A New Thing: Indie Life

Hey gang! Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to wish Ellie luck on Monday. I know she truly appreciates the support, as we all do.

Speaking of support, I've decided to join in a relatively new blog movement being instigated by the fine authors over at the Indelibles blog. 



It's called Indie Life, and it is operated similarly to Alex Cavanaugh's excellent Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG), of which I'm also a part.

Basically, on the second Wednesday of every month a gaggle of Indie authors will share their triumphs, failures, and tips for success with the blog world. It's open to all independent authors, or those who are striving to be. The sign-up is below, and you can click the link above for more details.

Here's my first contribution to the group:


Being Independent Does Not Mean Going Alone

Writers and solitude is a marriage of necessity. Like most marriages, the relationship isn't always filled with longing gazes, special moments, and cosmically aligned thoughts of happiness.

Much of my time spent with solitude results in angry muttering, eye-rolling, foot tapping, and dreams of no longer being alone. No, I'm not always excited to be in the company of solitude, in fact I find her down right stifling most of the time.

But as I say, it's a relationship born of necessity. I need that quiet refrain to bolster my thoughts as a bird often needs a gust of wind to soar. Yes, it can be turbulent and scary, but it's a means to an end--a push into my subconscious where all of those stories await.

However, once the actual writing ends, I'm usually not that eager to be MORE alone. I've done my time, finished my chores, and am eager to journey into the more social aspects of the craft. I don't think I'm alone in this. 

Most writers, I've found, prefer to talk about what they're reading over what they're writing. Believe it or not, we enjoy chatting about ideas for stories with other writers more than stewing over the sentence we spent half a day re-writing. 

So you now probably understand why the thought of being an independent author scared the hell out of me...

In a business that by its very nature is lonely, it seemed like I was choosing to be more isolated. It was almost purposefully declaring myself as not part of the group, and I wasn't sure my ego could handle it. After all, I'd traveled a long damn way to simply choose not to go inside with the others. (It's actually not a one or the other choice, but that's a future IL post...)

Ten year-old me started thinking, "Whoa, being different gets you teased in the locker room and beat up at the bus stop. You don't want that kind of attention. You're so not ready." 

Of course the brave adult in me said, "Any attention that gets your work in front of readers is good attention. Any 'thing' that forces you to finally declare yourself a writer to the world is a good thing. You're ready."

Eventually, adult me won out, and I wish I hadn't spent so much time agonizing over the decision.

Little did I know that I was turning away from one group just to walk into the arms of another. I had no idea there were so many authors doing this publishing thing on their own. Talented, friendly, and professional authors, eager to build relationships and develop their craft.

So perhaps you're like I was, and the biggest obstacle you're facing in your writing journey is choosing the right path. And you'd prefer a path with other likeminded people on it. Don't assume that being independent means going alone. There's a real community already formed, and you can join any time you like.

~EJW~

Indie Life Signup




48 comments:

  1. Glad the adult won out, because you are an excellent writer.
    Writing is a solitary thing for all of us. I've always been a bit of a loner, so it never bothered me. But once I found the community and support here, I realized that I probably had craved it all along and just didn't know it.

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    1. Thank you Alex, truly appreciate it. I was the same, I've never been much of someone who needed to 'belong', but I think I needed it in my writing life.

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  2. I've been enjoying all the wisdom from the Indie Life posts today. Some day I hope to know enough to be able to contribute.

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    1. You'll be there soon enough, you're too determined not to be.

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  3. I'm so glad the adult side won out! There's a multitude of brave souls on this path; I'm glad you're one of them!!

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  4. This sounds like a great idea. I'm leaning towards journeying down the same path soon. Like you said, it's not a lonely one, but one with friendly faces all along the way! We need that interaction as it's a great release to be able to talk about your problems with like-minded people.

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    1. Totally agree Nick. Always do what's right for the work (and each work/project can be different, I believe) and you'll go far.

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  5. This is exactly the day I needed to read this, EJ! I am "this close" to indie publishing... and I'm still feeling that obstacle. Thank you for making me feel less alone!

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    1. Can't tell you how thrilled I am to read this Julia! You're def not alone. Trust your instincts and go for it. :-)

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  6. Been seeing these posts around today and wish you all great success. Neat idea to band together as "indies" and help each other out.

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  7. If you do it right, being an independent author is a good thing. The lines have so blended in past couple years. I've read self-published work that was far better than most traditional stuff. You guys are the start of a revolution.

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    1. I agree, LD. There's a 'right way' to go about it. But that way isn't necessarily about what you're publishing. It's about how. You owe it to yourself and your readers to put out a quality product (the best you're able to do, always), and to treat yourself as a professional in all aspects. You do those things, and you're golden.

      I also support both avenues of publishing, and enjoy reading both. I think you always have to do what's best for the work and you as author, and that differs greatly.

