I’ve been absent from my blog again and I know things have to change. I go by the adage that if I have nothing useful to say then I don’t say anything. I do the same with decisions; if I don’t know what to do I do nothing and eventually the answer comes to me.
These past few months I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research into publishing my completed novel. I considered traditional publishing, publishing on places like Amazon (because that’s easy to do) and I’ve done a huge amount of research into self-publishing. I learned that a lot of authors choose self-publishing these days so they can ‘retain control’, etc. and it’s never been easier. That seems a good idea but …
One writer on getting published advised, unless the work is sent out into the world absolutely perfect the writer will be forever judged by it. Good or bad.
Nagging Doubt creeps in.
First, I thought, liking something is subjective and I can think of writers whose stories I didn’t enjoy, but nevertheless millions of copies of their work were sold because others did. People will either like something, or they won’t, and I can hope a few folks will think my story is a good read and value for money (I’ve been told by at least a dozen people that it’s enjoyable and satisfying, but then I wonder are they just being nice to me because they’re friends… but they insist not; ‘It’s good’.)
Nevertheless, Nagging Doubt and indecision continues. And where does Slashie come in? A Slashie, I read, is a person who uses various talents to work and has multiple income streams.
A few years ago I set up a tiny, tiny micro business, which never really took off and I wound it up. When I consulted business advisors at the outset I was told to stick to offering one set of skills because otherwise I’d look like a Jack-of-all-trades (the second part; ‘and a master of none’.) Typical British dismissal of someone trying to follow their heart.
And now that I think about it, not being brave enough to do lots of different things, using lots of my skills, has always been my problem. I’ve been trapped in jobs I really didn’t enjoy just to earn money (because that’s what you’re supposed to do) and dismissed what I really enjoyed doing, which would make me get up in the morning to go and do them and earning money would be a nice, if necessary, bonus!
I have to rethink.
I’ve written and edited a novel and if I’m going to self-publish it I have to learn new skills such as marketing and use various previously learned skills to get it ‘out there’, such as formatting. (More Nagging Doubt …)
In addition, I enjoy a variety of crafts and up until now I’ve given away the things I make, or made them for family and friends, because of the Jack-of-all-trades dismissal, which makes me think they’re not good enough to sell.
Only last week I said to a friend that I’ve got to start thinking like an artisan (and act on the advice I gave to someone else). I’d crocheted a special cushion cover and was complimented on it and told I should make them to sell. I dismissed the suggestion because the cost of the materials would be too much before the hours it took me to do it. Then I thought, writers don’t charge by word count or an hourly rate; they send their work out into the world in the hope that someone is prepared to buy it (and hope they will enjoy it) and the recompense might be volume sales. An artist paints a picture and sells it as a unique work. A dressmaker sells a finished garment. Et cetera. I don’t have to think ‘hourly rate’ which has been drummed into me, ‘to be commercially viable’. An artisan thinks, ‘what would someone pay for it?’
Be a Slashie!
I hope sharing my thoughts and insecurities inspires someone to follow their hearts.