It is a common rule for writers that we should set aside our masterpieces for a while, to let them rest and allow us to gain some distance before sending them out to agents and the world. I like this idea and I mostly practice it. Now that I am readying a book for self-publishing, I’ve had the chance to see the true benefits. I recently picked up my old story friend and dove in, and discovered that the first chapter that I had adored was actually not really great at all. I’m actually now surprised by all the agent interest it garnered, because I can see from the vantage point of almost two years that there was a better way to open my story.
In reading the book, I discovered a flaw in my tale telling, an event that a character would have already experienced had been explained to her by another character. Clearly, giving her the chance to experience the event is far better than a “blah, blah, blah” about something so powerfully moving in her life.
Time has given me the chance to see these things and improve upon the story. And it is wonderful to dive back in and revisit a beloved world, especially when I know that in self-publishing, I have the power to decide when it is ready, to pick the cover, and release the book to the world. My newly embraced idea of self-publishing is energizing me to see a different writing career for myself.
That doesn’t mean I will stop pursuing traditional publication, but I see the publishing landscape in very different terms. It’s funny, my favorite singers and musicians are non-traditional; they’ve created their own labels and control their own careers. They may never be billionaires but they own their journeys. I see the value in that more and more.
Quote for the Day from Doris Lessing
“Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.”