Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Devil Inside

Undoubtedly, self publishing is the new hot topic. Everyone’s talking about it from Chuck Wendig over at TerribleMinds to a plethora of authors that are doing it, thinking of doing it, or against doing it. Damn…you would think I’m talking about some sort of new, taboo sexual act.
Truth is I’ll admit to thinking of self-pubbing at one point. The little demon jumped on my shoulder and said, “Yes you don’t need money stealing agents or publishers to tell you what to do. You can do everything on your own and it will be like flipping off the candy cane sucker that cut you off on the highway last week.” Yes, naïve. Again devils will say anything negative and horrendous to get me to agree, untruths are the best.

Problem is after a little more reading I realized I’m young in the writing world. I don’t know nearly enough about the pubbing biz to determine the path I want to take. In this case I agree with Chuck, focus on the writing, get nitty gritty with that 80k manuscript and choke the life out of the sucker until it decides to conform to your greatness. In my opinion, throw publishing ideas out the window. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to plan and plot your rise to the upper echelons of the author world, where everyone will love you and you’ll hit the big time when the King deigns to call your book a success or flopping piece of monkey poo; either way you’re successful… he mentioned you right?

But think of it this way: If the book isn’t ready then you can’t publish it. So why debate over the method you will use to gain success. Worry more about that word document that you need to remember to back up on a jump drive or you will likely lose it in the impending computer crash from the subliminal messages being programmed into this post. Learn about the biz in your blog readings, article pandering, etc. after the novel is complete/edited, and the query and synopsis are in fine figure form.

Let me say I didn’t take my own advice and I’m suffering for it now. Yes, suffering. I’ve got a handful of maybe not crap story plots and ideas, a novel still in need of editing, a crappy query, and a non-existent synopsis. Instead of honing my awful ability to write something cohesive without sounding like a rambling hyena, and turning words into the flowing poetry of angels in Victoria Secret wear, I’ve been reading blogs on pubbing, e-pubbing, agents, etc. I need to be reading more of this and this. Let’s talk GMC. Let’s talk coming up with a decent plot. Let’s not talk counting deviled eggs before mom makes them.

For all the allure of self-pubbing I think this is where some of us may have it backwards. We get into the blogging world and find tons of authors, agents, and writerly folk. During that researching binge we get lost and all we find to read is authors talking about the latest trend (self-pubbing) or authors who just landed the agent, trying to land the agent, or in the process of publishing with said agent. We hear about the business, but not enough about the craft. Maybe it’s my unfortunate tendency to check-in with the blogging world on the wrong day.

Bottom line if you don’t have something finished… I mean truly finished, like a porcelain toilet after the marines have taken toothbrushes, and scrubbed on hands and knees for 5 hours, to the point that I could eat a bowl of cereal out of the sumbitch; then don’t drop into the pubbing foray. Stick to honing, stroking, and cultivating your writing capabilities. If this blog proves anything it’s that I need to be doing just that instead of listening to the devil inside.


  1. From Phoenix Sullivan (blogger would not let her post)

    Ha! I love this post. Writing is really the hardest part about writing. There are plenty of good blogs out there about craft, I think. But craft is HARD so we seek out related info that keeps us from focusing on the hard bits, yet is still tangentially enough related to what we SHOULD be doing that our conscience doesn't blink. Going for the easy thrill then becomes learned behavior. And as we condition ourselves more and more to avoid writing, we write less and less. Here's to finishing what we start and kicking that little devil right out!