Recently I have been reading a particular YA author's latest addition to her bestselling series.
I have to say I was terribly disappointed.
While her original trilogy wasn't my favorite series ever, I enjoyed it generally. There was something to those first 3 books that grabbed me - the interactions, snarky dialog, and nerdy references were great.
And then she started writing for profit.
Or at least that's how it feels when I read her newer books. I feel like every cliche was drawn upon - stories were packaged and produced to achieve a given end. In short, they weren't written just to be written.
That, and sometimes a universe needs to be retired. Like seriously.
I'm saying these things because it reminded me of yet another reason why I chose the path I chose for publishing/writing. As I continue to read articles and interviews of other indie writers, I am convinced more and more that writing what you love for the sake of writing is the route to go.
Don't get me wrong. Readers are important. I heard from 3 people these week about how much they loved my books. I know...it sounds like a pittance to you, but to me it was HUGE.
You see, I feel like I genuinely earned those readers. My books aren't perfectly packaged. I haven't paid for bells or whistles (I can't...remember?). I don't have someone sheering off edges of my books or cutting out characters because they don't fit perfectly into the saleable marketing niche a publishing house is pursuing.
My books are my own. And while I certainly want to dialog with readers about the books and the direction of the characters, I get that final say of what happens in my stories - not an agent. Not an editor. Just me.
The more I learn about the whole process, the more convinced I am that putting out work you feel strongly about, and continuing to do so despite everything is the way to go. Eventually people will notice. It won't necessarily mean you become wildly successful. You probably won't be rolling in the dough...but...you'll probably do okay.
It is possible. I see that happening for me in the near future. I feel it beginning. I know I just have to put out some more books (finishing a series would probably be good...namely book 4 in Khloe, which incidentally I have given a secret working title and have main plot points). I might focus on other media for a little while...namely when my creativity is zapped by the pooping machine I'll have in a month (print and audio books? Hmmm...).
Whatever I end up doing, I'm going to continue doing it my way because that's the best way for me to be. I figure if Macklemore can do it in music...who's to say I can't do it in literature?