This post is inspired by Sandra Kasturi who did this interview with the Winnipeg Review.
Sandra talks a little about the reasons why self publishing is a good fit for some people. I thought I’d take a little bit to tell you why it works for me.
1) Adults used to think my writing was disturbing
Admittedly, I wasn’t the teacher’s pet, brown noser, or even the popular kid in school. I began my writing career by accident, mostly because I got kicked out of my grade six English class. I was sent to the library to do “creative writing”. I did exactly that, but unlike the other kids who wanted to show the teacher their work and have it graded, I didn’t let anyone see it.
My mom tells me I let the pastor at my church see some of my short stories. I think I let him because he wasn’t a teacher and I wasn’t going to be graded. But then he told my mom I was a disturbed child that needed help. That really stopped me from showing adults my work.
2) Sharing my work with people my age was always way more rewarding
I resorted to lending parts of my binder to other students. The golden rule: DO NOT MESS UP THE ORDER OF THE PAGES. Hey, some kids didn’t bring books to school during mandatory silent reading hour. I on the other hand always had a book.
My peers already thought I was creepy and weird. They already spent years slamming me into lockers, putting white out in my hair, ambushing me on the way to and from school, and calling me names. If they thought my gory short stories were scary, maybe they’d leave me alone for a change. You know there was that whole scene I wrote about disemboweling someone. I was 12.
3) I’ve never played by the rules
You probably wouldn’t realize it, but I almost got expelled when I was in high school. Twice. Once for writing a letter to my grade 10 English teacher about the low grade she gave me on my Romeo + Juliet paper. At the time I could practically recite the play by heart. It took me three pages handwritten to tell her how unfair she was being.
The second time had to do with bandannas I chose to wear because I chopped all my hair off in grade 10 and didn’t like how it was growing back. Some teachers thought I was in a gang or something. That made me laugh, I was tough on paper, but I’d run from any real fight. Not to mention I never smoked, drank, or did any drugs whatsoever in high school. Still, they made me show off my funny looking hair for two years, which just made more people want to beat me up. At least the bandanna gave people the illusion I was tough.
4) I’m a control freak
Case in point, I will soon hold the trademark for The Amethyst Flame. Copyrights aren’t strong enough, and this will ensure that nobody can publish anything about an Amethyst Flame unless they have my written permission.
In my defense, Tolkien did it too.
5) I like constructive feedback, but it doesn’t mean I’ll use it
Something that happened between me and my critique partner awhile ago:
Me: Can you take a look at this and tell me what you think?”
CP: I think this, this and this could be changed.
Me: *thinks* Okay, I’ll leave it as is.
CP: You know, sometimes I think you ask for feedback when you don’t really want it.
Me: No, I considered what you said, and decided it wouldn’t work.
Me: I totally appreciate what you send me, just sometimes I stick to my guns.
CP: Well you can go down with guns blazing.
Me: That’s the spirit!
6) I won’t compromise on my artistic vision
I’m always willing to change out some small details, but big things like concepts, mythology, plot twists and endings – NO WAY. I would rather step into the UFC ring and have the shit kicked out of me before I change my mind.
In other words, you can’t make me write crap just because “it might sell”. I think that’s called integrity, not selling out, not being a poser, etc. etc. My work is real, genuine and hard hitting just the way it is. I won’t let anyone change that.
7) I’m a Do-It-Yourselfer
I like book formatting, editing, create covers (except in all honesty Regina Wamba is a genius and I bow to her geniusness.) and other little things. I like being able to put together a pretty product, the best I can afford and I like being able to show it off. I’d never want my career handed to me on a silver platter and given all the tools to succeed provided I did x, x, and x. That’s again a sell out thing. I like being able to oversee all the parts of a project.
In case you were wondering, I chose all the stock art for the covers Regina and Emma did for me.
8) I’m not looking for your approval.
Just sayin . . . while I’m sure your opinion is valid, I stopped caring what other people think a long time ago.
I don’t need a gold star (or five for that matter) to feel proud of my work.
9) I LIKE being an Indie Author
Sometimes. Sometimes I like singing too, but music for me has always been more about the creative process than the business. I don’t like getting caught up in the business.
Maybe when I’m done writing books I’ll go back to writing songs and singing them in my basement.
I think the best thing about being an Indie Author is that I can find weird people like me who like what I write and don’t mind how crazy, weird, different and ugly I am.
I also like that nobody can tell me NOT to write all these disturbing stories.