- Gregory Benson
Patience and the indy author.
One virtue that I’ve had to learn since writing and publishing my first two books is patience. Writing a good manuscript takes time (I started framing out the plot for Tolagon in 2010). Time in creative thought, reflecting on the plot, characters, pacing, and coherency. Then editing, removing filler, chiseling it down to something an unbiased reader can enjoy, and of course, eliminating grammar errors and plot holes. The latter is frustrating as you can go through the story numerous times with a fine-tooth comb only to find examples you’ve overlooked in the previous ten sweeps.
Then there is the promotion. Sigh: This part (too me) has the largest learning curve and is also the most frustrating portion of this journey. No one wants to read your books (no, really). I mean, you’re an unknown, a mere flicker in a sky frosted with stars. Most people will never know you or your books exists, and even if they happen across them, they already have a mile-long “to read” list from many well-known authors. Hey, I’m not dissing anyone in that regard; I’m in the same camp as a reader. In fact, it’s worse for me. I’m a slow reader who also has to make time to write and promote. I envy the people that get through two books a month.
PATIENCE - the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
The top result from a Google search sums it up perfectly. As authors, we enjoy creative writing and sharing our works. That’s what keeps us in the game. However, if no one reads it, what’s the point? When I started this journey years ago, I had no intention or requirement to sell any books. I just wanted to express my creativity and build something that would last. Let’s face it, regardless of whether or not anyone ever buys or reads the book; it's out there immortalizing you, possibly forever. That’s pretty cool. Mission accomplished! Then you get far enough into the process with thousands invested and countless hours doing work, most of which you didn’t enjoy, and you start to develop a mindset that you want more back from this endeavor.
So, I’m going to end this dialogue with one last thought…PATIENCE. It’s the second critical virtue required in writing and publishing literary work. Any guess what the first is?