Tuesday, August 1, 2017
IWSG: "Just Online"
On the first Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group encourages writers to talk about their insecurities.
This has been a wild month.
I've had three things published and just signed a contract for something else. (And I just got a big exciting email that I'll make a post about soon!)
When I tell people this, I qualify it with "They're all just online and one of them is on my friend's Patreon." Like I'm trying to make it seem like it's less of a big deal.
Yeah, paper books are awesome. When I got my copy of Circuits & Slippers and saw my story in real life, I almost cried. Somehow, my words became more important because they existed outside of the computer. They were real.
But if I had downloaded it as an ebook, or if it was only published online, it's still real. Especially in the age of electronics, it doesn't mean more just because someone went to the trouble of printing them.
I think I say "just online" for a few reasons. I live in a building that's probably 75% seniors, and so I have a lot of friends who don't have ereaders or even the Internet (though I do have one older friend who uses computers better than I do). I think I've gotten in the habit of not getting their hopes up. No, I can't sign a copy and you can't buy it at the bookstore because it's just online.
But also there's a lot of self-esteem issues going on. As much as I love my family being proud of me, there's part of my brain that goes "This is wrong; you've done nothing to deserve this." So I try to make it sound like less of a big deal.
But it is a big deal. I'm writing things and people are paying me for them. It's not always a lot of money, and it's not always a huge publisher that will get my work read by thousands of people, but it's something. And a lot of really good writers never get to this point.
I know I'm a good writer. I've also gotten incredibly lucky. I've sent the right stories to the right people and have made friends that share links that give me opportunities.
And that's a big deal, no matter where the words are.
So I'm going to brag a little bit about what happened in July.
My friend and Circuits & Slippers editor Jaylee James asked me to write a story for her Own Voices Patreon. A week of writing and editing (both on my own and with Jaylee) later, Do-overs was released. It's a dorky little romance between a bi time traveler and Ada Lovelace, one of my favorite historical figures.
And then The Falling Marionette was published on Expanded Horizons, "speculative fiction for the rest of us." It's about disability in the future.
Finally, my story Chrysalis was published on a podcast on Cast of Wonders.
They're only online, but it's still a huge deal.