I’ve been chewing a lot on the idea about writing and my philosophy of writing. I have a lot of friends who are amazingly talented and struggling in today’s economy and that, in my opinion, is a giant shame. Especially when there’s people out there who create awful, awful things and get paid obscene amounts of money to do so.
There’s a camp of people who don’t take indie publishing/ creating/ selling seriously. Self publish a book? They’ll look sideways down their nose at it. Record an album using your garage and some software; release it only on iTunes? They’ll sniff derisively. Make things and sell them on Etsy? That’s “cute,” but nothing to take seriously.
There’s another camp of people who believe this first camp. They spend decades and decades on polishing their first work and consider themselves a failure if they can’t get “published.” They take it personally, as if their art wasn’t worthy. They’ll spend a small fortune on seminars, conferences, and “expert” advice to try and try to find that “published” moniker. Often, if they do get published, it’s with a small press with little or no pay for what they went through to get there.
I’m tired of this elitist crap.
There’s another camp of people, of which I belong to, that say, forget that. While I’ve not given up on getting published traditionally, I also am not going to waste my time waiting for it to happen. I’ve self-published three childrens’ books. Why? Because the picture book market is saturated. Finding a publisher would be next-to-impossible. Because my nieces are that age now, not five years from now. My books haven’t made a killing, but I think I have a lot more money in my hand than if I had published them traditionally. I have story after story of kids who adore the books – they don’t know any different. They don’t care. They love the story and that, to me, is all that matters. My story found an audience. My art changed something. I made a bit of coin off of it, that’s cool.
Somehow, I think we tend to forget that art was never out there saying, “hey come to be, I’ll make you tons of money.” Folks like Vincent Van Gogh died in poverty. Starving artist is a cliche for a reason. Should it be like that? No. I wish all of my uber creative folks could make as much money off their work as the fanfic author E.L. Smith is making off of “Fifty Shades of Gray.” Unfortunately, I don’t run the world yet, so it ain’t going to happen.
So forget the elitist voices in your head that say success comes in a publishing contract from one of the big publishers or by your products showing up at Target. Just make art. Write it, draw it, create it and share it. You’re fantastic, you can find an audience, and you can be a success.