I recently met another Indie Author who took me on a wild roller-coaster ride of emotions during our conversations about books, publishing and writing. And not in a good way. Well, except for the moments I was so beside myself I wanted to start laughing hysterically at the ridiculous things that were being said, but unless I know and love you, laughing at you doesn't leave me feeling warm and fuzzy either, so I didn't.
Initially, I came home feeling such a surge of anger, all I wanted to do was write a scathing post about this person (okay, not this person...this person's comments), because, whether intentional or not, this person had insulted me and my work continuously throughout the evening. Considering they don't know anything about me, I'll assume it was NOT intentional and maybe just a personality flaw. I get it. I've got 'em. People think I'm a bitch all the time because I have resting bitch face and lack all the bubbly shit when I talk, walk and basically go about existing.
Regardless, I've had some time to sit with it, digest it all and I've come to conclude this: There are two different types of Indie Authors. Those who embrace it and those who snub their nose at it while doing their best to prove to the rest of the world they're as close to being 'really' published as possible.
It would be easy to focus on the latter right now. Really easy. Because it seriously pissed me off being confronted with someone who, in my opinion, embodied that description. But I won't. I'm going to focus on the first.
I love being Indie.
I love everything about it.
I love that I get to tell the story I want to tell the way I want to tell it.
I love that I get to participate in the creation of my book every step of the way. It's daunting at times, being solely responsible for it ALL, but it's rewarding in a way that being published by someone else is not. (And yeah...I've been published - surprise!)
I love not worrying about critics and publishers and instead feeling connected to READERS.
I love readers. I love the way they embrace Indie Authors. I love the way they become my friends. I love how much I can share this process with them.
And, I love this community. I love being a part of it. Writing can be a very lonely job (well, sort of...in a way, I'm not sure any writer is ever REALLY lonely because we're never REALLY alone) but, in those moments when the voices go quiet because they don't know squat about publishing or marketing or editing or formatting (covers - the voices know covers - but that's kinda it), in those moments, being able to reach out to another member of the Indie community is valuable beyond measure.
So, I was angry at first when the evening I spent with this fellow Indie Author came to an end. I was proud of myself for not calling him an asshole the many, many times I wanted to, and then, I was sad. Sad because he may never know the pure joy and pride I have felt over being 'Indie'.
And now...now I'm content. Because writing it all out has made me realize that I don't care what he thinks any more than he will ever care what I think. And all that really matters to me is this:
I'm an Indie Author. And I love it.