Simple Living and the Indie Author

Many years ago, I co-authored a nonfiction book on simple living in urban areas. You can still find used copies on Amazon (but I am here to tell you that it’s not worth what the scalpers — sorry, the fine purveyors of gently-used books — are trying to sell it for).

Over the years since writing that book, I’ve gotten away from the practice of living simply. But it occurred to me recently that it could be a viable route for indies who want to be career writers – that is, they’d love to be able to live off of their writing income. Of course, a lot of people who write for a living already have this down pat, whether by necessity or by design. But on the off-chance this is a foreign notion to some folks, I thought it was worth talking about.

The concept is (forgive me) simple. You figure out, by trial and error, what the phrase “having enough” means to you: enough time in the day; enough stuff to maintain and not one thing more; and so on. It’s a process of streamlining your life so that it only contains the people, things, and activities that satisfy you. So don’t worry – nobody’s going to make you live off the grid in a tent. (Unless that’s what makes you happy. And if it does, hey, don’t let me stop you.) Continue reading “Simple Living and the Indie Author”

What Are You In This For?

Do you believe in kismet? I’m asking because the quote in this graphic, which I stole from the IndieView’s Facebook feed (and thanks for posting it, Big Al!), reminded me a little of an article posted by Kristine Kathryn Rusch on her blog last week. I blogged about Rusch’s article on my own blog over the weekend. But I thought the topic might also spark a broader discussion.

Rusch makes a distinction between “career writers” and what she calls “one-book writers.” A one-book writer, she says, is somebody who basically wants to tick a box on his or her bucket list. This is the person who wants to hold a book with his or her name on the cover, and to see that book on a bookstore shelf – in short, to be recognized by the literary establishment as a “published author.” She goes on to say that most of the writers she has met, over the course of her career, fit this description. They may have more than one book in them, but they’re not trying to make a living at their writing – either because they have other interests to pursue, or because they’re convinced it’s impossible. Generally speaking, she says, these folks wouldn’t be satisfied by going indie. It’s not that they don’t want to make money from their writing; it would certainly be okay with them if the Bestseller Fairy sprinkled their work with her magic dust, so that they topped the New York Times list with no effort whatsoever. It’s the learning curve that stops them. It’s that they’d have to find editors, beta readers, cover artists, video production people, and promoters – or figure out how to do all this stuff themselves – and they’re convinced they’re incapable. Continue reading “What Are You In This For?”