Indie Doesn’t Mean “Alone”
We had an interesting conversation recently on the Facebook group I moderate for indie authors. Someone remarked – as though it would be a shock — that they would rather go out and do something with friends than stay in and read a book alone. A few of my peers agreed with her (including myself), while many claimed they’d opt for a book over social functions any day.
Writers and readers both have the reputation of being solitary creatures. We may find big, noisy parties or other social events to be draining or stressful. Some of us find it difficult to be in the spotlight at signing events or public speaking engagements. I have an extensive background in theatre and teaching (which are more related than you might think), so those things come naturally to me, I’m happy to report. Even so, I had long embraced the true meaning of the word “independent,” from which “indie” is derived, since I began writing and publishing back in 2012. However, in December, I met with a local social media guru who encouraged me to start a Facebook group to help launch my self-publishing consulting business, Mountains Wanted Publishing. It may be some time before my business gets off the ground, but I did take her advice to start the group.
I can’t tell you what a difference the group has made to me both professionally and personally. I guess I should have realized there were dozens of other indie authors out there facing the same challenges I face, but I didn’t expect them to be so open and supportive of me and each other. I post a Question of the Day to stimulate conversation, but members feel comfortable jumping in to post their own inquiries as well. It’s not a group for blatant self-promotion, and everyone respects that. I’ve only had to remove a few people for violating that rule. I know drama tends to rear its ugly head in some groups, and let’s face it, some of us are in direct competition for readers in the same genres, but so far I have seen nothing but love in our group. Though still relatively new, it seems to be growing and flourishing. And I can honestly say that through my peers in the group, I learn something new about writing and publishing every single day.
Even though I’m a social person, and I’ve grown accustomed to working in a collaborative environment in my other careers, I had shied away from establishing a support network of indie peers. For some reason, I thought I had to do everything on my own. I am so glad I got over that and took the leap. If you’re looking for a group where you can pose questions, join in discussions, make friends, and engage with other indie writers about both your proud moments and perils, I welcome you to join us.