Pages

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group 6 - Rachel Morgan

Remember I told you that Rachel Morgan was visiting today? Well, as her visit co-incides with our monthly meeting of the IWSG, she very kindly agreed to talk about how her dream has changed. Hopefully, her words will be an inspiration for those of us who still have no clue what path we'll be taking :-)








Follow Your Dream -- Even If It Changes 

Two years ago I knew exactly what my writing dream was: get published by a major publishing house. Two years ago, when anyone asked me if I’d considered self-publishing, I politely said something along the lines of, “Uh, you know, that’s not really the way I want to go,” while inside I was thinking, Hell, no! I want to be a REAL writer! (Apparently, in my mind, you could only be a real writer if some big publisher said you could be. I didn’t actually know at that point that there were books I’d read and loved, like Eragon and The Shack, that were initially self-published.)

So what does this mean, two years down the line, now that I’m embarking on a self-published writing career? Does it mean I “failed”? Does it mean I gave up on my big dream?

No. It means my dream changed.

Seriously. I’m not just saying this! Yes, I may still query publishers in the future for as-yet-unwritten novels. Will I be excited if one gets accepted? Yes! Will I be excited if I can walk into a bookstore and see my own hardcover sitting on a shelf? Yes! But you know what else I’m super-duper excited about? Self-publishing the Creepy Hollow series. I am LOVING every step of this journey! (Okay, not the part where I had to apply for a US Tax ID number to blah blah blah boring story that has no end yet . . .) I love designing the covers, I love the formatting (yes, the formatting!) and interior design of ebooks, I loved organizing this blog tour, and researching marketing methods. Heck, even receiving an email attachment with a list of ISBN numbers was downright thrilling. You should have seen me: “I have ISBN numbers that belong to MEEE!!”

So what’s my bottom line here? Sometimes a dream grows and changes and transforms into something you never thought you’d be striving for. And that’s okay, because it doesn’t mean you failed your old dream. It just means you have new stars to reach for.

~  ~  ~


Rachel Morgan is the author of Guardian, the first novelette in the Creepy Hollow series. She was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. These days, in between teaching mathematics to high school children, she writes fiction for young adults.

Buy Guardian from

The Creepy Hollow Series

Author Info

88 comments:

  1. That is great inspiration. I love the bottom line. ... it doesn't mean you failed your old dream ... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I honestly believe that! I think that "failure" is something we really need to turn around more often and look at the positive side of. What did Edison say? That he didn't fail 1000 times, he just found 1000 ways that didn't work?!

      Delete
  2. Follow your dreams, that a motto one should stick to. While E publishing is still considered a distant cousin, has more shoddy work put up, it is the evolution of reading and writing here to stay and a boon for the talented ones who may give up otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rek - It is indeed the evolution of reading and writing. And while I hope that the printed book will never disappear, I think many, many people are now leaning more toward the electronic version.

      Delete
  3. Sometimes dreams change for a reason, I think it is good to be more open to change. Nice post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Siv - Yeah, I've never been fond of change... I'm learning to, uh, CHANGE that!

      Delete
  4. Hi Sarah. Hi Rachel. I love learning more about Rachel. Inspiring.

    Denise

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a wonderful post. I think you've captured a really beautiful point - dreams can change and grow with you. You don't remain stagnant, so why should your dreams? I needed this post, so thanks to both of you! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cally. And I'm glad it helped you :-)

      Delete
  6. I liked learning more about Rachel too. I read the beginning of her novelette and it was tight!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great post! There are many paths to your goals, and some of them are very windy indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  8. So many changes are happening in publishing that even two years ago, if you stick solidly to one ideal you might miss out on other opportunities. That's obviously what's happened to Rachel (and to me, so I can relate). Thanks for hosting Rachel today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Annalisa, it's great that there are multiple options for authors these days.

      Delete
  9. great guest post! Second time I've seen Rachel this morning and her novelette sounds awesome! I think a lot of people change from the beginning of their publishing journey to the end. So much is learned and there are so many highs and lows. It's normal for our dreams and expectations to evolve.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's some damn good advice :) I'm gonna use that whenever I feel like I've failed. Hope your novel is a success, Rachel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jamie :-) I'm very happy for you to use this advice!

      Delete
  11. Great post! I think as the publishing climate and the economy continue to change, we as writers need to also. Kudos to everyone writing who is unafraid to look for and pursue the right path for them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lindsay, it's true that the publication path for one author may not be the right one for another author. We should focus on our OWN journeys rather than trying to copy someone else's.

