A few months ago, I bought a Nook (my Mother’s Day gift to myself from myself). This led to an epiphany – not an epiphany that my husband needs to buy me a gift next year. No, this was much bigger picture. I don’t need an agent or contract or publisher to do the very thing I have always dreamed of doing: Be a writer.

Now, let me clarify. I have always wanted to be a writer. I remember being seven and writing my first short story about a wizard. (Damn, missed the boat on that one.) At the tender and strange age of 10, I recall binding my first short story collection into a red folder, complete with my own cut-out cover art glued on the front. It was called “Satan’s Children and Other Stories.” Yes, I realize if anyone had seen it, this would have meant years of therapy for me. (Don’t worry – no children were harmed in the making of any of my stories.)  I tried my hand at my first novel at age 12. What I’m getting to is this: I am a writer. That is me. I’m not sure I exist without it, maybe as a placeholder, a kind of flesh and bone shell. But with pen in hand, I exist. I live to tell stories, and I can do that without being the next big thing.

So, I’ve been reading about self-publishing successes. Unknown writers who burst onto the scene (screen) and sold a billion copies of their books and were able to quit their day jobs, all while laughing their asses off at their former cube monkey friends and preceding their announcement with a cannon aimed straight at the boss’s desk, shooting confetti made from hundred dollar bills. Or maybe they just made enough money to give up the day job. Ultimately, that is what I’d like to do: Quit the day job and focus my energy and effort on writing full-time.

I tell stories because it’s what I do. I’m not going to whip out a novel every month. That’s just not how I operate. But what I can learn from those super-speedy authors is discipline – putting words on paper each and every day, so help me God. I’ll self-publish and see how it goes. My expectations for my work are high, but my expectations for the hundred-dollar-bill-confetti cannon are reasonably low.      

 


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