(church was beautifully crazy yesterday and i took a nap and only got on my computer very briefly in the evening, hence the lack of post yesterday. But I’m doing both prompts today so no worries.)
For quite a while I wasn’t planning to traditionally publish at all, and just stick with Wattpad. I wanted to avoid the drama and frustration of publication and just throw my stories directly at readers. That’s all I really want; for people to read my books and love my stories.
But then I went to Realm Makers.
Annnnnd that changed.
The wanting people to read and love my stories didn’t change, but the plan and goal of getting those stories into people’s hands changed.
At Realm Makers I was introduced to the wonderful world of small presses. Not the types of small independent publishers who you hear horror stories about, but presses founded and run by authors and writers just like me. Nerds who dressed up for the costume dinner. Dorks who I shot at in the nerf war and was shot at back.
I’m talking about Splickety Publishing Group. You see their list of members? Ben Wolf organizes the nerf war every year. See Teddi Deppner? She’s actually a long time friend of my dad’s family and I didn’t even know she was a writer or a Realmie until last year. Scott Minor’s wife is who started Realm Makers, and he dressed up as (an amazing) Doctor Strange for the costume dinner. I worked with Kristen Stieffel at the check-in and registration table.
Let’s look at Uncommon Universes Press. I bought two of Janeen Ippolito’s books. Sarah White and I talked about beading and making jewelry. Bethany Jennings is the wonderful lady who runs #WIPjoy.
These are people I know. People I ate breakfast with and brainstormed story ideas with. People I’ve already worked alongside with.
After Realm Makers I made the decision to return to traditional publishing. These are people I can trust, people who are trying, just like me, to write and publish their stories. They aren’t some scary, huge publishing house of doom who you’re afraid will snatch away your manuscript and demand edits you don’t want to make and not give you any license over your story. (Not that they’re all like that, but those were my fears and I’m sure many of yours’ as well.)
And so now I can’t wait until I have a manuscript ready to pitch, so the next time I go to Realm Makers I can make appointments with editors and agents (!!!) and pitch my books to them (!!!!) in the hopes of being picked up by their publishing group (!!!!!)
(For real, that’s what happens at Realm Makers.)
(Totally not kidding.)
For myself, honestly.
I think everyone should write for themselves. If you don’t write for you, primarily, you can’t write for other people. The blog posts I write here I first and foremost write in my head, while working out my thoughts on a matter. I notice something in my life and I start working it out and then I realize it would make great blog post content and might help someone else out. When I do my personal Bible study, I dig into God’s Word and let Him teach me what I need from Him, and then sometimes I write posts on Facebook as He leads me. But it’s always first manifested as a truth in my life.
But I do also definitely write for others. Just as you can’t ONLY write for other people, rarely can you ONLY write for yourself (unless you’re journaling or you never share your stories with another living soul). I write for other people who are struggling along the same road I am. I may be farther ahead and have advice and help for those behind, or I might look ahead to those who have made it farther than me and ask for help.
I write to encourage those around me. Whether through an escape of fiction that will also feed their soul and give them food-for-thought or through blog posts that delve into the darker and uglier facets of life. Honestly lending a helping hand of hope and encouragement through my writing is what brings me the most joy and contentment.
And I write for my Lord and Saviour. This one should be first, obviously. He’s the one Who called me to write, Who gave me this talent and yearning and skill with words. I write because it would be a slap in the face to Him if I wasted this gift He’s given me. I write for Him so He can write through me.