How I Became Indie

I didn’t wake up one day and think, ‘HEY! I should just be an indie (independent) writer.’ I have not carefully plotted and planned each move like a chess game of words. In fact, I am pretty much doing everything sideways and backwards but I guess it doesn’t matter as long I get to write. So, I’ve outlined my story here, in the hopes that it can encourage someone to keep pushing for their dreams.

I have always been a storyteller and, eventually, I began to write the stories down. Naturally, I followed that up with entering contests and challenges and online writing groups, surrounding myself with other people who enjoyed doing the things I love. One such short story contest led to the birth of my first full length young adult novel, finished during a mad attempt at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The next year brought the second novel, and two years later I followed up with a third novel (which kept me sane during my long and difficult pregnancy).

I began querying agents and publishers alike but if you’ve ever tried it, you know the difficulties we all face and, at that time, the middle grade/young adult market was flooded. No one had a need for my Stone Dragon Saga.

Then someone pointed toward Amazon and Createspace and their yearly contest: The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Like thousands of other hopefuls, I didn’t even make it through the first round. My initial pitch wasn’t as strong as it could have been, but the outcome wasn’t that important. You see, my piece had been primped and polished and made ready on Createspace and so I hit the final button and my life as an indie author began.

I don’t make much money at all, but writing is a passion of mine that continues defiant of the price tag. The books and, more recently, the blog are my outlet, my voice. As Frank Kafka once said, “The non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.” So I write to stave off my crazy. It’s what we all do, really.

No, I am not famous. Yes, I did have to get a ‘day’ job (if you can call teaching that!), but there is someone in at least 24 different countries that has read my words, and many who continue to do so. That keeps a smile on my face, a pen in my hand, and stories in my heart.

What’s your story? Are you a traditionalist, an indie, a struggler, or just a reader? How are you following dreams and branding the world? Inquiring minds want to hear the tale!