs are unacceptable. I need to go back to the root of why I began this whole process in the first place. That root is Writing. And as with everything in my life, I seek Balance. Somewhere along the way, I’ve teetered off the totter. In fact, I’ve fallen flat on my ass and into that pile of dirt where the shoes leave a hole. Only in my playground, it has rained recently and the hole is now a humongous mud puddle.
I want to get back on the teeter-totter and regain the ability to enjoy, breathe, and embrace. I do not want to be stuck, overwhelmed, or burdened. Taking a break from self-pubbing has been relaxing, a break from the Have-to-Dos. I have focused on the Want-to-Dos.
And what I really want to do is Write. Not publish, but simply write.
Maybe this means I write privately (as I have in the past) and keep it to myself?
Maybe this means I won’t ever share my 250 page draft of SPIRIT? Or perhaps I only offer it in eBook? Serialize it on my blog for free? Query traditional publishers only?
Maybe I’ll do it all the same and nothing will change. I don’t know.
What I do know is that, for now, I just need to write. If that means creating something new and scrapping SPIRIT to the virtual recycle bin, then I will do that. If it means writing poetry and short stories for myself and no one else, then I will do that. I will do whatever it takes because I confess I really love riding the teeter-totter.