I believe you, as a writer, not only have an opportunity to publish today but also an obligation. Your voice is important. Your story is necessary. Sure, you can write your story and publish it immediately on platforms like createspace, but to do so without spending the time and effort to make it professional not only makes your work seem trivial, it creates distractions for your readers. If they don't read your story, what's the point of adding more noise to an already noisy world?
This is why DeeBee Books is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association. I can't describe what we do better than the IBPA's own words, so here they are:
IBPA champions independent voices: well spoken, properly edited, cleanly formatted, intelligently distributed, and happily consumed. It doesn’t matter whether these voices bubble up from independent publishing houses per se, or directly from self-published authors. It doesn’t matter whether the goal is to get rich through a bestseller or to change the world though a personal manifesto. All content is publishable if someone cares enough to publish it. That said, professionalism matters. IBPA has to believe, as a community of professionals, that the production of content of lasting financial and/or cultural value is just as important as securing open markets for this content. We must understand and adhere to copyright law so we can ensure that authors and other creators are properly compensated. We must be honest and fair in our dealings with readers and not mislead them with false promises or manipulated reviews.
What's your story? What's your message that you feel passionate about? Share it with us, then share it with the world.
A teenage boy loses his family to stormtroopers and decides to join the rebels, learn the ways of the Jedi, and avenge their deaths. (Star Wars)
A wise-cracking ogre goes on a quest to get his swamp back, and ends up with far more than he bargained for. (Shrek)
Two depression-era farmhands have a dream to buy their own land, until one of them can't control his own strength. (Of Mice and Men)
Where do these story ideas come from? Why do those writers decide to write those stories and not some others? I'm fascinated by the creative process and how decisions are made. Stories, of course, are all around us and the key for us as writers is to be aware they are all around us, tune in, observe, note, ruminate, and "suppose..."
And then write them down.
I run a variety of writing workshops and I'm consistently amazed at the quality of story ideas that a group can put together in a few days of being aware. Will they all turn into short stories or novels? Of course not. But when a writer has a dozen different story ideas in front of her, there most certainly will be one or two that stand out, that call to the writer's heart, that screams in her ear, "Pick me. I need to be written."
This post isn't about the steps you could take to come up with killer story lines (although I'm sure you've deduced that by now). These story ideas, no matter how diverse and seemingly unrelated, speak volumes about you and in particular, what you need to write. From science fiction to mysteries to thrillers to realistic fiction... they all point back to you. That's an awesome responsibility and obligation.
I think you already know the story that you must tell. It's the one you've been carrying around with you your entire life. (Don't believe me? As you read the preceding line, that story appeared again, didn't it? That's the one you need to write first.) No matter how many other stories you write over your career, it's that first one that is perhaps the most significant -- the one that says, "This is my voice, my story, my life, and all the pain and joy and fear and hope it carries." Write that one first.
So brainstorm, yes. Observe behaviour and read the headlines for ideas. Develop your story ideas. Then write the one that calls to you the most. You can usually tell which one this is because it's the one that raises your level of fear the most, the one that screams, "Don't write me, or else...". That's the one. Go write it.
If you want to act, and there are no acting jobs available, act anyway.
If you want to paint, but there are no galleries to purchase your canvasses, paint anyway.
If you want to write, and there are no publishers to publish your work, write anyway.
We are born to create and when we're young, we don't ask permission to sing, dance, write or build mud forts. We just do it. As we grow, all that changes, and we succumb to the fears of not breaking rules, of not standing out, and our art turns into mush.
You can change that. Write that novel, knowing that it may never see the light of day. Write it anyway. You want to publish it? Great! Get it published by someone who cares as much about it as you do. You don't need permission from anyone. In fact, it's your obligation to put your voice out there, to write, to speak, to act, dance and sing.
Does that frighten you? That's your lizard brain talking. There's nothing to fear. You may fail, but do it anyway. You may succeed too. Either way, your life will change for the better.