Indie Life: Using Your Space

Hey, gang! It's the second Hump Day of the month, and that means it's time for another Indie Life post. What is Indie Life? We'll get to that, but first...

Yo, EJ! Where You Been?!

Well, I moved from Texas to California last month--so I've been several places recently! But now I'm settled and resuming life as a West Coaster.

As far as blogging goes, because of the move I totally botched the Google Reader-ocalypse. I didn't adopt a new system in time to transition my reader list over. So in short, I lost everything and have been flying blind the last couple of weeks. But I'm catching up. (Some of you will have seen me around more lately... which may or may not be a good thing.  :)

I've got a new reader thing going in my web browser, but I'm having to rebuild my blog list from ground zero. Which really isn't a bad thing in theory. My old list was beyond unmanageable. I can't tell you how many blogs I had on there that no longer existed.

Anywho, please be patient with me. I'm finding most of my old favorites by stalking the comments of other blogs and adding y'all back that way. Until then, if you haven't commented here in a few weeks, please do just say hi as I'm adding everyone who comments here (it's the easiest way to find you).

I'm the world's worst about reading blogs on my phone, etc. and not getting to the comments, so that last bit was for my fellow lurkers. :) 

What Is New Adult Literature? Or Maybe, What Is It Not?

Yes, yes... I'm on that old box again. :) You all know I'm keen on New Adult stuff, and most of you know I'm a regular contributor over at the New Adult Alley Blog. Well, this week I did up a fun list of WHAT NEW ADULT LIT ISN'T.

Definitely hop over for a little NA FYI and say hello if you have a chance!

What is Indie Life?

: Sign up on the Linky at the bottom of this page

When: Post on the second Wednesday of the month (starting 1/9/2013)

What: Write anything indie related: something that will inspire or help a fellow indie; something that celebrates a release or a milestone; something that talks about the ups and downs, joys and heartaches of Being Indie.

Click: The banner above to learn more and join the fun!

Using Your Space

To paraphrase the Pauli exclusion quantum mechanical principal a tad: No two objects may occupy the same space.  

Now, I can promise you that's the last time I'll bring quantum physics into this blog to illustrate a point (well, at least the last time I'll do it in this post). Because frankly, I'm not that damned smart. :)  

However, it DOES say something very important with regards to what this whole independent author thing is all about: Identity and owning your space. 

Look, attempting to be an author is a scary proposition on any level. It's the psychological equivalent of climbing up on a rock in the middle of a turbulent sea and daring the waves not to sweep you away. 

That's true for publishing traditionally, independently, freelancing--you name it.

Your voice will be one of thousands--hundreds of thousands--and the chances of it being heard over the crying gulls and churning water aren't great. But not being heard isn't the really terrifying part.

The thing that'll cause you to dampen your favorite Superman onsie is the thought that someone WILL actually hear you. That you'll get some attention and be found not worthy, then they'll cast you back into the cold depths with all the other fish. 

Well I'm here to tell you, fears aside, you belong on that rock. In fact, the laws of the Universe demand that you occupy your space on that rock, because no one else can. It's all yours, baby!

The simple truth is this: You have a right to tell stories and ask other people to read them. They also have a right not to read them--always, always remember that! 

Indeed, some of them will actively look for reasons to invoke that right. Among those reasons: Not the right genre. Not the right name on the cover. Not the right cover. Not enough experience. Not jumping through the right hoops. Not the right training. Not the right person to ask them to read it. And so on...

Nonetheless, you still have a right to put it out there, to own your space and do with it what you want. (NOTE: This is not a SHOULD YOU discussion. The next time we spend a week together on a beach in the Bahamas we can have that conversation--whilst sipping fruity drinks, of course.)

There's been too dang much focus on the WHO in publishing for too long. It's the WHEN, WHAT, HOW, and WHY we should be figuring out. 

Being an independent author has allowed me to do that for myself. Just like in any great enterprise, there are steps to learn and methods to develop. I've had to unlearn a few things, too. (Like: Readers read the things they love over-and-over. If they love vampire stories, they don't really care if there've been 400 vampire stories published this year, they'll happily read another as long as it's done well. Who knew?)

