No, I don’t mean Christmas, or Thanksgiving (American) or even Hallowe’en. Today is November first and as such is the first day of the worldwide insanity known as Nanowrimo. I am proud to count myself among its participants.
Bloody Murder began as a Nano novel. The first draft was written in November of 2002. Fifty thousand words in thirty days. I’d thought it was a ridiculous thing to try, but then I thought it’s so crazy I have to try. The result was my first novel. Several revisions, edits and years later, a dear friend said, “You can self-publish on Amazon . . .”
There are people out there who think my participation in this event, and/or that I’m an Indie author and publisher means I’m somehow not a “real” writer. Two examples. There’s this nonsense from several years ago. Then there’s the friend who said, “Well we know if you’re self-published that means you’re not really published.” I smiled, too polite to bite her head off. It would have been an abuse of someone’s hospitality had I done so, but I did not forget this.
Nobody I’ve ever met during Nano is trying to be Robert Louis Stevenson, who put together Jekyll and Hyde in forty-eight hours. Nano participants are from all over the demographic spectrum and the one thing we have in common is we have a story to tell. If we’re taking the time to put this down on paper or in a text file, who the hell is anyone to tell us we’re not writers?
And who is anyone to say an independent publisher isn’t really published? Admittedly, I’m not living off my writing. I don’t have the perks of a traditional publisher like an art department or a marketing guru, but my book is for sale at one of the largest retailers in the world and they have cut me more than one royalty check.
One last ramble, as it is late and I need to go to bed eventually. The changes in the publishing industry over the last decade or so have been immense. E-books (and yes, Zo will address that in a future novel if she wants the bookstore to stay competitive), the ease of self-publishing, print-on-demand. I hope I see more of a welcoming attitude from people about who is and isn’t a writer or published.