It looks like my last post was the 2500th on this blog. Interesting; it was about neverending dying. It was unplanned.
Like so much of life. Unplanned.
One year ago, I allowed myself to contemplate putting The Ax and the Vase away. At the time, I could not face that as a death, but a persistent coma eventually becomes a death for those who are still in the waking life. It hasn't been long since I memorialized that death, not for the first time, but pretty much in that context. I even said, there is a freedom in letting go. I have been seeing the "release" aspect of death a great deal of late.
And so, it is hard. It is hard to contemplate hope instead.
Stripping off the preciousness and poetry: it's hard, and terrifying, to find myself considering self-publishing.
There is an aspect to the idea that feels like death, itself. The dream of traditional publishing, for me, has been a long one - as long as the writing of Ax itself was, and that was ten years or more. In the beginning, there was a powerful challenge and a business to learn, and that appealed to me. In the midst of that education, the idea of learning another way was overwhelming.
I've seen the commitment it takes to be an indie. I've long, too, seen the liberty inherent in being pre-published. For all these years, the technical side of the self-pub path has been aplenty to stymie me and allow me to maintain an almost studied ignorance, focusing on the traditional pub path.
Damn my brain. I find with age, it is more open, not less, to new ideas and new ways of doing things. I'm a Virginian! This is not natural.
But, even my wee and paltry brain is capable of perception. It has not escaped me that the infrastructure and the process of self-pub has been refined and cultivated over the same years indie's reputation has grown, along with its popularity. And my wee and paltry brain occasionally gets the idea it might just be big enough to learn something new.
And my heart and my talent and my uppity-osity kind of think Ax is a good novel. That it should not die.
I'm still very well aware of its disadvantages as a product. But vanity wonders ... could it work in a market unlike traditional publishing? In this, my wee and paltry brain may admittedly be prone to arrogance.
I am by no stretch committed. Too much to learn even to begin. And this time has been a hard time; it is possibly the worst time in the world to take on such an enterprise. But this is perhaps part of the reason I contemplate it.
As for the rest: I blame my wee and paltry brain. And reading. Reading. Reading. Reading. And a friend who is willing to give me the benefit of her experience and expertise, at least as a starting point. I am grateful for Leila Gaskin. As who wouldn't be?
The comments are open. I would love to see others' thoughts.