On this, the eve of my fifth anniversary on this crazy rollercoaster ride that is indie writing, I feel like I should reflect on what I’ve learned. Not so much about writing because I’ve been doing that since I was a kid – silly plays when I was eight or ten years old, and then romance stories since the ninth grade.
That leaves things like editing, formatting, and a lot of other boring things that would put you to sleep. Unless you’re suffering from insomnia, it might send you in search of more exciting ways to spend your time … like sweeping down cobwebs or cleaning toilets.
So I’m not going to do that.
What I am going to do is say thank you.
Like I mentioned above, I’ve been writing stories since the ninth grade – because I had to. They were in my head and I had to get them on paper. It didn’t matter whether anyone read them or not, though I did show them to a few trusted people. When they praised them, I was convinced they were just being nice, so I just kept writing and hiding everything away.
But life has a way of making sure we do what we were meant to do and, following a tragedy in 2010, I was plagued with nightmares. I needed to find a way to stop dwelling on what happened – and then I remembered that the person I’d lost had encouraged me to try self-publishing. I realized it was either change my focus or live in fear of falling asleep. And so I spent a few months of sixteen and eighteen hour days learning everything I needed to know about this business, exhausting myself to the point where I could fall into bed too tired to dream.
Now I know I barely skimmed the surface of that iceberg, that there was so much I didn’t know about the publishing industry, but it was enough to get me started. On June 6, 2010, I wrote my first blog post* … and about six weeks later, released three books that had been collecting dust for some time.
Did I think I would succeed? Not really. In fact, I didn’t even mention it to anyone I knew for weeks.
Then you all bought my books – and most of you really liked them. Because of you, for the first time in my life, I felt like a real writer. And I finally realized that maybe the reason I’d always felt a bit like a misfit was because I’d always treated storytelling as a hobby. A hobby I loved, but one I kept secret as I tried to fit into a normal world with normal people who didn’t have a head filled with fictional characters demanding their fifteen minutes of fame.
But you fell in love with Ed, Dan, Sam, Jon, Cal, and Chris too … and I’ve never looked back.
When I was trying to think of a song to express how I felt, only one kept coming to mind. Or should I say most of this song describes exactly how I feel about each and every one of you. So please, from the bottom of my very grateful heart, accept my thanks … and just kind of ignore the more romantic parts of the lyrics. 🙂
*If you read my ‘first’ blog post, you might note that I said “continuing’ trials with my septic tank. For whatever reason, I am missing the first two. But even though they were written in June, I’m going to count the first dated post as my anniversary.