Monday, July 15, 2013

Self vs. traditional publishing. Tastes great or less filling?

If you're into self-publishing, you're probably into articles about it. While it's easy to get caught up in the hype, the straight answer is: there is no easy answer as to whether self-publishing is the 'right way to go' for any given writer.

The real answer is: it depends. (Yes. Those cop-out answers just suck. Don't they?)

When I get asked, I generally advise writers not to be quick to limit themselves. Stay flexible. After all, the traditional publishing industry is undergoing change at warp speed, all thanks to the digital era. Writers must too. We have to adapt as the industry shifts around us.

So go ahead. Read the advice columns. Devour the How-To articles. But use what you learn to build up a map of all the directions you can go, instead of picking just one path and locking that one in. This trip to writing success is about the journey, not the destination. Might as well enjoy it.

Humor me a bit more while I further milk my metaphor.

On your journey, don't speed. Meaning, don't try to rush things along. Plan and be deliberate about the steps you take. Backtracking might be involved. Accept that, if it happens. Haste just leads to stress, frustration and disappointment, as it would on any cross-country expedition. Don't be hasty. Your vital signs will thank you.

Okay, I'm done with the cheesy metaphor. But I do want to make one more point, the most important thing you can do no matter what.


That can't be said enough. The more writing you do, the more it might lead to. There aren't any guarantees, of course. That said, the members of the one-hit-to-instant-stardom club are precious few. You'd have much better odds in the lotto than trying to win that way.

So write. And then repeat. Repeat some more.

Much of what I've said is emphasized in this nice article, Freedom isn’t Free—5 Common Tactical Errors in Self-Publishing, by Kristen Lamb. Check it out.

Then add all this lovely data to that big, writerly map you're building up. After all, quite a journey lies ahead.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Published! Flash piece from writing prompt

I talked about writing a story based on an image. Well, it's been published. You can read the 500-word story online here. Let me know if you think the story is a good reflection of the prompt image (look left - big thanks to MartinaK for the photo inspiration!).

If you're a writer, I certainly recommend trying this out for yourself.

Officially this makes me: