I’ve written an article for BabyBoomers.com, about why self-publishing is especially appealing to people my age. One of the things I’ve discovered about myself in the past few years is that I’m a bit more fearless when it comes to self-esteem issues and much less patient about following the ‘rules’. I’m almost sixty, folks, and I’ve realized that when it comes to my writing, I’ve very little to lose no matter what I do – SO LONG AS I KEEP WRITING! Self-doubt is the biggest plague for writers. It can absolutely paralyze you. I was told by agents that my writing was good, but my topics (NOT mystery, NOT romance, NOT scifi or paranormal) would be difficult to market. They weren’t wrong. They knew their business. But writing ‘for the market’ has never been my goal. I wanted to write the kinds of stories which I’d want to read, so-called “women’s fiction” in which the main characters are women, but not solving crimes or falling in love. And I’m willing to bet there are a lot of other women out there who like those kinds of stories too.
The point is, at my age, I’ve developed a healthy level of reckless abandon. And that has freed me up to write more, knowing that I can self-publish. If people don’t enjoy my writing, then yes, it won’t sell. But at LEAST IT’S OUT THERE. AT LEAST I’M ENJOYING THE WRITING. The stories have their chance to attract an audience. To me, that’s the most important thing. I’m not stymied by agents’ advice to ‘write a romance’. This may not be the best path for younger writers, but for us Baby Boomers, there’s a great deal of energy behind the knowledge that we’re still in charge on some aspect of our lives. My children are grown and I’m no longer a force to be reckoned with. To quote Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, “I miss the way that I used to call the shots around here.” My body also has become much less under my control (shoulder issues, knee issues). But by golly, when I write (again quoting Brian Wilson), I’m Captain of my Destiny.
Not such a bad place to be.