When I began my writing adventure over a year ago, I believed I had some idea of what I wanted to do and how to approach it. The research I did into writing skills that others said were important showed me how to tweak my very basic ones. I think I finally even got the “show, not tell” concept although it took a while. A friend asked, “Who are they that say all these things? Stop spending so much time reading about writing and just write.” To a large extent she was right, especially after I had devoured parts of numerous books about the craft of writing. I really did need to spend more time writing. I learned it’s important to find your own voice, write from your heart and that my writing would get better and better with practice.
Okay, I was ready…well, maybe not quite yet. I spent considerable time reading blogs such as Jane Friedman’s about the fast-changing publishing industry. Self-publishing seemed to be the better choice for me, as I am older and would like to live long enough to see a few of my books and short stories in print, not spend my time waiting for other publishers to get back to me. What was going on here with all this reading of articles and blogs and so little writing? Maybe I didn’t have as much to say as I thought? Not really. I learned that my annoying perfectionism was still being fed by my insecurities about doing something new and unfamiliar to me.
Self-publication can be intimidating…so many choices and options and so much to read about it all. Who should I listen to? How do I format my work? I realized it’s now time to take some of my own advice about going with the flow, speaking my truth and following my own bliss. I’m ready to take the plunge by publishing my first short story in the very near future. It’s written and ready to go as I venture forth inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” I’ve learned I do have the guts to learn how to do it and look forward to seeing my first short story on Amazon.
As has been said probably too many times, it’s the journey, not the destination that’s important. So as I progress onward to my goal of self-publication, I continue to learn more about myself…my strengths, my weaknesses, my likes and dislikes. In addition, I’ve learned that this whole writing pathway is not only one of self-discovery, but also one that I’m meant to share with others whose lives I may touch and who reach out a hand to help me along with their words of encouragement. What I’m discovering may not be exactly what I expected, but something even better. I’ve learned that a blog is an amazing avenue of self-expression where I meet warm and wonderful people even if I never publish anything else.