May 1, 2023
Over the thirty years, so far, of writing, I’ve been privileged to receive occasional letters and emails from readers providing feedback on my work. Writing is, for very minor writers like myself, a solitary passion, and positive emails and comments affirm we are making human connections through our stories. At least, that is why I write – to connect, to spark imagination, ideas, conversations. It’s not so much that I write FOR, or ABOUT, but TO other people. I write in the hope that readers engage with my characters and their hopes and struggles in personal and ‘bigger picture’ matters, and perhaps reflect on their own hopes and struggles in those moments.
The email also affirmed why, no matter how minor one’s works might be, it’s important to keep the works alive. For years, I had to reply to readers with the phrase, ‘I’m really sorry, but the books are out of print,’ until the online self-publishing world came into being. My first clumsy attempts to revive novels from the 1990s were frankly embarrassing, but I am getting better at formatting digital text and designing covers, and I can now add self-publishing to my armoury of writing skills – although marketing and distribution remain challenges for this year.
The self-publishing revolution in this century is a form of democratic socialist freedom in that it brings a host of positives to anyone who genuinely wants to be a writer but can’t break into the big publishing houses (or smaller ones for that matter). While voices bemoan the ability of hacks creating and publishing books that are terrible, the reality is that so many more amazing stories have found light that would have been denied them in the ‘old world’ publisher-owned market of the C20th. And for the very lucky few, self-publishing is an avenue to the bigger publishing houses if their works prove popular. They ‘get seen’ and acquired.
Anyway, if you read a book and it really does resonate with you, please consider dropping an email to the writer, or leaving a comment on the writer’s web site. While the ‘big’ writers are often inundated with fan mail, lesser-known writers really do appreciate being affirmed in what they create. For many of us, it’s the only human communication we have with the people to whom we write.
Finally, I’ve found my focus project-wise. I’ll make comments on that project next blog.
Writing is my passion. Ideas, opinions, beliefs, experiences expressed through language - through words and images - pervade and create my life. Writing is my voice, my soul, my self. My dream is one day writing will sustain my life...