One of my favorite First Ladies once said, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do." For me, this Eleanor Roosevelt quote has never been truer than when I think of my experience with self-publishing. At first, I rejected it as an option because of doubt and fear of disappointment. I believed I could never do it nor do it right. Finally, I went into it with a great deal of trepidation and uncertainty. In the process, I’ve gained more than strength and courage. I’ve meet wonderful friends and readers who support me. For them, I am eternally grateful.
Now that On Falcon’s Wings is available, I wish I could say life has returned to its normal rhythm, like Gemi. If anything, it’s become more demanding and chaotic than ever. I’m blogging and promoting more than I ever anticipated. In doing so, I’ve overcome a huge hurdle: the natural tendency to shy away from talking about my goals and my passion for writing. Michelle, you're not alone - I’ve always found promoting myself very difficult to do. I know other challenges will come. Indie authors have it a little harder than our traditionally published friends do, in the additional responsibilities we take on but our goals are the same: to build a readership. Kristina’s post yesterday was very inspirational. I share her determination, but could do with a good dose of her patience. I’ve gone from worrying about whether sales would ever come, to wondering what readers will say now that they’ve started buying the book. As with Peter, I still hope to achieve the goal of traditional publication where my work can be more widely read. For now, this is my start and the experience can only benefit me in the future.
I’d like to thank my four fellow authors for their guest posts. Gemi, Michelle, Peter and Kristina, I’m impressed by your ambition and dedication. I’ve learned a lot from each of you. I hope visitors to the blog have gained the same respect and knowledge.
If you’re an aspiring writer or considering DIY publishing, I hope you’ve also learned from our experiences and will use them to make the best choices for your writing career. The road may be long and difficult, but often things that are worth having don’t come easily. If you publish your work, learn to expect and accept criticism. Not everyone will be a fan. Maintain your old friendships and gain new ones to keep you sane and motivated, when the critics come running. As Eleanor Roosevelt also said, "Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway." Above all else, keep in mind why you started writing in the first place and you’ll never lose your love for it.
Wishing you every success. Lisa