Thursday, March 17, 2011


I'm Susan, and I've been writing for 45 years. I'm not terribly old, but for lack of another talent, I did start pretty early. I have always romanticized writing, comparing everything I wrote to Hemingway while longing for a seat at Dorothy's Algonquin Round Table and fearing that F. Scott had simply "used all the words". I was raised to love books and to revere their authors, maybe a little too much. "They" were the authors and I was me. The odds were long and the work longer. But still I managed to crank out poems, songs, stories, and essays at a feverish clip throughout my childhood and into adulthood.

Then my fear was that I could never compose a "book-length" work. That one dogged me for years until, at 34, I finally finished my first novel. Then in a five year span I cranked out two more novels and two kids--pretty good production, especially for a highly trained self-doubter. Now to get the three non-breathing offspring published.

Fast-forward ten years and here I am, having played by the "rules" and submitted, oh yes, submitted, for well over a decade. If in those earlier years I questioned my ability to be a "real" writer, what now am I to do with the prospect of being a "real" indie publisher? Oddly enough, when Keri proposed the idea, I was ecstatic...ready. I suppose I had finally come to the age and the point where the fear was gone and the fallacies exorcized. And if I could take control of what has always been mine anyway, then why not get the beauty and the angst out there and let the words fall where they may.
Keri likes the old notion I walked around with for years that if I couldn't manage to be delivered to the reader by the big houses, and in hardcover of course, that I would just type out my stuff and hide it amongst the "real" books on the library shelves. I might have done it, too. Or you know what, maybe that's exactly what I'm finally getting the nerve to do.

1 comment:

  1. Mmm. For me, I've been writing for... oh, man, 30 years now, off and on. Not any specific coherent thing. Short stories and cartoon scripts and just any old thing. I wanted to be professional, but I just had no clue where to start. Then about a year ago I went kind of nuts and wrote my first book in three months, then my second book in the NEXT three months. At that point I realized that if I didn't know how to get a book published, I could at least figure it out.

    But lord, the process is slow and dispiriting. A novel is an insane amount of effort to write, and while it may be satisfying it's intimidating to keep doing it if you can't show it off. Heck, money would be nice, too. If Keri thinks we can do this ourselves, I'm willing to throw Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Teeth into the ring. It's not like I'm losing anything by trying, and it sure feels more like progress than waiting another six weeks wondering if an agent will even send back a refusal.