Writing Is Murder.
Why is writing murder? Why did I choose this title for my book about self-publishing?
As I explain in the introduction to the book, the title felt right because a writer has to suffocate her critical voice to get into the creative flow, stab her ego in the heart to seek feedback, and drown her self-doubt in order put her work out into the world.
The first two acts of murder — suffocating the critical voice and stabbing the ego are the same whether a writer is self-publishing or seeking traditional publication.
The third is one hundred times harder for a self-published writer. At least it is for this one. Many writers want their worked selected by a publisher because they want the validation, the assurance that their writing is good, that others want to read their stories.
When a publisher accepts your work, you know that the story or novel held their interest. They liked it. They believe others will like it. They believe they can sell it. An Indie Author knows nothing of the sort.
Self-publishing takes insane bravery. It takes trusting that your beta readers reflect broader reader interest. It takes trusting your own voice without knowing for certain that it will resonate. I used the word insane because it truly does feel insane at times.
What if the novel sucks? What if it’s not as well-edited as I thought? What if the cover I love isn’t quite right after all? What if I can’t write a blurb that piques reader interest? What if, what if, what if…
All of these phases of the writing and publishing process do feel a little bit like killing a part of yourself. The critical voice is something you grew up with. It sounds familiar. It’s there to protect you from pain by telling you not to say things that might have negative consequences in your relationships, in your job.
And that voice can be the editorial voice, so it’s sometimes difficult to separate the two.
Getting feedback is painful, especially at first. Hearing that the story you loved is confusing in parts is upsetting. Learning that the character you feel you know inside and out comes across as two-dimensional is frustrating.
There are a lot of self-protective parts of yourself that need to die so you can become a writer, to become an artist of any kind.
Those pieces of yourself aren’t going to die a natural death. You have to kill them.