Today, is a great time for writers. It’s also a scary time too!
20 years ago, when I started a real effort to be a professional writer, I knew it would be a very hard and vigorous journey. I also knew there were no guarantees that I could actually pull it off. It was like buying a lottery ticket. One could think about it, research numbers and then finally buy a ticket and still not win anything. That was just the publishing world. Not everyone was ‘lucky’ enough to get their break.
Fast forward to today, and now almost anyone — actually everyone can write a book and get it published. Granted, I’m referring to the new ability to self-publish. I could have self-published in 1999 as well, but it would have been horribly expensive and a financial burden to my family.
With services like Lulu and Amazon, you can now get your book placed digitally on the internet. They offer consumers the ability to buy your book, both digitally or print-on-demand, and you can financially benefit from it. Now, you still need to put some work into marketing and publicizing it or it will just get lost in a sea of thousands — millions of new books.
Now, I will consider the self publish route so I get more control of my creation. I will still shoot for a traditional publishing contract too. Yet, I have a new fear. A very real one. That fear is the — INTERNET! Or more precisely SOCIAL MEDIA.
It has been weaponized. And it can destroy people’s careers. I say this as a worst case scenario of course. But it should be a real fear for writers. What-if, my book is successful? What-if, I’m the next J.K. Rowling?
And then, someone is offended by something I wrote. What if they interpret that my book as something it isn’t and go to social media. Now I have to defend it. Or defend my life and my career. Because today, creators can be accused, tried, and punished by popular opinion and its far more damaging than a court of law nowadays — and usually this destruction bipasses due process and the courts. And this is scary.
So, everyday I tell myself to be kind. Be humble. Tell my stories they way I want and how, if I was just a reader, would like to read them. This is my confidence — AND I will SUCCEED!