About ten years ago I worked for a startup that launched a social media site for published authors. This was the first place where I really started to meet writers and come in contact with people in the industry. In the spring of 2008 one of the topics being bantered about on our website was the question of self-publishing. Specifically, did the rise of it spell tragedy for good literature everywhere?
Nearly a decade later I can’t believe how worked up people got about it, and how worked up some people still are today. Because the fact of the matter is that self-publishing is here to stay, and it’s probably the best thing that’s happened to writers since the invention of computers.
$3.99 on Kindle
This is one of those books that falls squarely into the category of “delicious fun.” It’s got some mystery, a few cliffhangers, and a strong dose of romance. The plot revolves around the storylines of two different heroines—an A-list rock star celebrity singer and an average everyday woman—but both are whip-smart, fiery, compassionate, and completely relatable.
Human beings react to most new ideas with skepticism.
I read that statement and became instantly indignant. No, we do not! I spluttered inside my own head. Or at least, I don’t. That’s a bunch of bullshit! And then I caught myself. Wasn’t I, in fact, reacting with skepticism to this new idea that had just been dropped in my lap? Yes, I had to admit it. This new idea did not flatter me, and it did not paint the prospect of me being part of a reasonable species in a hopeful light. So, I didn’t like it. And my ego immediately set about finding ways and means to shut it down, freeze it out, and bury it so deep I would forget that stupid old idea had ever even existed.
Belief systems can be a bitch, that’s for sure.
I’ve noticed a trend in the last year or so among my coaching clients. Many of the writers I’ve worked with have been women writing memoirs. Whether this trend is fueled by the inspiration and success of such bestsellers as Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love or Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, women are turning out in droves these days to write about the bigness of their lives, or even just one little narrow slice of it. I think this is partly because women feel the freedom to express themselves as never before, unconstrained by expectations about gender, intellect, sexuality and social and political choices. But also because, for the first time in our modern culture, we get the feeling that someone beyond our tiny individual circle of friends might possibly be interested in reading about our lives and the way we chose to live them.