I admit it: I'm one of the lucky ones. I get to spend my days working on my novel projects, writing, and otherwise playing with words. I've got an awesome hubby who has made it possible for me to not have to take part in the daily grind of a day job. As such, I try not to squander that freedom. I'm not going to lie and tell anyone that it is easy, it isn't.
Being your own boss is not all pajamas, bunny slippers, mondo mugs of home-brewed coffee, and watching soap operas. It is a daily struggle to stave off the evil procrastination fairy and get down to the keyboard and my thoughts. I have to schedule my day in a way that makes it productive. I have to make sure that I set reasonable boundaries for my friends and family. If I fail to do this then I'm forever answering a telephone, playing on facebook, or finding myself unable to say no when my mom calls and wants to go to lunch (her "lunches" turn into all afternoon shopping). I also have to juggle the housework, be a parent when we have the kid, be the chef in the house, and somehow keep track of the bank accounts, appointments, and general customer service calls that have to be made. In fact, growing up, I never realized exactly how much work was involved in running a household when you're married. But, I don't have any plan to change this crazy life of mine anytime soon.
There are perks to it as well; big perks actually. I suffer from migraines so it is a good thing to not have to explain to a boss why I need to just get in a dark, silent room for a couple of hours when one of those monsters come on. Yep, I can go barefoot, wear flip flops, or even bunny slippers if I want to. That goes ditto for lounge pants, pajamas, or nothing at all. I can manage my day how I please. Whether I work mornings or nights is entirely up to me. That can change from day to day as well. And when I want a break, I take one.
Point of fact, it was really a blessing to be able to take off for three weeks and head to Florida for my grandmother's surgery at the end of last month. I didn't have to put in for vacation time and wait for it to be approved. Mom asked me to go and help out, and after a brief talk with the hubs, I was packing and heading further south. And the truth is, it was good for me. I'd become a virtual shut in and lack of sunshine and social interaction were becoming more of a hindrance than an asset to the creative process. So, for three weeks, I spent time with family, shopped, lounged on the beach, and did some serious soul searching.
I came to a realization that I've been writing but I've not been sending things out or trying to develop a platform or readership. I have sent out things in the past only to be met with rejection after rejection citing that my work doesn't fit with their lineup. What I've taken away from those experiences is the realization that I may cross too many genre lines. Perhaps, I'm simply trying to sell my work in a genre that it really doesn't fit. Or maybe all that Agents and Publishers want now days are cookie cutter manuscripts that are just like everything else on the market. I'll give the benefit of the doubt and say that it could very well be all of the above. However, I've come to the determination that there isn't any point of writing these stories if I can't get them out there and have them read.
Now, if I were hell-bent on being at the top of the New York Times Bestseller lists, traditional publishing would likely be the way to go. But there is a revolution happening in the world of publishing. Ebooks, Print On Demand, and online retailers have completely changed the landscape for people like me. Am I giving up on traditional publication? Of course not! I have so many things gathering dust and being reworked that I've got material for years to come. Some of those works I'll reserve for traditional methods until I'm certain that I've exhausted that possibility. However, to get read by any reasonably qualified agent, it seems to me that you have to have publishing credits somewhere. And since I am no journalist, and the idea of a "short" story eludes me, I have to bite the bullet somewhere.
Whatever the outcome of my venture into self-publishing and indie-authorhood, I'll go boldly forward knowing that I did so with courage to put myself out there. Navigating the waters of marketing and publicity are going to be challenging but, I'm a people person, I'm adaptable, and I'm confident that I have a great story for people to read. I can learn. And I can take this seriously while having fun with it.
I came to She Writes with a goal to surround myself with others who share my passion and my drive. I hope to meet new friends, colleagues, and even share success with those who take up the challenge of publication. I also want to meet those who have fun doing what they are doing and can share the joy of the process as well as the struggles that go along with it all.