Sunday, 21 August 2011

The great thing about not-knowing.

So - I've taken the self-publishing decision, and have been trawling websites and blogs for advice. In particular, blogs about writing and publishing. And there are plenty of those.

Blogs - many, of course, are wonderful. They offer advice with humour, and often with humility. Written by bloggers willing to share blunders as well as successes. They inform and entertain and I turn to them first and join in with comments. (Others are too didactic for me; bossiness tends to send me to the back of the class, wanting to shout 'prove it.' But that probably says more about me than it does about them.)

Mine feels like a feeble addition to the blogosphere. I can find no other blog that wanders along the 'I'm not sure what I'm doing here but hello anyway?'path. Nor one that acts as a diary along the writing and publishing road, with mistakes on show for everyone to learn from, or not. The whole thing - this blog, and the leap into self-publishing, feels like a giant experiment.

But surely it's fine to say 'I don't know but I'm going to find out.' That's different from being ignorant - ignorance shuts out the possibility of learning. While not-knowing contains the possibilities of discovery, of creativity. It is not a position of weakness, but is exciting, and scary, and full of glorious choices. It feeds curiosity, fuels experiments, allows me to make mistakes. Ignorance is a dead-end; not-knowing is an opportunity.

Sometimes I wish more people would admit to not-knowing. It allows for asking questions, for alternative solutions, for second thoughts. But that's an opinion, and I've already said I don't know enough to have opinions.

So I don't suppose anyone will follow me for advice - in fact, I hope you won't. I need people who will laugh with me (and, sometimes, at me) as I unpack the jigsaw of the publishing world and try to piece it all together. And advice - yes, please offer advice.


  1. And perhaps a cat who will prowl in and watch in awe and amazement at someone who is brave enough to tread this path...I do not know either and I am a scaredy-cat!
    Cat-from-Downunder (who is having purroblems signing in.)

  2. Cat - your signing-in problem is such a pain! So thanks for standing up to blogspot and commenting anyway. Even though neither of us knows what the problem is!

  3. I'm not following you for advice, but because I'm interested in your journey. I love watching people grow :)

  4. Sarah - you are welcome. I hope you'll watch me grow, Always a possibility you'll watch me fall flat on my face, of course. But I can pick myself up again!

  5. Hey Jo, GOOD LUCK with the self-publishing!!

    I confess that's what I did about 6 years ago with the first book I'd written (YA fantasy) but it all fell flat -- I was too naive & the company I chose weren't as up-front as they could have been about the marketing side of things. Wish there'd been more on the 'net about self-publishing, like 'How Publishing Really Works' but 'twas an experience; just wrote for fun after that ... only to jump back on the roller-coaster again!!

    Shall be visiting often to see how you're getting on.

    Joy (the one on Nicola's 'synopsis' post) -- can't understand why blogger lets me sign onto certain blogs but not others!!

  6. Joy - welcome. (Cat also has a problem signing in - maybe blogspot makes life particularly difficult for Nicola's followers!)

    I'm interested in you pointing out the lack of marketing efforts from a self-publishing company. Must confess - the thought of marketing is enough to bring on a fit of the vapours. But I shall have to be grown up about it at some point - and find out something about it.

    Great that you are still writing, and jumping in the publishing soup again. The very best of luck.

  7. Hi again Jo, its Anonymous, otherwise known as Joy ;o)

    Had a thought (& I didn't hurt myself!), if you want me to ramble on a bit more about my self-publishing experience, feel free to email me:

  8. Hi, I'm a fellow member in the Campaign contemporary fiction category. I'm very interested in your self-publishing journey. Will be keeping tabs on you!

  9. Welcome, Amy. This should be an interesting trip.