Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Taking the Road Less Traveled, Ch 3.1 Ten Things I Believe

(This is an excerpt from my Indie Author Survival Guide, available on Kindle and Nook.)

Taking the Road Less Traveled
This section is all about battling the fears that come along with doing something different. You would think that writers would naturally gravitate to the unique, celebrating diversity and independent thought. And to a large extent that is true; and yet, at the same time, we crave limits, definitions, other markers of approval that our wild musings are somehow worthwhile. Have value

Sticking to the bounds of conventional thinking, taking a path well-worn by others before you... this brings a certain comfort. A security that your efforts will prove worthwhile. But that cozy comfort zone is not where you want to be if you want to excel as a writer. When you step out of that comfort zone - whether in your publishing path or in your stories - is when you have the chance to do something truly unique.

And that can be terrifying.

I posted this on FB, and it got quite the response...
This simple idea is truly the inspiration for this entire book. 
And this section gets to the heart of it.

Fear is many-faceted, especially for creative types. The chapters in this section will help you understand your fears (and how you are far from alone in having them), and not so much fight them as learn how to use them to help you fulfill your potential as a creative worker.

Ch 3.1 Ten Things I Believe

Why start a section on Fear with Ten Things I Believe?

What you do proves what you believe. - inspirational TED talk by Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek endorses a Why-How-What perspective of explaining who you are (as an author, company, movement). Most people start with What they do, then explain How they do it, and (maybe) get around to explaining Why. Simon says leading with Why allows you to connect with people in a profound way. As we'll see later, fears are often based on losing that connection with others (ahhh, it all ties together).

So I'm leading with my Why's first. Hopefully that will bring you along to the How and the What.

Ten Things I Believe
10) I believe that authors should take risks in their craft and their careers.
9) I believe in making your own luck.
8) I believe failure is what happens when you're trying and success is what happens when you try again.
7) I believe every writer has the ability to improve and is a unique gift in the world.
6) I believe our successes inspire others and our failures prove we are human.
5) I believe the human mind is the most important resource on earth, and the human spirit is the most precious treasure we have to protect.
4) I believe technology is as good or evil as the hands that hold it.
3) I believe the forces of good are more powerful than the forces of evil.
2) I believe one passionate person can make difference in the world.
1) I believe writing is an act of courage that shows the world who you are.
I strive to make everything I do prove these things that I believe, including writing this book.

Okay, now we can dive into the How and What of battling those fears in the next chapter, Fear and the Creative Worker.
(This is an excerpt from my Indie Author Survival Guide, available on Kindle and Nook.)


  1. You should be getting paid for all you do. But then, I suppose you are. :)

    1. I'm fantastically lucky to get paid to do work that I love. I realize this more every day.

  2. Thanks Susan. This must be the best advice I've read to date. I'm working on my first novel after some past experience as a scriptwriter and magazine writer, and have always been highly suspicious about all the prescriptive information from the writing gods (those who pretend to have all the answers). Understanding why we want to write what we write (our basic belief about doing something that is worth such commitment) is, as you say, the most important thing of all. Thanks again for this message.


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