Friday, June 15, 2012


Nobody can do the work of birthing for you. The labor is painful and necessary, scary and exhausting. But, it has to be done. Your first one will take forever and cause you to wander how was it that you didn't die. The second, and third, easier.

By the fourth, you are an expert. You  tell people, it's a piece of cake.

You see people with few skills do it with ease, and you wonder what is about the task that frightens you so.  How difficult could it be?

A neighbor of mine has published four books already. And he did it with a few dollars, and a good friend who arranged the hand-printing and hand binding for him.
Another has collected editors and illustrators on her own, and managed to get the books on e-book and on Amazon.

I chose blogging. No up-front fees or monthly expenses. I could try out my stories, and get feedback. For me, publishing/sharing this way is a no-brainer. It feels natural, sympathetic. I can do it without leaving the comforts of home. With no hurry. My readers, however, do not offer much criticism. They act like visitors at a museum. They nod; they praise; they congratulate. I am encouraged; but it could all be false praise, the way we encourage children's work and put it up on the refrigerator.  If teachers and critics didn't ask for changes and elaborations, our work would be very much like the early drawings our mothers put up on the refrigerator.

In real publishing-unlike the self-publishing, there are many steps, many critical eyes that will read your work before any work is performed to put it in the hands of readers.  These critical eyes will scour every aspect of the work, from the arc of the story, to the market value after it is out there.  Editors who might be assigned to help you get the work even more polished than it is already, are highly trained and will only take up work that fits their aesthetic judgement, and has potential to make the company some good money.  They will reject Ernest Hemingway as well as you if they do not see real dollar signs at the end of the preparation work they all do.

Now, I'm not ready for real publishing. I'm not ready for self/publishing. I'm taking baby steps, knowing they are beginning steps. I'm not in a hurry. Working here, at this keyboard, every day, in the early hours when only my cat is awake, and a few birds keep her occupied, I hear sounds from deep inside, gurgles of long-forgotten hurts and joys. My soul wants to meditate on these sounds right now.  

We all have to nurture our souls. Some of us paint; some create music; some read the work of others. We try to find that voice that is deep within each of  us,  the stuff that keeps us wondering, dreaming, engaged. Detached and quiet, we let truths surface and visit now and then. We hope and long to understand, to see the arc of our lives and the colors of our dreams.

On days like today, I wonder how we created all the concepts that have become our truths: love, honor, duty, obligations, god, heaven, hell, paradise, country, liberty, family, motherhood, fatherhood, ecology...


  1. I don't have the talent or the time to make it in the "real" publishing world. Thank goodness for Amazon Kindle self publishing! It's free!

  2. Hear, Hear!! Could not agree more.... and, I am nodding, praising and congratulating! Thanks for sharing your craft with us. I hope you feel encouraged!

  3. I am so happy to hear you are writing in the early morning hours. I think you have the ability to be a published author. Your writing speaks to me. I am sure it would speak to many others.

    I've been reading a lot of memoirs lately. I am struck by how shallow several have seemed to me. Just because someone is famous in one arena, it does not mean that that same person can write well. The story of their lives may be interesting in some ways, but I am find that many are poorly delivered. I find the writing of some of my fellow bloggers more intriguing and interesting than a few of the memoirs that the already famous have written and have managed to get published by top publishers.