It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day detail of being an indie author and forget to take a step back and look at the big picture.
Sometimes, we get so wrapped up with improving our craft, brushing up on our marketing, and building our author network that we lose focus of what it’s all for.
While a book is a great goal in and of itself, it’s important to keep in mind all the ways that being a self-published, independent author in particular benefits the world. Holding onto these can keep you motivated when times are tough or the daily to-do list feels too much to cope with.
During this season of giving thanks, take the time to consider the deeper ways your work makes the world a better place.
You inspire other independent writers
Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that there is great value in pursuing your creative dreams.
It’s easy to be self-critical for not living up to a standard you’ve set yourself, or not doing as well as you imagine other authors are. However, when you get caught up in negative thoughts, stop for a second, and take a step back.
The simple act of working on independent books is valuable in and of itself. As long as you don’t give up on walking your path, you’re already winning.
Thanks to the indie publishing world, countless people have realized they don’t need to be a mainstream author to create the art they love. They can set their own terms of success, whether that’s being a fulltime author in a niche book category they love or writing a single book that they feel called to share with the world.
Traditional publishing kept the doors of the writing world sealed shut for the vast majority of people. Simply being a part of the independent alternative means you’re a force for positive, inclusive change in the world.
You share your unique perspective with the world
Without sounding too dramatic, books can save lives!
Lots of people have been rescued from places of despair and darkness by finding the right book. Countless more have learned valuable skills or gained inspiration from their favorite books.
The great thing about having the freedom to write whatever you want as an independent author is that you can share your light with the world in whatever way you see fit. People learn in so many different ways that your style of book is probably the perfect fit for someone out there.
If you’re looking for ways to share your life with the world through a book, here are just a few sources of inspiration.
- Autobiography. If you want to focus on the wisdom you’ve gained throughout your entire life, consider plotting out an autobiography. Even if you’re not at the right stage to release one at the moment, it can be enjoyable to consider the chapters of your life you have lived so far and the ones you want to experience in the future.
- Children’s book. Children’s books can inspire the next generations in a unique and special way. You can use a children’s book to share a moral lesson you believe in or teach a key skill essential to young people’s lives.
- Memoir. Learning to become a memoir writer allows you to share your experience with the world even if you don’t feel ready to write a full autobiography. Memoirs are a great option as they allow any author to offer something to the world, regardless of the stage of their life’s journey they are at.
- Spiritual. People are experiencing mental health struggles and spiritual challenges like never before. If you have a faith or spiritual perspective, why not put it out into the world with a book? It might help someone keep going during their darkest hour.
- Skills. Sometimes, you might realize you have a set of skills that aren’t covered by other books. If you know how to do something rare or specialized, you might be in a position to offer a unique book to the world.
Every indie author has a unique set of life lessons to share with the world. What do you want to share, and what type of book would be the best vessel for your experience?
You support genres outside the mainstream
Before the rise of indie publishing, it was far more difficult for readers of niche genres to find new books they loved.
Traditional publishers invest so many resources upfront into a new book that they need to feel confident about its chances of mainstream success. As a self-publisher, you have the freedom to blaze your own trail and stay true to your personal creative vision.
While the emergence of new and exciting genres offers choice to readers, it also does something deeper. It helps the publishing world become a more diverse place. Voices are heard that would otherwise be silenced and readers enjoy books from authors that share their background, even if it isn’t one of privilege.
By choosing the self-publishing path, you’re playing an active role in making the world of books a more varied and inclusive place. That’s something to be commended.
You encourage creative collaboration
It’s easy to see writers as being siloed creatives focusing on words and words alone.
In the old days, that might have been true. For many authors, they worked on the text for their books away from other creatives. This led to a loss of control and connection.
These days, as an indie author, you are a lot more likely to have a meaningful connection with other creative professionals working on your book. You can explore and create alongside collaborators like cover artists, editors, and marketers.
This freedom to collaborate is a fantastic thing for the world. It not only supports other independent artists but allows you to ensure your book truly reflects your truest vision, not that of a publishing house.
By choosing to be an independent author, you’re not only enabling your deepest creative dreams but offering the same opportunity to others.
Four reflections for gratitude
During a year as tumultuous as 2020, it can be easy to lose sight of the things we have to be grateful for. But, as indie authors, there are many.
Try these four simple sentences as ways to reflect gratefully on the ideas found here.
- I am thankful for the chance to inspire other writers to be independent
- I am grateful to be able to share my life perspective through a book
- I am glad I can contribute to the diversity of genres and voices within the world of books
- I am happy to be able to connect with other independent artists as part of my work
Even during the most unusual holiday season, there’s a lot of positive things to hold onto.
Why not give yourself the gift of taking the time to reflect and be thankful for the good things in your indie author life?