Saturday, April 7, 2012

High School All Over Again...

I went to my senior prom stag, mostly because I didn’t know any boys to ask.  Lucky for me, I went to an all-girls school, so going solo was taken as a sign of independence.  But now I find that, as an unpublished author-in-waiting, it’s high school all over again.  Except now I’m waiting for someone to ask me to the dance (an agent/publisher to call) and if they don’t, the question is – if I go stag (self-publish) will it be seen by the industry as a sign of independence or a sign that I wasn’t good enough to be asked?
I read a fascinating article by the Los Angeles Review of Books the other day on why self-published authors don’t get reviewed by newspaper papers, trade magazines, etc. In it, a traditionally-published author suggested that before she was established “I didn’t think I could call myself a writer if I paid someone else to publish my stuff.”  I had to read the statement twice, then check it again to make sure it was a grown-person saying it.  When all was confirmed, I sat back and thought, “Wow…what a mind job.” Before she gave self-publishing a try - in her world – you were only a writer if someone else said so. 
*Pregnant Pause*
That’s just way too much power to put in someone else’s hands.  Even if I never publish a thing, I am a writer.  Before, I was sheepish about saying it, but after reading that article I realized that I don’t want to approach my career in writing like a 17 year old girl hoping to be asked to the prom.  Even though it feels like the Wild Wild West in publishing these days and I have no idea how my efforts to publish traditionally will pan out, I know I have to believe in my own work first.  Whatever happens, who I am and what I do has to start and end with me. 
If you’re out there, thanks for reading!
~ Cerece

1 comment:

  1. I've heard so many stories about artists who sold hundreds of thousands of records without being on the radio. So some artists got that they didn't need to be on the radio to be heard in mass. I remember talking on a panel saying Myspace was dieing and artists needed to think of other platforms. I almost got booed off the stage...but look what happened. There's other ways to be heard!