      Delete
  12. Great attitude! (I especially like what you said about not liking change, but working on "changing that". Sounds like me!) Used to be, I wouldn't have even considered e-publishing, but I've read some really good e-books that have altered my perception considerably. What was once to me an unthinkable route is looking more attractive all the time. You're right; dreams DO change. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, I understand what you're saying completely. Self-publishing also used to be an "unthinkable route" for me. It's so interesting to look back and see how my perceptions have changed :-)

      Delete
  13. A wonderful inspirational post which I enjoyed reading.
    Thanks for giving hope to others.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds like a great series. Congrats on taking the step and being flexible enough to allow your dream to take some tweaking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nancy :-) I like what you said. I think I shall call it "dream tweaking" from now :-)

      Delete
  15. Good luck to Rachel and her book Guardian! I wish her well and can relate to having to be flexible in order to make things happen.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think most people who want to be writers start out with the big publisher dream because that's how we think it's supposed to be done. I know I did. However, once I really looked at it, looked at publishing, looked at agents, looked at the big mess all of that is and, then, compared it to self-publishing, I said "no way" to all of that traditional publishing nonsense.
    It's good not to have to try to cram yourself into someone else's little box. Why put a dream into a box like that to begin with?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew, it's interesting how I used to look only at the pros of traditional publishing and the cons of self-publishing. But I did the same thing you did: I REALLY looked at it all, and for this project (a series of novelettes) the self-publishing option fit much better.

      Delete
  17. Hi, Sarah, Hi, Rachel,

    Nice tie in Sarah...

    Rachel,

    Your are so right. Dreams do change because WE change. As we learn and grow we alter our dreams to fit our lives. I know mine have changed a zillion times over the years, but the bottom line is do what makes you happy and have a passion for it.

    Passion resonates in your words as you talk about your first publication. CONGRATS... I LOVED your book and can't wait to get my hands on Book Two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your enthusiastic comment, Michael :)
      "do what makes you happy and have a passion for it." <-- absolutely! And I'm glad you can feel the passion coming through in this blog post!

      Delete
  18. Exactly. It's a great big changeable world out there -- adapt and survive. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great attitude, Rachel. I think it's so much better to get your work out there than to accept defeat. Lots of traditionally published authors have started out with e-publishing too. Dreams should be flexible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, and the REALLY great thing is that there was never actually any "defeat" anywhere along the line. Shh, don't tell, but I've never actually sent a publisher a query! I CHOSE this route instead of it being a fall-back after being rejected, which, somehow, feels good :-) (Though that's not to undermine anyone who has sent out queries and then chosen to self-publish. I don't mean it that way at all!)

      Delete
  20. Oh my gosh, this is awesome! (And that cover is still so super gorgeous!)

    As soon as the hubs gives me my book allowance, I know what I'm using it on :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, I love that you have a book allowance! I should do that. Maybe it would help control my book-buying!

      Delete
  21. Really inspirational! Probably strikes a chord with many of us. Thank you :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you, Sarah, for introducing us to Rachel. She is truly inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi ladies!

    I feel like I had exactly the same kinds of conversations two years ago. Things have changed so much but that doesn't mean my dream won't keep evolving.

    ReplyDelete
  24. You designed that cover yourself, Rachel? I'm very impressed. Saw it before and really liked it and just assumed you'd paid someone a lot to do it.

    Changing our minds and/or doing things in a different way aren't signs of failure. (My own route to publication doesn't tie in with the whole agent then big publishing house route either.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patsy, for the cover love :-)

      Delete
  25. Hi Rachel - I love the concept that our dreams may take on a different appearance from the one we originally imagined... very inspirational post!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This was such a great post, Rachel! So perfectly candid. I loved it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. A lovely post and a great tie-in with IWSG. Most creative types, writers, artists etc are so very hard on themselves in regard to challenges and changes. You both make wonderful and true points about our dreams.

    No matter the publishing route, we all want readers - and that is what Rachel will have in abundance!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I completely agree. I was the same way, but dreams change as we learn and grow. It's awesome like that. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. What an inspiring post - and I agree. Unfortunately I was rather vocal about my younger dreams, and as they have changed, it's been like turning a tanker trying to explain these changes to others!
    Lx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand that problem, too! I used to tell my family and friends exactly why I didn't want to self-publish, and why traditional publishing was so much better! So now to explain the change of heart... (It's like when you break up with a guy and you tell everyone all the bad things about him and why you're so glad to be rid of him - and then you get back together! There's a lot of explaining to do after that!)

      Delete
  30. I think our lives change, our dreams change with it. Congrats on your book. I love the cover!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jessica! I am quite fond of the cover, too... ;-)

      Delete
  31. Wow, that is really cool. I didn't even realize Guardian was self-published! Way to live the dream.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Excellent post for the IWSG! We need encouragement now and then.
    Dreams do change because I never intended to seek publication of my manuscript. I never intended to join the online community. I never intended to write a sequel. Yes, it all changed along the way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Alex! We really need to try not to say "never", because we don't always know what we'll end up doing somewhere down the road!

      Delete
  33. Great post how fun I may need to join in!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Great post, Rachel, and you make a great point to bear in mind. My number one dream (as I assume as for many writers) is to make a connection with a reader and make them feel something. Who cares through what medium that's delivered? And self-publishing does sound very exciting these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nick, that's something great to keep reminding myself: "As long as people are reading (and enjoying) my stories, who cares HOW they got them?!"

      Delete
  35. That "traditional print v. self-publishing" tussle sounds exactly like me. Have you been reading my mind? I'm still angling for the print market, while realising that my dream is evolving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, Botanist, I'm a mind-reader! Have you looked at Amazon's CreateSpace for the print market? Or Lulu? Since I haven't done anything in print yet, I'm not sure how it all works, but I'll get there!

