Independence Day   Leave a comment

Today marks the 236th time the United States has celebrated the grand decision to take control of its own fate. As I write these words I hear firecrackers exploding like faint echoes of the shots fired in the war our ancestors fought for independence. I can smell the aroma of backyard barbeques firing up – and I wish those people luck, because it’s been a rainy day Tucson. Some of the houses on the street display flags, taken in and then put back out as the weather changed. Typical activities for the 4th of July.

This has not been a typical 4th of July for me. I spent much of this cool, muggy day in the desert involved in something I’ve never done before. I worked to make people aware of the two books I self published this year. They call what I’m doing Independent Publishing, “Indie” publishing ‘for short.’ Many people see this as little different from vanity publishing, a cop-out of sorts for failed writers in denial. I’d point out that this isn’t so, but if you’re inclined to believe otherwise you probably aren’t going to take my word for it. I’ve embraced this publishing option, born of the digital age, and done so with a will all the same. Those who are doing as I do often see indie publishing as freedom from a troubled publishing industry, which certainly seems to be having its problems adjusting to the new age. Some express a strange delight when discussing the problems faced by the publishing industry; as if this is a case of what goes around comes around. I don’t see indie publishing that way, either. For me, this form of independence is neither a wannabe’s cop-out nor an act of revenge against a system that couldn’t find room for me. I’ve never been one to see denial as a viable ‘out,’ and for years I thought the word schadenfreude was a German insult. (And maybe it is, come to think of it.)

In putting those books out there I’ve made my own declaration of independence, one I will celebrate next year on March 21st, an easy date to remember since it happens to be my wedding anniversary as well. (And yes, that was deliberate, but be careful what you read into it.) There won’t be any fireworks, no echoes of ancient gunfire; that would scare the cats, after all. Just a glass of wine, perhaps among friends. But it will mark a sort of independence, all the same, and it has nothing to do with old school publishing. I never got past an editor’s desk when I first attempted to write and publish books. Traditional publishing never had a hold on me, and if that hold had developed I’m not at all sure I’d be fighting to free myself.

What I’ve done since March is to free myself from the disappointment of having missed out on something. Of not knowing what it would be like to have people read the books I wrote. As I’ve said in an earlier entry, I’d given up on all of this, and that was a terrible feeling. It would’ve been much worse, no doubt, if  years from now (many years, I hope!) I looked back the way I came only to contemplate the consequences of giving up on the thing I most wanted to do. That’s a fear from which I am now free, and that surely is a thing worth celebrating.

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Posted July 4, 2012 by underdesertstars in Books and Writing

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