The curse of indie writing no one talks about
February 27, 2016
WHAT IS THE LEAST talked about requirement to be an Indie author?
Want to guess?
Social media expertise?
A helpful team of editors, cover artists, beta readers?
Come on, we all know that can’t be it.
The ability to tell a story that is ripped from the front pages of Facebook?
A deep enough pocket to buy a placement on BookBub?
Not even close.
A close relationship with someone at Amazon?
Not in this lifetime.
Okay I have dilly-dallied enough.
The least talked about requirement to be an Indie author is the wherewithal to write a book no one will read.
Let’s be real.
Every day a few thousand new titles go live on Amazon.
The authors of all those books hope and pray that their book will be the one to win the lottery, to rocket them into author super star status.
99.99 percent of them are only fooling themselves.
Maybe that percentage is a little too low.
The grim reality of it is that Indie writers must be blind to the results of their efforts.
They must write because they cannot not write.
What I am describing is a quality quite different from discipline or persistence. To be sure the Indie author must have a full dose of those attributes, or she is dead in the water.
But the quality I have in mind is the one that keeps a writer at her desk day in and day out not because she has confidence that she will eventually break through.
Rather, she stays with it without regard to whether she will be discovered.
In other words, she writes for herself, because she must.
That devotion to the pure act of self-expression, to the art for arts sake of scribbling words on paper, is the mark of the true writer.
Maybe she will languish forever in obscurity.
She doesn’t care so long as she knows she is rendering a story she must tell on a computer screen in a dark corner of her home when the kids have finally gone to bed, when the sane persons around her have tucked it in for the night.
Sanity doesn’t drive her.
And when she pushes her chair away from her writing desk at midnight, facing a five a.m. reveille for her day job, she feels not tired but energized because she has written fifteen hundred words from her heart.
Words that most likely no one will ever read.