      Delete
  36. I'm been thinking the same thing. While I'm not quite ready for that step just yet (technically it's my book that isn't ready), the possibility is still there.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I LOVE the cover of this series! Rachel is stopping by my blog on Saturday. Come join us! *waves*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the cover love! And I'm looking forward to stopping by on Saturday :-)

      Delete
  38. What a FAB post. I can empathise with you. I wasn't keen on the idea of self publishing, but I do consider it more now than I might for some work and I will still query agents and publishers for others. Good luck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madeleine, I think we're going to be seeing more hybrid authors - those with books both self-published and traditionally published.

      Delete
  39. I love this! What a great topic. I so respect self-published authors, and although I'm hoping to go the traditional route at this point in time, I won't say 'never' to opting for this path in the future if it ever comes up! After all, the point of being a writer is to share your work with the world - no matter what route you go through!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie, thanks for the respect! Lol :-)

      Delete
  40. I'm a little misty-eyed by your message. "New stars to reach for," is a great way to describe it. Dreams do change and evolve, and we have come a long way in creating quality books outside the usual big three (or is it five) publishing houses. Good for you. Go. Create. Inspire!
    Play off the Page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, I'm so glad the post resonated with you :-) Keep reaching for whatever your stars are!

      Delete
  41. This is fantastic, Sarah. There's nothing wrong with your dream changing. You've changed, and I'm sure your writing has too. It makes sense that you would embark on a different pathway than the one you intended to go down. Isn't that true of life in all areas? When we follow our heart, we could end up anywhere!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Brilliant idea to have Rachelle post on this. I love it. Very inspirational and important for all of us to appreciate and understand. I love it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Love it! I can feel your passion!
    My dream has changed from getting published, to writing amazing stories... How they will get to be read... I'm not sure yet.
    Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Writing amazing stories" is a good dream to have!

      Delete
  44. I didn't realise that Eragon was initially self-published.
    I'm still uncertain about the self-pub route for myself, but I admire anyone brave enough to do it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I now can't remember if I knew that before or after I read Eragon...

      Delete
  45. I loved this post. My story has similarities. I've changed my dream too or rather added to it.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wonderful! Thank you, Sarah, for introducing us to Rachel, and congratulations, Rachel, on realizing your changed dream. I self-pubbed my first novel in 08 (after declines from 70+ agents) and I'm in the process of self-pubbing #2 (after 60+ declines or non-responses). The world of publishing has changed and so can our dreams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WOW, that is a lot of declines to deal with. Go you for still pursuing your dream!

      Delete
  47. I think we all learn along the way where our path really lies. We grow, adapt, and move forward. Congratulations for your book, I know you'll find as many satisfactions on the indy road, if not more. I'll be happy to follow you along!

    From Diary of a Writer in Progress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gina! You're welcome to follow along :-)

      Delete
  48. Good post Sarah. I self published my first book and I will probably self publish the book I just compiled.
    Here's the thing--If you're writing for the money, I think you're writing for the wrong reason. That's not to say that I'm against making money, but I am writing because I love writing.
    I went to a Media Professional meeting today and a "published" author who has self published her last four books, told our group about Amazon's Creative Space which is where you can self publish for very little money.
    I think you take baby steps. Self publish, learned how to self promote, and build an audience. If you're successful at this stage, publishers are more likely to come to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life 101, I haven't looked TOO closely at Create Space yet, but when it comes time to do print version of my ebooks, I shall certainly pursue that avenue.

      Delete
  49. Congratulations on your new book launch.. the cover is gorgeous. You're living your dream... how wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I read a lot of self-published books and for the most part, they are high quality. I think that the stigma of the self-pubbed author is on its way out the door. People are going to expect quality...probably more so from the self-pubs than from the traditional publishing houses. The way you talk about all that formatting and stuff makes me think you might be a little of a control freak (not that this is a bad thing). Perhaps control would make us all smile a bit about the things we feel so passionately about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Control freak? Me? Never! (Note: major sarcasm!)

      Delete
  51. That is definitely all exciting to hear about! Congratulations, and thanks for the inspiration!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    ReplyDelete
  52. Dreams do change. I'm glad Rachel went after what she wants.

    Congratulations on the release.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I used to think the same about self-publishing. After having met so many self-published writers/authors through blogging, though, that has definitely changed!

    Great post. :)

    (Also dropping by to let you know, Sarah, that you're a winner of my blogfest!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weee! Thank you muchly, I'll be over soon :-)

      Delete
  54. I couldn't agree more! I just wrote a very similar post on this, too. Great minds! :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Great post! I agree. Follow your dreams, even if it means going down a different road.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I love this! And I can tell you enjoy doing book covers, Rachel, because your cover is AMAZING!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I would love to take some courses to learn how to use Photoshop properly. It is such an incredible program if you know what you're doing (which, most of the time, I didn't!)

      Delete

I happily answer all comments on my blog, and by email if it's not a 'noreply' address :-)