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I have read so much about writing, not writing, publishing, not publishing, blogs, bloggers, authors(or not) that my eyes are crossed of late. Now, I suppose that when one is a writer, no matter how unproductive, and is friends with writers who are pretty danged productive that one will encounter all of the above subjects but there has been quite the spate of articles, posts and blogs relating to the art and science not only of writing but also in judging its worth.

This brings me to my latest pronouncement...if you write something and you "feel" something pleasant about that writing whether or not it sells or is even read by anyone else, then it is good. Yes, that is correct, it doesn't matter what anyone one else is thinking or not thinking...if you like it or at least have a sense of accomplishment from it then it is good. It is worthwhile and if you are compelled or just want to keep writing then by all means do so. Sitting just to my right is my first completed novel. I love the story. It fills me with raw emotion every time that I read it. As far as I am concerned this novel totally rocks but it may just spend the time until I die and all of my worldly possessions are dispersed or destroyed sitting in the manilla envelope on my desk. That is okay. I am fine with that. I don't need any additional validation about my writing. I have completed my first novel and it is really good. I am happy.

I realize that I have not invested in any type of publication, an agent, an editor, beta readers, cover art, submissions, cover letters, publicity or any of the other minutiae that other writers have engaged in. Maybe if I had done that with this novel I would feel differently about it. I have however written and submitted short stories, articles, stories, poems and personal essays over the years. I have been rejected, dejected, trampled on and occasionally published. I used to have rejection notices(remember when those came via postal mail)taped to my bathroom wall. This was to keep me humble about my writing. I do know what it is like to invest in one's writing and then not have it sell. I may not have self published a chapbook, novel or collection of short stories with the hopes that someone, anyone would buy them but I do know what it is like to "hawk your wares." I know what it like when the sales do not happen. Heck, I know what it is like to write an article for the school paper or to make a submission to the school literary journal and have it turned down. Those aren't even paying markets and yet we set such store upon publication.

Some writers never write. That may seem like a contradiction in terms but sometimes we can't get the words out. They are trapped inside our heads for whatever reason. Oh we may tap out words here or there but the real business of writing eludes us because our words are trapped between our minds and our fingers. It is a dreadful situation to be in.

So, if you do write whether a little or a lot try to find joy in the words that break through from your brain onto your paper or computer screen. Celebrate that the process is working and that you are creating the words or crafting the thoughts that dance around in your brain. You are accomplishing something. Then when the words are there decide what you will do with them. Will you publish or will you not? Will you go indie or traditional? If you go indie will you write strictly ebooks or will you have hard copies printed up too? If you make the investment in printed copies, will you be comfortable with making that investment because you don't always know if it will pay off? There are so many things to consider. Last but not least(and my friend Rachel Thompson will say certainly NOT least)how will you market your books? Marketing can make or break your indie publishing, especially if there is an investment in printed copies of your book. There are so very many things to consider no matter what publication route you take.

I suggest writing for the sheer joy of writing, then when you are ready to share your work with the world, decide which route you will go with publishing. As you are working all of that out be planning your strategies for selling your books. If you are an indie the load is all on you. If you have a traditional publisher you still have a lot of work to do to make sure your book sells. I have seen many traditionally published authors engaging readers in social media to keep those sales happening and if you are an indie author social media can be the key to engaging potential readers.

Just remember enjoy what you do. If "the thrill is gone" then none of it will seem worthwhile. So if you are writing a blog you want to share, stories, essays, novels, poems or articles find the joy in what you do because otherwise the writing will grind you down and there will be no pleasure in the act of creating.

Ciao!


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