The Secret Lives of Writers – Aniko Carmean
Aniko Carmean is a Virginia girl living in Austin, Texas. She writes stories and novels in a variety of genres, including horror, science fiction, and literary-artsy. Her definition of success involves stickers, giving away free versions of everything she writes, and dwelling in the beauty of the literary community rather than the anxiety of selfish grasping. You can find links to free downloads of all Aniko’s published works at Odd Sky Books.
The surprising benefits of being your own patron
I began writing in October of 2005. Oh, there were some stories written in high school, and a few tender, overly precious attempts at stories post-college, but until the Autumn of ’05, I was more about saying how I wished I was a writer rather than actually being a writer. Then I got serious.
For the next seven years, I did most of my writing in the pre-dawn dark. I rose at five, or slightly before, and spent about an hour and a half on my literary craft. Coffee, winter moonlight, and summer sunrises: these were my witnesses. In those years, I think I made exactly three half-hearted attempts at publication in literary journals, but mostly I kept behind my closed door as I honed my skill. I was dedicated to becoming the best writer I could be. I kept my day job, both because it paid the bills, but also because I never wanted my writing mixed up with monetary concerns.
[bctt tweet=”The freedom to stop writing is the single most surprising benefit of being my own patron.”]
Maybe that is why, when I was finally ready to share with the world, I chose to self-publish. Maybe, even then, when I believed I could “make it,” I knew better than to entangle my writing with my finances. I never submitted my debut novel to agents or publishers. The financing for cover art, formatting, and editing came directly from the earnings of my day job. I was my own patron.
The benefits of supporting my own literary aspirations are many, but to list a few:
- Complete creative control
- Ability to work in many genres
- Privilege to set my own deadlines
- Financial stability
- Freedom to stop writing.
Yes, you read that last one correctly. The freedom to stop writing is the single most surprising benefit of being my own patron. After a decade of focus, I am taking a break from fiction. A calling of a different nature moves me, and I can go freely towards that endeavor because I am my own patron. I am not contractually beholden to anyone to keep writing. I am not financially obligated to publish as a means of putting food on my table. I am free! Being my own patron allowed me to grow at my own pace and publish exactly what I wanted, while also giving me the latitude to take an extended break from publishing.
I am grateful to the indie community, to my excellent editor (Jacinda Little), and to the day job that has supported me on this journey. Thank you, Diane, for inviting me to visit your online home! Best of luck to you and to all of your readers, no matter where the adventure of publishing takes you!
The Secret Live of Writers is a series of blog posts from writers (published or unpublished) who dish the dirt on how they juggle life and art. You can read bout the whys and wherefores here.
The Secret Lives of Writers is now available as an ebook
You can now read all 13 guests posts from Volume 1 in the one convenient ebook. It’s out now in the Amazon Kindle Store and in other stores (iBooks, Kobo, Nook etc.) too.
Full of writing inspiration and advice, if you’re a writer, or an aspiring writer, and this book doesn’t get you putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), nothing will!
You can grab your copy from the Delicious Publishing Book Store.