I have a friend who decided to start home-schooling her three children this year. When she mentioned her plan to a teacher’s aide, the woman said, “Well, I hope your kids get into college.”
That wasn’t the only negative comment my friend heard. Other people have berated her for her choice on her FB page as well as private messaging her.
I realized this is the kind of negativity that many indie authors battle. Why are we insulted when we decide to do something ourselves instead of the traditional way? Naysayers assume we won’t be successful simply because we’re not certified or we don’t have a degree.
Frankly, this is the biggest reason I have yet to venture into the self-publishing realm. I am afraid of what people will think. They might presume that my story isn’t up to par simply because I published it myself. In fact, because an agent hasn’t signed me on yet fosters my self-doubt. I better not humiliate myself further by self-publishing.
On the flip side, I will say a lot of poorly written self-published books have supported this stigma. Like the rotten apple that ruins the barrel, too many indie authors forge ahead with their ill-prepared books.
When we choose to publish, it is a personal decision. There is no special machine that lights up when our book is ready. We simply have to believe it in our hearts, be prepared to stand behind it fully, bravely. In the end we’re only human, only trying to make the right decisions.
I do believe that anyone can write a book. And I think that anyone has a shot at writing a good, or even, a great book as long as she learns storybuilding techniques, proper grammar and punctuation, and takes the time and energy and focus to revise and revise and revise until she’s sure the book is ready. Then revise some more. I think indie authors can be successful if they work hard, learn the craft, and can be honest with themselves about the quality of their work. Mistakes will be made; that’s part of the learning process.
In the same vein, I think home schooling can be successful when managed by a parent who is passionate about her child’s education. She must be focused, resourceful, creative, prepared, and open to learning teaching skills and techniques. Again, mistakes will be made; that’s part of the learning process.
Do-it-yourselfers have wonderful opportunities at their feet. But they must be willing to take their craft above and beyond what is expected, because a faction of cynics are ready to say it’s impossible.
Are you a do-it-yourselfer?