Self-publishing and the value of independence

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I’ve reached the point in my life where I’m too old and too damned weary not to do what I think is right.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some grey-haired, wizened finger struggling to type with fingers shrivelled by age. But after many years of doing what I thought was expected of me I don’t want that burden any more. I don’t want to live beneath the weight of others’ expectations or my own discomfort at the compromises I’ve made. I want to work in a way that is meaningful and authentic to me, my values, my view of the world, not one boxed in by managers and executives.

So many depictions of characters in popular culture tell us that you reach a point in life where you have to let go of some of your ideals, where you compromise with ‘the man’ and you realise that it’s not so bad after all. But for me it’s the other way around. After years of office work I realised that the cost of that compromise was wearing myself down from the inside with my own discomfort, that doing something I was happy with mattered more than stability and security.

That’s why, if I can, I want to try to make money self-publishing. Not because it’s the easy option, or because other routes have failed me – I haven’t even tried them yet – but because it’s what I believe in and, if I can, I’d like to do things my way. I believe that creators should retain control of their work. That the mechanisms of publishing and IP laws should protect artists not companies. That we should all take responsibility for our own lives.

This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t go with a big publisher if the option presented itself on a platter. But that’s unlikely right now. What is certain is that I’m going to have to put a lot of work and a lot of emotional energy into getting anywhere, and I’d rather put that energy into what I believe in.

The responses I’ve already had following yesterday’s post are a big help in giving me the confidence and guidance I need. So thank you to those who’ve shared their knowledge. Now comes the hard work of acting on it.

But at least I’ll be doing it my way.