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