Being an indie writer is a lot like homeschooling your children.
If you homeschool, you are met with derision, suspicion, outright hostility at times. There’s a (false) perception that you are ruining your children and they’ll not be able to hold their own in situations involving ‘properly socialized’ public school kids.
The homeschool community is filled with some of the most helpful, insightful and kind people, however. They’re extremely willing to share curriculum ideas, helpful tips, or just be a shoulder when things get rough.
The contrast can be startling at times. Which is probably why homeschool parents form support groups. It can feel awfully alone at times, and non-homeschoolers don’t know I put just as much planning and thought into my children’s curriculum as any ‘real’ teacher, with less approbation for my dedication and knowledge. As much as I’d like to (and contrary to knowledgeable belief), I don’t sit around and do nothing all day.
The same can be said of indie publications. The same derision, suspicion and outright hostility. The same condescension and barely veiled snobbery denigrating my choice to publish independently. In some people’s eyes, I’ll never be a ‘real’ author without a horribly restrictive contract from major publishing house and my writing will never be as good as (insert famous author’s name here).
But, by the same token, the indie community is as amazing as the homeschool community. So many people willing to pass along their hard won knowledge on what works and what doesn’t. Suggestions, encouragement, kudos and commiseration. They’ve been through it and understand what it takes to put out the best work you can. It takes just as much effort to create a good book as it does any worthwhile project. Believe it or not, you can’t just throw any pile of crap against the Amazon wall and expect it to come out smelling like roses. It just doesn’t work that way.
So here’s to the independent thinkers in both my worlds. The ones who don’t think “I can’t” or “That’s not the way it’s supposed to be done” but go out and do it their way. Love you guys.