I have always thought of writing as a solitary sport. Taking my pen and paper, laptop, napkin and eyeliner, whatever I had on hand and jotting something down. Creating a story of nothing with hopefully a bit of magic behind it. Recently, I have gotten serious about doing something with my stock pile of stories besides for just letting a select few friends read them or half-heartedly entering into the occasional contest hoping for validation.
I have decided to pursue publication. I started researching how was I supposed to go about it. Should I look for an agent, a publisher, or strike out on my own and hope for the best? I sent about five query letters to agents and received a form letter back that they aren't taking on any new writers at the moment. That was ok, I certainly was not heartbroken over it. I had read somewhere that many popular writers now have to send in the neighborhood of 50 to 100 queries to only get a couple bites. However, that wasn't really the direction I wanted to head. It wasn't until right after Christmas I started taking the self-publishing option as a valid one. So begins my trip into the terrifying world of self-publication.
Yes, I said terrifying because it is to me. I am still wrapping my mind around the idea of strangers reading my stories or even worse the people I know reading it without being preselected and chosen by me. However, I currently have two complete novels, one complete first draft, one nearly complete first draft, and several other outlines and good starts. So it is time I man up a bit and just do it. In this frame of mind I have very recently discovered that the writing world doesn't have to gone at alone. I have found the greatest community of writers who are supportive, answer the weird polling questions your friends and family are sick of, and who are all going through the same thing as I am. It is a wonderful feeling of community. One that makes me want to branch out in real life and try the workshops, conferences, and groups that I wasn't as keen on before.
So far my experience with other writers are that we are like a family. We stick together, tell each other the God's honest truth, and hope for the other's success. I am sure there will be many disappointments, heart breaking reviews, successes, and elation in my future, but now it is no longer a roller coaster I feel like I am riding alone.