Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert, who you may know as the author of Eat, Pray, Love, has a wonderful talk being featured on the TEDtalks website about nurturing creativity.

It’s an incredibly interesting take on things.  Although there are some who have such goliath followerships that we fail to ever really see them fail (King and Patterson come to mind), there are many of us who will (or already have) had failings.  It’s just important to remember that, if you are doing what you are truly meant to do, we must overlook those failings and go on with our work.

Thoughts on Self Publishing

I’ve seen quite a bit of debate recently over whether an author should use a self-publishing route to publish a book.  Of course, as an unpublished author, the debate interests me because I would like to become a published author.

From my reading, and a bit of self deliberation, I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t think that self-publishing is for me.  Probably the biggest issue I have with it is the procedure.  In the normal flow of publishing, the novel goes to an agent, then to a publisher and is then published.  If either the agent or the publisher don’t think it’s worthy of publication, it doesn’t get published.  Despite what I think about my own writing, agents and publishers have far more experience than I do with what sells and what doesn’t.  So, if my novel gets rejected, it’s off to the next agent or publisher.

More importantly, if the novel gets an agent and/or a publisher, it validates (to me) my writing.  I know that it’s good enough.  Any question of that is erased from my mind.  Until I start on the next book anyways.  😉

By self-publishing, you don’t get that validation.  For all you know, you’re publishing a flaming bag of dog poo.  But, that’s me.  I need that validation.  I could never be sure of my writing without it.  Maybe that doesn’t make me a very good writer?  I don’t know.  Or, maybe that’s more normal than I know.  Whatever it is, it’s the reason that I don’t think I could self-publish.

Of course, that opinion is subject to change after my “greatest” novel gets rejected by 30 or 50 agents.  We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.  I’ve got to have the “greatest” novel first.

Novel Selling Survey Results

Jim Hines, author of The Stepsister Scheme (along with other wonders that reside on my “to read” list), has been conducting a survey of published authors over the last several months.  The final day for it was March 15, so he’s begun compiling the data and giving us some interesting numbers.

Did you know, for instance, that the average author sells only one short story before becoming a published novelist?  Interesting.  Take a look at the results so far and keep an eye out for the rest of the results.