At the start of 2014, I made a list of all the things that I wanted to write this year. I never thought that I would come close to achieving them, but here I sit on December 7 with over 175,000 words of unedited text next to me in the form of novels, novellas, short stories and draft blogs. Projects that will be transformed next year into living breathing stories with everything in mostly the right places and ready to be shared with the wonderful readers they are fortunate enough to find their way to.
The whole thing is making me feel very lucky and happy and in love with writing.
Despite the clear and obvious need for me to do some serious editing to make this happen, I have spent the last week working on a different project. This project has been a dream of mine for many, many years. And like most dreams, even though I’ve had it, I haven’t always known exactly what it was going to look like.
In 2015 I will be launching a small (pint size really) publishing, production company. My goal with this company is fairly simple: to write or create stories with wonderful illustrations and artwork that are written in one or more of the Haudenosaunee languages and that celebrate Ogwehoweh language, culture and identity.
It’s not my dream to make millions of dollars (although if I ever did the first thing I would do is fund adult language immersions programs and help all my family and friends get off the grid and drastically lower their carbon footprint through solar and wind technologies). Like most writers I know, I have been following the evolution of the publishing industry and trying to make sense of all the changes that its going through so that I can find my place in it. I’m grateful for how people have shared their stories and experiences from the traditional or self-published paths. It doesn’t seem like there’s a right way or a wrong way – there’s just the way that’s going to work for you and your art. This idea and all of the reading that I’ve done has helped me to understand more about this thing I want to do. Now, I’m certainly no expert when it comes to publishing books. I’m definitely a beginner, but I’m hugely passionate about languages, stories and my people and the opportunity has finally come where I’m able to make this happen. It feels sort of crazy, because it’s been my dream for over a decade to make stories that are nicely illustrated (or filmed) that will help reinforce people’s efforts to read, speak and otherwise learn about our languages and our culture. Along the way, I’ve been inspired by how other people do this and mostly, how they do it in a creative way that encourages others to find their own voice and make their own art. That part is key, I think. It’s part of the spirit of art to create something, to have that something reach as many people as it can or the people that it’s meant to, to inspire some, perhaps even offend a few others. But mostly - to share and then be shared some more. I don’t know. All I know is that I am so ready and very excited to work on this project.
And all of this crazy, creative energy aside, it also takes a lot of work and preparation. At times it’s felt as if I was going around in circles but even though it felt that way, I think I was always moving forward, always moving ahead. This week I’ve been working very hard on so many things: production schedules, brainstorming, pricing, ordering blocks of ISBNs, logos, website, budgets, financial software and just figuring out how I can DO THIS and stop talking about doing it. There have been a lot of great and helpful resources along the way – too many to list or count but here are a few:
The Business Rusch: These articles are incredible. Helpful. Detailed. Interesting. http://kriswrites.com/business-rusch-publishing-articles/#sthash.KyId1W4G.dpbs
Hugh Howey’s website is very encouraging and inspiring to authors. On the left hand side of his website, there is a tab called Favourite Posts for Writers. Here’s a link to one of them: http://www.hughhowey.com/my-advice-to-aspiring-authors/
If you are looking for information on the business-y side of writing you might want to check those out. Or if you have any others that are good that have helped you make a decision about your publishing path, please feel free to share in the comments! I love reading about this industry.
Finally, nya:węh universe! Please send more of this happy, creative, and possibility-laden energy my way. I’m going to need it. Probably – we all are J. Happy writing & editing!