For much of 2014, I felt behind on indie author trends, behind on success, whatever that means. Behind on the many projects I have lined up, stretching far into the future.
In truth I’m more productive than I’ve ever been before, and a better writer than I’ve ever been. I am not behind by any objective measure that I can find. Although there aren’t really objective measures. Instead of using sales, where I feel I can’t possibly measure up, or income, of which there is little, especially compared with the decent salary at my day job, I’ve spent time thinking about what actually measures success in this publishing world. The best measure I can find is writing. Always writing something, always trying new things, exploring and exploiting your creative depths. This is the measure of success as a writer.
To believe otherwise is to lose your mind with it. Let’s not go there. lol
However, in order to have more success as a writer, I would like to eventually earn a living at writing.
The point of all of these points (ha!) is that I’ve been studying, in order to map out a viable path into the future. There isn’t one path, and that’s part of the difficulty here. We’re treading in unknown territory, and while that’s awesome, it can also feel suffocating when it comes to making business decisions, much less creativity!
In order to sort through the options and determine my course (adjustable and adaptable, all the way!!) I’ve been paying attention to some of the bright minds of indie publishing. These are just my go to people; there are plenty of wonderful independent authors and artists to learn from out there, it totally depends on what you need to learn. Keep an eye open and start developing your list of must-check-in-on people. It’s fun. 🙂
Here’s a list of writers whose blogs I drop in on daily, the people I’m studying and admiring as I work my way toward my dream.
Dean Wesley Smith — my number one go-to for a kick in the pants to increase my productivity. Dean’s blog is great. He shows you how much other stuff he’s working on, and he manages to write a ton. He also offers lectures and workshops, and has a number of very useful books for writers. I’ve taken a couple of the lectures and found them very useful.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch — if you’ve never checked out kriswrites.com, go there now. And I expect you’ll be lost to all other communication for a while as you consume the content she’s provided there. I’ve also read her book the Freelancer’s Survival Guide. I highly recommend it if you’re considering trying to make a living at the written word. Kris Rusch is a well-known fantasy author and editor with a backlist crossing three decades. I keep running into new stories of hers in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, which I subscribe to.
Susan Kaye Quinn — Susan is just so much fun to pay attention to. Talk about writing from the heart. She writes everything that she loves, and in her book the Indie Author Survival Guide she refers to this as “finding your vein of gold.” An important concept for the creative. She’s also wonderfully positive and genuinely helpful to other authors and a pleasure to run into on the interwebs. 🙂
J.A. Konrath — I’ve mentioned Konrath before, and he’s a giant in independent publishing. He knows a lot about the current state of the game in publishing in general, and tends to use his mighty pulpit over at a Newbie’s Guide to Publishing to help keep writers informed of the playing field. His site is a must for those looking to understand publishing today. Head over there. See you next week. lol
Ryan Casey — I believe I found Ryan through a comment he made on Joe Konrath’s site, and I’ve been stopping by his blog ever since. This man is fearless. He’s taking lots of risks, writing a TON, and in general he’s been very fun to watch as he develops his career. It’s inspiring to see someone making a living at their art, and he’s happy to share tips about how he does what he does. His covers and concepts are also a lot of fun. It’ll be interesting to see where he is in five years. Dynamite.
Check out these resources — and keep developing your personal list of go-to’s. When you’re feeling out of your depth it’ll help you to get back into the groove. OWN IT, people.
For a full list of Own Your Writing Career posts in the order they were written, visit my Writers page. I’ll be back with another Own Your Writing Career post next Thursday. Until then, happy writing!!
“Own Your Writing Career: Always Learning” copyright © 2015 by J.R. Pearse Nelson