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  8. Agreed--being independent doesn't mean alone. Nice post!

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  9. You are totally right. Writers are not alone. We have a gi-normous community.

    I signed up for this but will be posting next time.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  10. Being a part of a community is incredibly helpful. I have no idea how I would have had the courage to publish without the support of fellow writers and bloggers.

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    1. I'm the same way Libby. Seeing so many talented writers I admire dive in really gave me all the incentive I needed.

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  11. I consider my writing time to be "solitary refinement". I usually am a better person after I've spent some time writing. If I go too long without writing, I tend to suffer withdrawals. For me, writing is about as close to a drug as I'll ever get.

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    1. Me too, JB. I need my alone time with my thoughts and words. But I think we can get sucked into that if we're not careful. Honestly believe we need interaction, etc. to keep our writing fresh.

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  12. There's a great indie writers community out there, which this blog hop is beginning to tap into. You do need to get beyond it, however, and reach the readers, most of whom will remain anonymous. More isolation, sigh. :-)

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    1. Those readers! :-D I think I see your point well, Sean. It's all a big puzzle, and we have to make sure the pieces are all on the table ready to be connected.

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  13. Many writers feel isolated. Interesting, isn't it? So great that you've made this decision and joined the Indie group! I hope it's everything you need and more. :)

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    1. Me too! :-) Isolation is just the nature of the beast, but it doesn't have to be everything.

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  14. The diversity of the writers I meet through blogging is so interesting. I could be alone most of the time! I'm comfortable with my inner self and the outer world overwhelms me many times. But I do enjoy the support and ideas of other people, writers.

    I like how your 10 year old self speaks up in situations like this. My inner self is somewhere between 12 and 15...that most awkward of times. Perhaps that's why I'm always writing for that age group :)

    So glad you've found an Indie group to get involved with. I'm sure they will be a wonderful support network as you continue to "go it alone"...or rather, not so alone!

    Cheers,
    Jen

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    1. Thanks Jen! I definitely think we need both the solitude and the interaction. But it's a balancing act for sure, too much of one or the other can hurt our writing as well as our psychological wellbeing.

      Appreciate the comment!

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  15. Through it all my dear indie now man, I hope good things will come your way. Indie isn't for everyone, obviously, was that too obvious? now I feel like the schizo having a conversation you mentioned.touche e.j., touche

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  16. This is so cool, EJ!
    And I agree with Alex; you're an excellent writer. :)

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  17. What a great idea! I thinks it's awesome that the indy publishing community will have additional support! I is reassuring to know if I should ever publish independently I will have an amazing community to support me.

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  18. Such a great post, EJ. Being "alone" has definitely been a theme of this Indie Life--and that we've mostly all come to realize that we are, in fact, NOT alone!

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  19. I'm so glad you listened to the adult you and now we all get to read your writing! This is a fantastic idea and I'm so interested in Indie Life, I know it will be a great group.

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  20. Hi EJ. You certainly aren't alone. Look at that list on the signup already!

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  21. I'm so glad you listened to the adult you. It can be lonely, but we're not alone. :)

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  22. What you said is so true: I would much rather talk about what I'm reading than what I'm writing.

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  23. The adult you is wise. We have such a fabulous writing community here. It's because of everyone within it I don't feel so lonely any more. :)

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  24. Excellent post, EJ!

    I think this writing community will be amazing. Sadly, I can't join it quite yet, since I'm still not sure if I'll end up going indie. :-)

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  25. You are so right that the key is choosing the right path. I find it's easy to veer off that path and must constantly remind myself of where I'm going as an Indie.

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  26. What a fascinating post! I love the world of writers I have discovered on the internet! As writers we are not alone- we have the support of our fellow writers and readers all over the place. So wonderful!
    ~Jess

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  27. I think the gap between indie and traditional is closing, with some authors using both paths. Online I feel very accepted as an indie author, but admit in the solid world I do still come across people who assume it's the lesser path. Great to see a new group forming to promote independent publishing :)

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  28. Don't be scared, E.J. You are my inspiration, and I absolutely love your writing. I have no doubt 2013 is your year, my friend.

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  29. This is a great idea! I missed this month but signing up for the next month. Banding together is the best thing indie writers can do. Writing is such a lonely proces. Imagine a time before the internet and just how isolated writers were. We live in such a fantastic age to be indie writers. Be proud you're telling "the man" of trad pubbing to step off! You're making it work on your own. :)

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  30. E.J. I think you are like a real Texan. Forward thinking, manly and though independent you know a mule when someone calls it a horse--you're no dummy. Good luck with everything and I'm glad we're friends.

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  31. When I started writing I was all alone. But I soon discovered the blogging community and since then I have never been alone on this journey!

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  32. LOVE this! Even on the most frustrating of days, it's so nice to know that we're not alone, whatever path we choose!

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“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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