But just knowing that I had the right to consider myself a professional--and then go about learning how to be one on my own terms--was totally liberating. 

Scary? Yes. Time consuming? Yes. Hard? Some days, very. But liberating.

So I'll leave you with this: No matter what kind of author you want to be, recognize that the space is already yours. You just have to decide how you want to use it. 



  1. I dig the photo!! That gave me a laugh this morning.
    Only we can write in our voice - only we can occupy our rock.
    Sorry you missed the transition. You can still access all the blogs you were following through your dashboard - that will help you find the ones you are missing.

    1. That's how I've been doing it, Alex. Unfortunately, if folks haven't posted in a while they get buried in the feed. And a lot of people have gone off the grid for the summer. ;)

  2. Love this post! We can only occupy our own rock, and we have the right to put our work out there. Of course, readers can say they don't want to read our work, but that's okay.

    Good luck cultivating your blogging list again!

    1. I'm trying, Cherie! Just got you added back yesterday. :)

  3. Good luck getting your list sorted again! I have a list of blogs in my sidebar, but it's limited how many I can put and it is terrible to keep updated. I often just scramble to catch up with people who've commented.

    1. Thanks Hart! I've got the blog roll thing, too--and thanks to Alex, I got it somewhat updated about a year ago. But it's definitely limited.

      Jumping over to see people who comment is my primary way of finding people now. But I think my new reader will work out once I get it populated.

  4. Hey, I love that rock photo! A picture says it very concretely--well, um, in granite???

    1. It's definitely worth a thousand words, Catherine! Or in this case, probably around 400. :)

  5. Very inspirational post, EJ. Though-provoking, too.

    *takes off to find my rock*

    1. I'd help you look, but I'm not a strong swimmer! :P

  6. Thanks for the encouragement. It does take courage to step out as a writer. Want to go over and see what the NA genre isn't.

    1. Always! It's terrifying to put yourself out there at times, JL. But the funny thing is, I haven't talked with a single writer who has done it--when they felt they were truly ready and had learned their craft--who regretted it.

      Appreciate your comment over at the Alley, btw! :)

  7. Nice motivator, bro! We all need a good kick in the arse now and then. You're so right. We shouldnt feel embarrassed to want people to read our stuff. We should get it out there and find our audience, provided we've done our work as well. :D

  8. Awesome post! Sometimes I forget that, but you say it so wonderfully. It's hard work, but incredibly freeing.

  9. Some days are very hard. Them some bright spark comes along and makes the week worthwhile.

    You're right about owning our rocks. I don't have to be anyone else but me, and I don't have to write like anything else but me.

    Glad you're getting settled. Moving is tough.

  10. We have a right to express ourselves. Others have a right not to pay attention.

  11. Good luck with reassembling your blogroll, EJ! I got Feedly early on before the blogocaplyse!

  12. Hope the move went well and that you are feeling settled in to your new place. The west coast is a beautiful place to be! So much to do after a move and glad you are back in the blogging world. :)

    Great post! Love what you had to say- we do have the right to express ourselves and others can do what they want with it (pay attention or not pay attention).

  13. Actually, one object can occupy two spaces. My wife, on her side of the bed and mine simultaneously.
    And it's always my fault.

    1. LOL Nothing like marriage to defy the laws of physics Roger! :)

  14. Can I sit on my rock and throw things at you? :D

  15. "...I totally botched the Google Reader-ocalypse. I didn't adopt a new system in time to transition my reader list over." Oh, my. I thought I was the other person to have missed the boat.

    I hope you enjoy life in California.

  16. I've got a hundred or so blogs in my reading list, but none were affected. They weren't in Reader. Of that hundred, a good portion have been abandoned, I think. I just haven't gotten around to deleting.

  17. E.J., your last paragraph says it all! I loved it. May anyone hoping to write or unsure about themselves read it!

  18. Bad luck on missing the readerpocolypse. Hope you figure out a good way to catch the list up again. :-)


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

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