As this year draws to a close and we all prepare for the new year I have been looking back over everything that has happened and it has gotten me thinking about my next steps. Like many I know I have been preparing my goals and resolutions lists for the coming year and on those lists there are the typical health and wealth targets as well of course as my professional aspirations. While making my list, which I have found posting them helps keep me accountable, I came across my list from last year.
At this time last year I was just as ambitious in my goal setting as I have been this year. I had all the bills set out that I was going to pay off, I lined up several 5K runs and set a number of bike rides to participate in, I had a list of submissions and drafts of writings I would complete and I was dedicated to getting my candy company up and running.
I love the candy and baking that I do but I found as the year began that my heart really was more devoted to my writing. It came more naturally and I found my passion lay among the pages not wrapped in chocolate. I still bake and make my desserts but it is definitely more of a hobby. I had planned to submit some my children's books but I am still stuck on how exactly to do that so that got pushed back and is now a side project for this year. And the book I had planned to write needs to be heavily researched and therefore I ended up working on a few others instead.
I did however manage to hold my first novel in my hands this year, published through an indie publisher Pure Ice. I never thought I would go the route of indie / self-publishing because I will admit I looked down on it. Anyone can write something and self-publish and that made me think of it as less than quality. I have even now seen numerous works that support that theory and I have not completely gotten past it. There are those however that I have found that take it very seriously.
These authors edit, rewrite, send out for beta readers and then rewrite again before ever considering pushing publish and those artists I have the utmost respect for. I have learned just how difficult it is as an unknown author to get your name out there. I joined the world of twitter, created a few Facebook pages dedicated to my writing work and have made this blog which I am not ashamed to admit I am still in the learning stages of growing.
So as I look forward to 2015 I have asked myself, do I plan to continue in this indie publishing game or do I want to try to follow the traditional publishing route? I have seen arguments for both and I can see each side very clearly. I have decided that I will actually be, at least in a way, attempting both. I have dreamed of doing a traditional contract for most of my life and I feel I do have pieces that would be good enough to be accepted. I also believe that what I have learned about self promotion would help in my ability to gain a contract by demonstrating my dedication to marketing.
I however would never want to leave the indie publishing world I have joined nor the friends that have been so instrumental in helping me see the larger publishing picture that I was too narrow minded to notice before. I have my charity series that will always and forever be through the inspiring Rock & Roll Saved My Soul. I could never walk away from that. My novels and children's books I hope will be a mixture of traditional and indie published works that I can one day promote side by side.
It is my hope that one day my notoriety will be enough that I can help others the way my newly found friends have helped me.