Monday, 21 November 2011

One Year(ish) On...

So it's been about a year since I became a published author.

I'm using the word 'published' in about the most minimal sense it can be used here - my short story Feed The Enemy was published as an ebook by Books To Go Now about a year ago, and another called Home Time was accepted by Morpheus Tales... and I was pleased obviously, but also wondering where I was going with this writing malarkey, given that I was cruising towards my 34th birthday.

And now I'm cruising towards my 35th. So forgive me, I'm in a retrospective mood...

In the last year I've concentrated on self-publishing at the expense of trying to break the more traditional markets, which I don't regret for a second. (I may also have concentrated on it at the expense of the actual writing too, which I do regret.) Like many writers I suffer from quite a lack of confidence in my own talent, and the fact that self-publishing The Other Room and The Shelter has allowed me to get my stories read by so many people so quickly, and that they actually seem to like it is probably the best thing that could happen to me at this stage in my writing 'career'. And whilst it's true I can't stand the MBS practised by some members of the self-publishing community, it's also true that I've met some very talented authors, many of whom have been generous with their time, advice, and just basic friendship. (You know who you are.) That's been great too.

I do hope to get another collection of short stories self-published next year - I have enough. But I also want to return to trying to get some stories published in magazines and the like. Aaron Polson recently wrote a post with a line that summed it up for me: "Rejection is your friend, folks. Really." And it is. I'm glad I had a few years of sending stories out and getting rejections to sharpen and hone me as a writer before self-publishing became a viable option. I don't want to get complacent - just because anything I can write will probably sell a few copies on Amazon doesn't meant that it should. There's a lot of crap being self-published and I don't want to add to that.

I've already had a couple of acceptances for stories for more traditional markets, although the lag between acceptance and actual publication can be slow. Which is why there will be another self-published collection next year - I don't want to lose any momentum I might have gained. But I don't want all my irons in the same fire either...

I'm resorting to cliche so I'd better shut up now. If you've actually read this far, then thanks. Here's to the next year...

5 comments:

Alain Gomez said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary! So long as you only do it once a year you have my permission to be a reflective as you like =)

I totally get it though. I remember when I had my one year and I just kept thinking "Wow! I've learned a lot!"

Cate Gardner said...

"I may also have concentrated on it at the expense of the actual writing too..." I suspect we're all a little guilty of that. :D Congrats on your year and hopefully the next will be even better.

James Everington said...

Thanks both!

Iain said...

Congratulations on your anniversary - keep it coming, too, this should be an even better year ahead for you.

You're dead right about keeping things diversified too - not only does it keep your options open, but I think it's more fun, too.

timctaylor said...

Happy anniversary, James. I think you've done well and I certainly enjoyed reading The Other Room.

I know what you mean about the time lag with print media. Back in February, a friend of mine encouraged me to submit a novella to a print publisher that he'd written for. If accepted, it might have come out in 2013. That was before I had a Kindle and discovered self-publishing. I pulled it an published it myself. I still have short stories sitting in various slush piles out there.

Good luck with Year Two,