Last week during my favorite time of the year, the West Texas A&M Writers Academy, I made a promise to write a blog about my self-publishing journey. So, here it is.
I started writing many years ago as an occasional stress reliever. The problem was I didn’t know what I was doing. There is a pit that many writers fall into and some never get out. I would write a sentence or two, and then go back to the first chapter. I rewrote the first sentence at least a thousand times. In 2011, something clicked. I’m not sure if it was desperation to give my children a unique Christmas gift or some divine revelation, but an entire novel poured out of me. Of course, being new to the world of writing, I thought the novel was perfection. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was wrong… very, very, wrong. I did my best to ‘fix’ it a few times. I queried to agents and got nothing in return. After a year, I decided to try self-publishing. Once again, I found myself in an industry I didn’t understand.
The book did well for what it was – a manuscript written by someone who wanted to be a writer, but didn’t know how to write. It was after I released that book that I decided to learn the art of writing. I went to conferences, joined writer’s groups, and read books. Over the last few years, I’ve learned and written a lot. The best thing I did was attend the Writer’s Academy. I retried the traditional route, but found that it wasn’t what I wanted from my career.
Here I am again, diving into self-publishing. The class I took was taught by the one and only Bethany Claire, who has conquered the industry in a matter of three years. Hopefully, I can take the knowledge she gave me and do the same (or at least carve a tiny wedge out for myself.)
Currently, I have a trilogy and a single novel out. I’ve made a few errors, but nothing I can’t fix. Taking in three years of work in a week is overwhelming to say the least, but I’m ready.
My first piece of advice to anyone who wants to become a writer, self-published or traditionally published, is this – learn all you can. Learn about writing and never stop learning. Meet other writers and ask them questions. Put your work out there and listen to critiques. None of us start off knowing what we’re doing, so don’t be afraid to try something new.