I’ve been thinking a lot this last year or so about my writing and what it means to me, and even more so what my goals for it are. Writing has always been a pursuit of passion, of fun, and I didn’t even think about trying to get published when I was a kid or even when I got “serious” again after university. Somewhere along the way though I realised that I wanted to put my work out there. If I was putting all of this time and effort into it, I wanted something tangible that I could hold in my hands and be proud of. For a while, I thought traditional publishing was what I wanted and even spent a good chunk of time querying. It was during that time though that I realised something.
I had lost a lot of my passion. I wasn’t writing what I wanted to and was worrying about what an audience would want to see in my books. My themes had changed and my characters flattened. I was thinking too hard on what an agent might want and not what I might want. This was all very subconscious, so subconscious that I would only much later realise that I was losing my love of writing and of my stories.
Some of you may recall around the end of 2020, I decided to spend NaNoWriMo writing a story that was just for me, with no intention of ever sharing it with anyone. One with every trope and trash that I loved without worry.
That was the easiest NaNoWriMo I ever won, and only the second time I had ever actually COMPLETED the story within the month (the only other time was my very first year). This was when I started realising that I was making a mistake. Yes, I wanted my novel to become something more than a private file on my computer, but I didn’t want to think of it like a business. I didn’t want to worry about markets and trends or anyone else even liking it.
Now this may sound like a strange conclusion, given the title of this post, as self publishing surely means you have to be even MORE business minded, right? Not necessarily. The beauty of self publishing is that you can pursue it in line with what your actual goals are.
It can be for the most hard-core of career writers, who put in their hearts and souls, and who create amazing and fruitful writing careers from it. But it can also be for the ones like me, the ones who just want the joy of sharing their story even with a handful of people.
There are a number of benefits to self publishing that have made me realise that it is right for me, specifically.
- I can write what I like without worrying about the market
- Complete creative control
- No querying to stoke my anxiety
- I can set all of my own deadlines
- I just want to share my work with those few who might be interested
All of these things have made me realise that self publishing is the way forward for me. It aligns with both my end goals and with the way I want to enjoy writing. It gives me control over my work and also the process. And that is why I’m really pleased to finally say out loud, even though I know that there’s a lot of work ahead, that I’m going to do it.
I am going to self publish my work.