Sometimes we’re more worried about tomorrow than we are today, and we can’t see what’s right in front us. We know where we want to go, but we don’t see the way to get there. We’re blinded by dreams, some say. We’re blinded by the dream and can’t see the reality in order to achieve those dreams.
Writing works that way, too. When I was writing Devil’s Blood, I saw dreams of fame and fortune. I saw invitations to parties, book launches, book clubs all over the country, libraries, and events; I saw movie deals and premiers and dinners with the actors who’d play my characters. I saw the dream-goal, and I missed key steps to arrive at the dream. Devil’s Blood suffered because of my blindness to the present, to the reality, to the acknowledgement that a crappy book won’t get me a movie deal, or even a book deal.
Great books aren’t thrown up over night in fits of creative madness; great books are slaved over, tweaked until the author can’t stand to look at it anymore, and edited until it’s polished like shined brass. Not all books, published traditionally and independently, are given the treatment and attention they deserve. Unfortunately, sometimes the traditional publishers see only the bottom line, that is, how much money they will make from sales. Sometimes the indie writers see only their book on the screen with dreams of vacation homes in Hawaii and royalties.
Before you publish either way, you need to ask yourself a very important question:
Why do you write?
Do you write for fame? Fortune? Because you enjoy it? As a hobby? Because you have stories that you’d like to share with others? Because you like to read and want to write, too?
I write because I enjoy it. I write because I crave the wonder of falling into another world and exploring places far more exciting than any I’ll see, and to meet amazing people that might exist in real life but probably don’t. I love the magic that books bring. The world is yours to imagine. The characters are yours to put faces and voices to. Your imagination is the playground.
So, tell me, fellow writers, why do you write?