Today marks the seventh anniversary of the first episode of The Case of the Singing Sword: A Billibub Baddings Mystery. I still remember when I first put together the first episode, and then moved along to create the following four episodes. I remember the email to the creative mind behind Rubber Band Banjo who was gracious enough to offer his music as the theme to Billi’s podcast. It was 2007 and still podcasting was a wild frontier. Back in 2005, it was me, Scott Sigler, and Mark Jeffrey as the Three Musketeers of Podiobooks. Two years later, it was me, Scott, and new guy J.C. Hutchins, and we were dubbed “The Rat Pack of Podcasting.”
Something I find absolutely fascinating in my first decade as a published author is the sheer amount of backpedalling I have seen authors make when it comes to self-publishing.
Oh. Wait. Independent publishing. Now, indie publishing includes self-publishing. Yeah. Ain’t that something?
When I took my first steps with Dragon Moon Press back in 2002, I also took hits from a few established authors online and in real time, turning to their colleagues and referring to me as a literary ambulance chaser. (No kidding. I collected some killer stories in my first year as an author.) Now, those same voices snubbing me at conventions and literary events are now swearing up and down to the masses that “Legacy Publishing is dead and the independent author shall vanquish the evil Gatekeepers! Take control of your writing career! Do it yourself!”
Yeah, taking control, doing it yourself, and “sticking it to the Gatekeepers” all sounds seductively intoxicating. Charlie Sheen did just that and referred to himself as an F-18. (That’s Comment #5 in the previous link.) Before you decide to go supersonic in your own path to being a writer, ask yourself one quick question: Have you ever sat in a cockpit of an F-18?
I never like seeing friends stressed out. Whether it is intensely stressed out or just out of their groove, it just kills me. It is amplified more when I feel the bumpy ride of Life’s rougher patches. Last week, snapping back from what can only be described as an “emotionally charged night” between me and the World, I read up on a writer and friend I admire and hold dear. Turns out he was also hitting a rough patch of road.
Phil Rossi, the multitalented man with the flowing hair of awesome, began a series of posts called “Paralysis.” He’s working through a writer’s dry spell; and in “Part I: Stranded,” he went “All In” like the rock-and-roll badass that he is:
“Another truth–I’ve never been in this place before. I don’t recognize the countryside. The air here is different—heavy and overwhelming. Talk about a wrong turn. In the past, I’ve been able to work through any creative block. This is different.”
It was in this passage from the second posting in this series entitled “Part II: Patience” where I felt like I clicked with Phil on the raw fear now gnawing away at him: Continue reading →