Cutting the strings

by Joni Abilene

These last few weeks have shown me what I’m made of. I have now joined the ranks of self-publishers, or indie-authors as some folks call it, and I didn’t die or combust or anything else equally permanent and painful. Formatting was a bitch. However, I survived and it feels good. Can I tell you something? I graduated high school, and I took a big hunk of college courses, but I never specialized in any certain field, and I do not have a degree. This has caused me to feel quite inferior to most people my entire life. Perhaps that’s why I work so hard at this—I’m out to prove something. Mostly I think I work hard because I love it and want to make a living so I can keep doing it. I want to get to where can take my boots off and not wonder where the hell I’ll be the next day, or rather, what I’ll be trying to pitch, endlessly, failures all of them. Here’s something else—I have trouble speaking in real life, and writing has given me a great freedom. I feel trapped often, very often, and writing is like flying and dancing. Even as a child if something upset me I’d write a note, otherwise it stayed locked inside.

Was it disappointing giving up the agent search and deciding to self-publish? Hell yes. Do I regret it now? Hell no. I can see now that it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. As I said above, my entire life has been me locked inside myself. Finally I found a way to get out. Agents didn’t want to take me on, but I wanted to take me on. I know, I know, Jonathan Livingston Seagull and all that, but I mean it.

Learning to format, designing a cover, working on cover layout, submitting files and writing blurbs . . . it wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. How much did I spend? Zero. Zero dollars, my friend. All I spent was time. So, let this be a lesson to you younger folk—wash behind your ears, don’t watch too much of the boob tube, don’t swear (as much as me), and don’t let the gatekeepers kill your soul. Keep your chin up, child. Keep it up high.

The Moonflowers is available on Amazon for kindle and print.