Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Are you the Tiger Woods of Publishing? Does it matter?



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I've blogged before about Hugh Howey, and how much I loved his story WOOL. But his novel isn't the only reason I've become a fangirl. I love his stories and his characters, for sure, but I adore his perspective.

He wrote an article for indiereader.com, "The Best Days of My Life." Do yourself a favor and read the entire article. I guarantee you'll be inspired.

There was one section of the article that made me want to run around my house, holding a bath towel like a super hero's cape. Here's the part that spoke to me:

"If you are twelve, and reading this right now, know that I was twelve once, too. I was twelve, and I dreamed of being a writer. I filled composition books with stories, but I never finished them. Part of that was because there was no youth NaNoWriMo group showing me what was possible. And there was no KDP or Smashwords to give me the freedom to turn my stories into books. There was no easy outlet for my rampant imagination. Now there is, but it means ignoring those who say you shouldn't go for it.
Remember that it's okay to write and publish just to make yourself happy, to make yourself fulfilled. There will be authors out there, readers, publishing experts, and booksellers who say that this outpouring of unprofessional drek is ruining the industry, which makes me wonder if these same people drive through neighborhoods yelling and screaming at people gardening in their back yards, shouting at them that, "You'll never be a farmer!" Or if they cruise past community basketball courts where men and women unwind with games of pickup and shout at them, "You'll never make it in the NBA!"
There is a kid learning to dribble a basketball right now who will go on to play shirts-and-skins, lead their high school to a national championship, get drafted in the first round and make millions, and this is no reason for the rest of us to not go out and experience the thrill of a 3-pointer heaved up and swishing right through the net. There is some parent teaching a child how to grip a putter right now and take aim at a clown's mouth, and that kid will get a $50 million endorsement from Nike, and this is no reason not to go whack a bucket of balls after work. Implicit in the message that only some people should publish is the stance that all publishing is commercial, it's all about making money, about being a bestseller, a pro. But that's not the reason I do it. It isn't why I celebrate writing and encourage people to self-publish. I've been doing both for a long time. So if anyone tells you that you can't do it, that you shouldn't do it, that you'll never make a living at it, I urge you to agree with them. And then go do it anyway."
Right? Do you want to run around your house wearing a bath towel like a super hero's cape?

If you're that writer who wins a slot on the New York Times bestseller list, we'll support you. And if you're that writer who relates to the golfer who hits a bucket of balls after work? We'll do the wave with each swing. Pinkie swear.

Have you read this article by Hugh Howey? What's your opinion? I'd love to know!

21 comments:

  1. Sigh. I agree. It's that kind of perspective that many in the industry can't see - and I understand. It's very hard to switch perspectives! :)

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    1. Laura, so true. It took me a while to switch perspectives! But now I'm so glad I'm on this road. It's liberating.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this awesome quote by Howey.

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    1. I hope you enjoyed it, Catherine. I loved it!

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  3. Sounds like a wonderful article! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Absolutely, Jess! I think Anne Allen shared it on her Facebook page, and I'm so glad she did.

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  4. I love this article! And I think it can apply to a lot of other jobs, in addition to writing; it's just the type of encouragement I need in grad school right now. And I wish there had been a youth Nanowrimo group when I was a kid! It would've made me feel a lot better about being a nerdy bookworm in a small town full of jocks and cheerleaders.

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    1. Oh, I totally agree about youth NaNo. That program is encouraging so many young novelists. It encourages me as a grown up!

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  5. This is a such an inspirational and motivational article perfect for the new year. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Laura, Howey never fails to inspire! Glad you liked it :)

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  6. That is a great attitude! If we did it just for success, then it would be shallow. We wouldn't do it just for the joy of doing it.

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    1. Alex, reading this put me at ease. If 10 people read my book, I'd be happy. And now I don't feel bad about being happy about that :)

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  7. This made me cry!! I've been struggling with whether to give up because I don't seem to be getting anywhere. Now, I'm ready to get back out there and write anyway. The dream lives!! No matter what route it takes!!

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    1. Exactly! Do. Not. Quit. Write anyway. If nothing else, write in a journal. I love this time in publishing because there are SO many paths we can take. Keep going, Traci!

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    2. Thank you, Julie!! Your words mean a lot to me!!

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  8. It's all about the joy! The only fame I crave is when I win the biggest lottery jackpot in history - Good Morning America, here I come.

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    1. Psh, Good Morning America? I think you'd get Oprah.

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  9. Thanks for sharing this inspiring blurb. It's so true!

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  10. Great blurb, Julie. However we get there, it's the joy of getting there, part of which is the support.

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    1. Amen to that, Kittie. As long as we hang on to the joy, and write for the right reasons, the journey is worthwhile.

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