No one keeps a diary anymore, do they? I don’t mean a calendar of appointments and things to do, I mean a journal of their day’s activities and their feelings about them.
I started this blog because I published my novel. It’s as simple as that. I thought it would be helpful to me, and to others, to learn about the journey of self-publishing. But it hasn’t turned out like that, has it?
My vision was that I would keep a record of what I did, how successful it was, and whether or not I would do it again. But almost none of that has taken place.
I talk about my books, about the process, about how I fret over it and over reviews and over… well a long list of things. I’ve written about the highs and I’ve written about the lows, I’ve written about the in-between too.
So I’ve been trying to establish, within myself, if I should alter my practice. Should I be more methodical about what I’m doing? Would it be more helpful to others if I charted my precise course? I don’t know.
Just as every writer’s process is different I’m sure that every indie publishing adventure is different. For starters, I don’t promote anymore. Well, I suppose I do, in that I’ll talk about my books if they’re relevant, and I try to maintain a frequent presence online. But I don’t trawl through the zillions of marketing sites promising to make me an overnight success. I write, I publish, then I go round on the merry-go-round again.
I would happily talk more about my writing process. But I am not a lecturer. I don’t have a career teaching creative writing. My experience is hit and miss, trial and error, and practise, practise, practise. I don’t want to preach at you, and what works for me may not necessarily work for you.
Writers of centuries gone by had diaries, or they wrote an abundance of letters to loved ones. Scholars now pour over both to try and delve deeper into the minds of those who created the classics. Blogs are the new diaries and letters.
Not that I think for one second that us indie writers are re-inventing the wheel, and we’re certainly not re-writing the classics. But just as archeologists dig up the homes of long-forgotten families and try to piece together their lives, we here are leaving a record.
All writers, not just indies, are leaving a record of life, and love, and aspiration, that will resonate down the centuries. If you believe that humanity doesn’t become extinct in some massive ball of fire after an asteroid strike, or a cataclysmic World War, then in hundreds and thousands of years time when our planet is inhabited by androids and space travelers, someone will want to know what it was like, here, now.
In our own way we’re creating a vivid time capsule. One day our technologies will be obsolete, perhaps they’ll be forgotten in the maelstrom of our perpetual advancement. Then, one day, a thousand years from now some distant descendant will pick up your Kindle, or your iPhone, or something equally benign, and will manage to free its data. What does your device say about you? What does it say about society in the burgeoning twenty-first century?
Bear in mind that you’ll be long gone so embarrassment won’t feature. Those naked pictures you took to send to your boyfriend might educate our future selves about human anatomy, chances are we’ll all be cyborgs by then.
Our romance novels will probably lead them to believe that the planet at this time was inhabited by a profusion of billionaires who liked kinky sex, and that we had a myriad of thirty year old virgin women who had never achieved orgasm.
Smile if you like, but stop and ask yourself this: if our fiction paints an inaccurate picture of how we truly live… just what were the Bronte family really up to?
Good luck on your adventures,