Not a day passes by without there being several links to articles about self-published authors in my twitter stream.
Some are smart, most are funny, but the one universally recognisable watermark that runs through them all like a uniquely spun gold thread is the fact that all these people are passionate about their work. They keep going and going despite the numerous spanners thrown in their works and no matter where they are along their treacherous journeys, they don’t seem to mind talking about it.
So what? A lot of people talk – mostly because they like the sound of their own voices.
That may be so, but not in this case. Because people who talk for the sake of talking are easily found out. They are the shallow ones, the ones who never listen, the know-it-alls and sun-rotates-around-own-axis ones.
What sets writers aside is their purpose. They don’t just write, they share. They teach, they listen, they learn together and they unconditionally love what they do. That is not just writing. That is drive, determination, tenacity and a strong sense of community. Nowhere else in the many walks of life I have experienced (and believe me, I have tried a few!) have I seen such a strong resolve to be helpful, attentive, empathetic and just plain human.
And I think I know what the difference is.
Writers are happy to be individual people. They have acknowledged the fact that they have different voices and that is not just ok, but a welcome thing to have. And most of all, they aren’t so blinded by the prospect of seven-figure returns on their investment that they forget to be human.
Over time, writers have developed their own support network, and social media has proven an indispensable tool to this aim. Free promotional streams appear everywhere pretty much on a daily basis and you can usually rely on the writers’ community for help with every stage of editing, reviewing and even cover design and promotion.
But none of this would be possible if writers weren’t primarily human. Can you imagine asking for help in any of these fields from a large publisher? What would their answer be? Would that answer involve the action of reaching for your wallet? My point entirely.
Here are a few sites and links I have found helpful. They won’t all fit you like a glove, but there is no harm in asking a question. I’ve steered away from the continuous rolling billboards of book after book, cover after cover, video after video groups. I fail to see any interaction between those people. The only things they have in common are their desire to push their book under as many eyes as possible as fast and as relentlessly as possible.
I would like to say a big THANK YOU to the many authors, betas, editors, artists, readers and reviewers that have made my journey that much more pleasant over time. Here’s to them:
Beta Reader Writers Club http://www.facebook.com/groups/348388845214552/
First 5 Chapters http://www.facebook.com/groups/356620871049132/
With Your Coffee http://www.facebook.com/groups/withyourcoffee/
Authors Critique Group http://www.facebook.com/groups/ParaYourAbnormalAuthors/