Photograph by Denis Van Linden

I originally thought, back in the day, that being an author meant just writing books. I’ve learned otherwise since then. Being a self-published author means writing books, yes, but more than that it means being an entrepreneur. Running your own business. Designing your webpage, writing a blog, managing your social media, requesting reviews, creating newsletters, designing your books, finding the best cover art, refining your finished books endlessly, uploading them to all the different sales venues with all their different formats, keeping abreast of industry developments, managing your pricing structure, and on and on and on…

Who would have thought following your passion involved so much administration? Where is my garret with my typewriter, where are my ink smeared pages and feathered quills? Should it not come down to me and the blank page, my mind, my imagination, my desire to create?

But no. Self-published means independence. Which comes with a price. A burden that grows wearisome upon occasion, but which each day I must heft onto my shoulder as I peer at the distant horizon. It’s not enough to write your heart out. You need to help your books find their readers. J.D. Salinger may have contented himself with the solitary act of creation, but I want people to turn my pages, to laugh and be touched, to be moved by my writing, my characters, my thoughts and dreams.

I must play the role of the modern self-published author so that I may write. I must build bridges that span the distance between my study and the hands of readers. Would that I were a better bridge builder! But it’s a craft like any other, and I’ll master it, so that I may do what I love best: continue to put words to paper.