It’s good job I checked my calendar today.
In the world of a writer, the days blend together sometimes. Right now, I still can’t believe we’re done with September, let alone October and almost November. But that’s a good thing — for the months to fly so much, it shows I’m enjoying what I’m doing.
However, November 27th is a pretty special date to me because it marks the first anniversary of the publication of my debut novel, What We Saw.
My initial thoughts are something along the lines of, ‘holy crap, that went quickly!’ And then I started to do a little bit of reminiscing and looking back, which I don’t do very often. But really, I look back at 2013 and realise what a great year it has been, and it all started with the publication of What We Saw at the tail end of 2012.
I believe in the idea that, as a writer’s career progresses, novel and story releases become less of an event and more just a nice perk of the process. But that first novel? Yeah, that’s an event. I can’t describe how fantastic it was to hold a copy of that first novel in my hands, a manifestation of months and months of hard work and perseverance. There were times along that journey where I wanted to throw the towel in. Where I wanted to give up because I thought it wasn’t good enough. But I stuck with it, and now, nothing’s stopping me.
I’m a writer. I write. That’s just what I do now.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who has supported me over the last twelve months. Your support has been a massive part of my journey so far, and really, when I look back, it’s just overwhelming. I truly never thought I’d be at the stage I am at right now by this age. Three novels under my belt, a few short releases, a few serials. Topping the charts in the biggest bookstore on the planet. Crazy.
My life’s ambition was to write a novel. Not to have it professionally edited, not to have a cover designed, not to put it on the market, not to sell a bunch of copies. My dream was just to finish a book. Which means that everything else I do is a bonus. So now, I’m just having fun with my writing. And it just keeps on getting more and more fun.
I also have to thank the likes of Amazon, Smashwords, Draft2Digital, Kobo Writing Life, Barnes & Noble PubIt, Apple iBooks, etc etc etc for giving independent authors an opportunity to put their work on the market. There’s so much bullshit out there about how independent publishing isn’t a ‘legitimate’ route, and that it is somehow inferior to the traditional route of having one person decide whether your work is mainstream enough to ‘sell’, whatever that means. All that matters to me is that I am allowed to write the weird shit I want to write, and that my readers enjoy that. Which at the moment, seems to be the case, so I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing. I don’t need somebody to tell me my work might not be ‘fit for a certain market’ or whatever. I have readers as it is. I add new readers every day, as it is. I’m cool as it is.
Not that I’m discounting the legitimacy of the traditional publishing route, mind. Just I want to encourage new writers to dip their toes into the world of independent publishing. Ignore the crap about there being ‘so many bad books’ on the market now — the good stuff rises, the shit sinks. That’s how it always has been, and always will be.
Anyway, I’m rambling. I ramble lots. That’s what I do. But to summarise, thank you. Thanks to the readers. Thanks to the editors, Brenda, Cynthia, Carol, Jenn, Martin. Thanks to the designers, Lloyd, Adrijus, Yoly. Thanks to my wonderfully patient friends and supportive family.
Advice to everyone: keep on following your own dreams and ambitions, no matter how unattainable they may seem. Don’t let anybody stand in your way. Be kind to any doubters — they’re usually just jealous that they haven’t followed their own ambitions. And yeah. Just be yourself.
Unless you’re a psychopath, or whatever.
Oh, I’ve put a video out if you’re struggling with motivation, by the way. Video is a new form I’m enjoying a lot at the moment. If you want some advice on how to write lots of words and how to boost productivity, then here you go:
I take the time out of my fiction writing to do this blog. I do it because I enjoy it. However, if you’d like to ‘donate’ a couple of pennies towards the running costs of the blog, please consider picking up one of my works of fiction. You can find my works here or in the sidebar on the right. Available at all top eBook retailers and a few in paperback. Cheers.
Good job Ryan…it’s worth celebrating!