Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where Am I Going?

If you are on a writing journey, what is your destination?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. My writing journey has been a long and winding one. I was an editor, helping others achieve their dream of being published. I was then published myself by a small publishing company and had a wonderful experience in seeing my work in print. Then I made the jump to a large LDS fiction-producing publishing company and did two books with them.

But now what?

I have a manuscript that is currently an orphan. I have several options for it. My current publishing company has passed on it, but I could put it away and present it at another time. I’ve talked to some smaller publishers, and I’ve thought of self-publishing it and putting it on Kindle, Nook, etc. But as I go round and round with it in my mind, the question keeps coming back to me—in this writing journey, what is my destination?

I feel like I’ve met a lot of my writing goals. I’ve been published six times. I’ve had great booksignings and met incredible people. I’ve connected with other writers I admire and I feel like I’ve sort of found myself in a way.

But the reality is, the publishing world is changing. Amazon, e-readers, bookstores closing, all of these things have changed the face of publishing and given authors more options. But it’s sort of scary to jump from the safety of traditional publishing with a large publisher. What if going in a different direction doesn’t work for me? What if it does? Is this something I should pursue?

I guess it all comes down to what I really want from my writing career. Do I want to keep going as I have? What is is all about for me? Is it about getting my stories in readers’ hands? Is it about visibility and shelf space or money? Is it about taking risks or playing it safe? The road has suddenly forked and I’m not sure which path to take.

I need a map. And some answers. I really wish I could see into the future, but then again, thinking about possibilities is delicious, too. There are so many things to consider on this journey and I think a lot of writers are asking these same questions. We are all forging our own paths, but the question remains, where am I going?

(And I'm not trying to start a traditional vs. self-publishing war at all. I just want to get your thoughts and advice on the matter. So I don't drive myself insane going around with it in my head again! Decisions, decisions . . .)

And if you want a smile today, click here for a list of six reasons you should stay with a legacy publisher. Haha

(I’ve been doing this blog for a month already, can you believe it? Happy Monthaversary to me!)


S.B.Niccum said...

I didn't realize that your current publisher would pass on a book from an established author. But I guess they way of keeping people on their toes.
I have often wondered the same thing, what road to take? Which one is best? I say pray, but I'm sure you're doing that already :)
S.B. Niccum
Author Website

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Thanks, S.B. I sure wish publishers would take everything their current authors offered. That would make my life a lot easier! :)

Melanie Goldmund said...

My current goal is to write an original story (not fanfic) and submit it to an online magazine such as Mindflights. Beyond that, more nebulous, I'd like to write an entire book and have that published, too. I know most people don't get rich by writing, and I'm not expecting that for myself, though a little extra pocket money wouldn't hurt, but I guess I'd like to have something tangible where I can say "I did that."

Melanie Goldmund said...

I know, my previous comment doesn't exactly help you with your situation. But I read a story in Reader's Digest once about a man who had to make a decision. A friend flipped a coin for him, and while flipping it, asked what the man hoped the outcome would be. His spontaneous answer made the coin toss unnecessary. So maybe your heart will reveal your path to you somehow.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Melanie, I know there is great power in writing down your goals and I'm excited to see yours! I would love to read your finished novel someday. And thanks for the flip of a coin idea. I'm going to try that!

Jon Spell said...

When I saw your graphic, I thought of the cover of this book:

I'm with Melanie. My first goal is to complete a manuscript. After that, we'll check the GPS and see where we are. =)

Have you considered shopping your book to other publishers like Cove Fort or Shadow Mountain or even (gasp) Deseret Book? I don't even know how you'd go about this, but do you think you might have more luck with a Canadian publisher?

(Still trying to figure out what happened with Dan Wells publishing his books in the UK first.)