I have reached a point (FINALLY!) in my writing, where I believe my work is good enough to be shared with the outside world.
By outside world, I actually mean the public, people I’ve never before met, never chatted to over the Internet—yet they would hopefully understand and enjoy something I’ve written.
When I first began writing, my only guinea pigs (or victims, depending on your point of view) were my sister and my best friend.
The latter will gladly read anything I thrust beneath her nose if it is written by me and seal-clap in delight over every single word—but then, she ‘gets’ me.
My sister gave me a whole heap of praise, too. I used to think she was telling me what I wanted to hear … until one day I sent her the opening pages for my latest short story and she straight out told me she didn’t like it, it’s not done right, you have the POV all wrong, why’s this bit of useless information in there? At that point I came to realise: anytime in the past she’d said she loved what I’d written, she’d been telling the truth.
From my audience of two, I expanded … took deep shuddering breaths … experienced a few palpitations … and joined a review site. I then joined another, but with a different angle where the other members (other aspiring writer’s) openly critiqued my work. They brought to my attention all the mistakes I made, the huge errors of my writing ways, and not only did I evolve as a person open to criticism, but I also evolved as a writer.
I improved. I’m still improving … and will continue to do so (I hope).
Thanks to the great people of that critiquing site, I am now at the point where I believe others would be interested in what I have.
So, back to my title question.
In a world where publishing is impossible without an agent to get you through the door, and in a world where acquiring an agent grows more difficult by the nanosecond, would it be wrong of me to consider the e-publishing route?
At the end of the day, what is my ultimate goal as a writer?
To make money? No, not really (that would just be an exceptional bonus).
To enjoy it? Hell, yeah!
To know others have received some kind of pleasure from reading one of my works? Double-hell, yeah!
So does it really matter which path I take to achieve that? What’s standing in my way?
Other than my dream of seeing a novel on a store shelf or in a library with my name across it, other than knowing people will only read my work across the screen rather than in my much-adored preference of the feel of a ‘real’ book in their hands … absolutely nothing.
Which leads to an even bigger question: am I willing to make those small sacrifices?
How about you? Any thoughts?