Walking away from an international publisher was my choice. The decision not to pursue another contract was easy and hard at the same time. Easy because the world of publishing had changed significantly, giving authors a lot more options. Hard because walking away with the intent to try indie publishing meant, well, I was walking away from something that had once been an end-all be-all career goal and dream. Selling my first book to a publishing company was a big achievement and would still rank on my list of top ten life moments. But like I said, the publishing world had exploded into an exciting, different place, and there were reasons independence became a better path for me.
That was in 2012. And here it is, 2016. I’ve been writing almost daily the whole time, mostly fiction, with a little technical writing thrown in when the opportunity arises. So, one might ask, what the heck do I have to show for it?
Well…a lot of words but not a lot of full, finished, polished stories. Yet.
When I first decided to write with the goal of publication, back in 2002 (conveniently two months after my younger son was born), I was single-minded. A lot of aspiring authors do what I call story hopping—they write a few chapters on one story, then move on to another without finishing the first, and so on, until they have a collection of story bits. I didn’t do that. I dove in (not knowing what I was doing, mind you) and wrote a story from beginning to end. It took me 14 months, and it was slightly atrocious, but I didn’t veer to other projects at all. And then I started another book after sending the first one to a publisher. (Thankfully they rejected it.)
Book two became my first sale to Harlequin, eventually known as Unexpected Complication. And from then on, I wrote one story after another, from start to finish, based on what I was able to sell to the publisher.
Fast forward to 2012 and my newfound “freedom” to write whatever the hell I wanted to. I went from having content guidelines, prescribed word counts, and demanding deadlines to having no restrictions whatsoever. And while some people would thrive in that situation, I have to admit that it made me lose a little (okay, a lot) of my focus. Which wasn’t entirely a bad thing. It turned out that I needed some time to decompress from my publishing-company writing career and regroup for my independent writing career. And that meant, well, messing around, I guess you could call it. Writing story bits.
First, I wrote two short stories and one novella and indie published them. Then…I wrote parts of six different books—55,000 words on one, 35,000 on another, 23,000 on another, etc. I’ve never been so scattered, writing-wise. And it was a good thing. Mostly. Except it didn’t get any books published.
So, the main thing I wanted to say today, after all that, is that this year, I’m going to publish a new book. At least one. And no, I don’t have any misconception that the world cares one way or another whether I publish another book, but I DO. J And by posting it here, it means I’ve said in public that I’m going to do it, and so I will do it.
Just not today. 🙂
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photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/26235754@N05/3336803474″>sunbathing in the antartic</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>