Is Anybody Really Still Arguing About This? Or: The Wonderful Internetz
When I move on and stop arguing about something, I sort of get tunnel vision. I pretty much stop going to all the places where people are arguing about things I think are stupid. So I become unaware that argument is still happening until something random pops up in my Twitter and I realize that people are still fighting about this shit.
I’ve learned in my history of Internet usage that people will argue passionately and angrily about the most banal topics under the sun. It’s not just writers. Fandoms argue. Sports fans argue. People argue about religion (one of the stupidest things to ever argue about since nobody knows!). People argue about sex and what’s “normal” and what’s “weird” and what makes you a “total deviant”. And this is just a starter list.
It’s like there is something in the human brain that can’t quite grasp that there are 7 billion people on this planet and we all think differently. So somebody disagreeing with you and even calling you a stupid poopieface, doesn’t mean anything except that you probably don’t want to be BFF with that person. Stop talking to them and move on. No matter what you think, somebody will think you are stupid or wrong or an asshole for having a different opinion. There is no one right way to think about anything. And if there were, there would be no empirical way to prove it because we are all subjective participants in this wacky thing called life. None of us is standing objectively outside of life without any biases or blind spots. It’s a circle jerk.
When I first decided to go indie 4 years ago, it was a big deal at the time (To me). Now it seems like the stupidest thing on the planet to debate (Again, to me). It’s like arguing about whether or not Paris Hilton’s dog is cute. Who cares?
Four years ago I was fighting an uphill battle. Most people told me I wouldn’t make any money, I should show more confidence in my work and do it the “right way” (with an agent/NY pub/etc), and that it was a foolish move that would mark me as an amateur and make people think I couldn’t “get” a publisher.
But by this point… I think self publishing at least something is just plain common sense. Hello, digital revolution? Basic math? I know ten years ago ebooks were never going to happen… but Kindle and Nook and iPad have broken out in the mass consumer market to the point that pretty much everybody who knows what a cell phone is, knows about ebooks. Given that ebook distribution is not an issue for the indie and you make more money per book, and you’re really out there in the same pool as the big dogs, really… what is there to think about?
I get if someone doesn’t “want” to self publish, or doesn’t personally feel it’s something they have time or energy for, but is anybody still arguing about its validity? Apparently these little battles are still raging in author circles all over the interwebz. (Which probably explains why I avoid these bru ha has now.) Color me confused.
I decided for sure to go indie the day I learned many NY pubbed authors still had day jobs and couldn’t live just off their fiction. If I was going to “work for somebody” I was going to be making a living or forget about it. Since the odds seemed so bad of making a living going the traditional route, I decided indie made more sense for me. It seemed like something that I could make a living at more quickly.
I stopped caring whether anybody thought I was “valid” when I reached that “making a living” goal. (Now the goal is to “maintain a living” and “keep growing my readership and backlist”, and “make a living for a decade” because that’s when I can actually toot my own horn and say I achieved something.) Once you start making a living, you stop caring what people on the sidelines say about your chosen methods of publishing. No matter how you write or publish the only things that should matter are these:
Are you happy? Are you being read? Are you making money? (If the latter is your goal. It doesn’t have to be.)
These other arguments are completely masturbatory and beside the point and have literally nothing to do with happiness, being read, or making money. It’s all just an ego stroke. And believe me, it’s more satisfying when that comes from your readers.
If you find yourself pulled into these arguments, just stop visiting the places that raise your blood pressure. Soon enough, you’ll be like me… oblivious to the fact that people actually still argue this nonsense (That’s so 2007!) until a post about it pops up in your tweet stream. (Which… it was my choice to click the link and read, so… I need to do better about that! I’d like to remain as oblivious as possible about the stupid drama on the internet.)
And actually, I try to spend as little time on the Internet as possible. There is so much more to life than narrating your day-to-day existence in 140 characters or less.