When I was young and dreaming dreams of my future, it never occurred to me that I could write for a living. I got compliments on my writing from an early age, at least the sixth grade, and I received high marks on nearly all the reports or essays or stories written as school assignments, right on up to college where I majored in Computer Science, and Business, and Criminal Justice, and at least two other disciplines before finally graduating.
But never English, or Creative Writing, or even Journalism. For whatever reason, those options never clicked when considering a possible career path. So I got my lovely degree in Criminal Justice and have spent the subsequent twenty years as a supervisor / manager / instructor, with little or no writing required.
Is it too late to do something about that? Too late to publish something grand? As I look at the writing / publishing landscape today I see an incredibly complex web of options and advice. The opportunities to be published or to self-publish are astounding when compared to days past, when one simply submitted to various hard-format magazines or book publishers and waited for a response.
Trouble is, the complexity can be intimidating. My eyes go crossed just reading all the advice about publishing through Amazon KDP or Smashwords or Barnes & Noble Press, and how to build one’s “platform” and track sales and participate in the many options to maximize visibility and sales, etc.
Authors don’t just write and get published anymore. They can’t get away with only a few public appearances and a minimal website presence. It seems they have to invest as much time and energy into marketing and analytics and technical know-how as they do writing, as if writing wasn’t challenging enough!
So I write, and I publish a fraction on my fiction blog, and the rest mostly sits on a flash drive. Maybe someday, on my day off, if I’m all caught up on the grocery shopping and the cleaning and the errands and the repairs and the _____ (fill in blank), I’ll have time to sit down and digest some of the latest how-to advice and form a plan to actually publish something, in some format, someday.
Until then, I’ll just keep writing when I can (read: when I’m at work, like now) and maybe set aside some vacation days to get caught up on whatever KDP stands for. And that’s my wistful rant. 🙂