DAMN WILDS

Tell us about how you began your journey as an author - Where did it all start?

I’ve been writing all my life, mostly incomplete ideas and unresolved stories, so it wasn’t until I finished my first novel that I felt like a Writer with a capital W. My journey has just been me tapping away at a keyboard. Pretty boring stuff. I’ll never get a biopic at this rate.

What obstacles did you have to overcome during your writing process?

When I struggle on a project there’s the allure of hopping over to something else that’s not causing me trouble. I love making outlines and feeling out a new story more than anything. That’s why I have an impossible backlog of potential projects. So I limit myself to focusing on one novel and one shorter story at a time.

What has been your favourite part about being self-published? Least favourite?

I’m not a control freak but maybe a control enthusiast. I like being the one who does the art and design, the typesetting, all the craft-related parts of turning a book into a finished product. My woes about self-publishing are the same as everybody else’s: there’s nobody but you to do your marketing or distribution. Thankfully, obscurity hasn’t dampened my spirits.

If you could give some advice to a new writer in the indie community, what would it be?

Know what you want to accomplish, and that some things will be out of your control. You can publish a book, but you can’t make people read it, and you can’t make them like it either. Ignore reviews, or, if you think you can digest criticism in a healthy way, try to find the things that you can also see as strong or weak points in your work and decide whether they actually need to be addressed.

 

If you’re looking to be a part of a community, find authors, presses, or magazines that are publishing things you like, and tell them you like it! Share the work you enjoy. Participate in workshops. Go to readings and local writing-related events. Or throw your own, nobody says you can’t, and I haven’t met a library that won’t host you for free.

 

Finally, be patient. Writing a book can take a long time, and it’s usually not a clear path where you know every single step. You’re allowed to write a whole scene that you think is necessary one day and then in your scraps folder the next. You’re allowed to spend hours researching to make one sentence accurate. It’s a process, and it can be frustrating when you realize you won’t have a finished book for maybe a year or longer. That’s why you have to enjoy it. You’re going to spend a lot of time on it and if you really love writing then you already are.

Damn Wilds

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