brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
In the last couple of weeks, I started reading again: as in, I essentially prescribed myself books and went off to read them every day at lunch time whether I liked it or not. And then I discovered that while I wasn't looking there has been some kind of indie publishing revolution and it is the most exciting thing ever and it may well be game changing. Essentially, it is now possible to self-publish and not instantly damage your reputation beyond repair - because people are doing it whose reputations are rock-solid, proving it is not just an act of vanity or a lack of talent.

So the end result is that not only am I now powering through my pile of books I've been meaning to read for years, but all of a sudden I've bought a Kindle and I've got a list of indie and traditional sources for new books, and I am writing solidly every day for the first time ever. Because it has dawned on me that this new model - producing content regularly, self-publishing, drawing in readers by just writing what they want to read - is something I've been doing for ten years or more with fanfic. It's something I could do with original fiction. That's not a new thought, but previously I figured that by doing so I'd ruin any chance of being picked up for "real publishing".

All at once I'm not sure it matters. Maybe what matters is teaching myself to produce new content quickly and skillfully and then putting it out there for people to read. Maybe I'll make money off it, but maybe it doesn't matter if I don't.

I am so excited right now. I feel like a great big anvil of expectation has suddenly dropped off my shoulders. There are other options. Where I've always had in front of me a sort of big, monolithic goal with no clear set of steps to achieve it (write-a-novel-and-get-it-published) I am suddenly seeing a set of steps. Get into the habit of writing regularly. Finish my dangling fanfics, work on my speed and self-editing so I can upload a chapter every couple of weeks instead of every three months. Start doing the same thing with original writing at the same time. Talk to people on forums and comms and blogs. Be interested in books and writing and storytelling. Go to conventions. Write stories. See if people want to read them. See if the people who like my fanfic want to read my original fic. See if there really is an audience for my weird shoujo-manga-western-fantasy-novel blended tastes.

And, of course, actually read on a regular basis. If nothing else, I've read two (traditionally published) books in the last two weeks which I'm absolutely convinced I could have written better. That's encouraging. I keep meaning to write a semi-review, which is in fact why I logged on here, but I seem to have become distracted by glee.

I also totally have a brand new Kindle sitting in a box beneath my desk and I am dying to open it and play with it...

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brightwanderer: Guardian Sol from Celestial Chronicle (Default)
Helen Bright

January 2017

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