I’ve been writing full-time for over two years now–and part-time for many more. For the first two years, I was focused on finishing drafts and creating worlds. And then, earlier this year, something clicked. I realized I needed to think about how to get those stories into the world, into the hands of readers.

So I started researching. When I wrote my first novella, Good Old-Fashioned Magic, many publishers were looking for novella-length works. But that number has shrunk over the years, and I was starting to have doubts that partnering with a publisher was the best path for my shorter works.

I also realized that my main motivations for wanting a traditional publishing path were because I wanted the validation of having a publisher. I wanted someone to say, “Yes, this work is ready to be published.” But that can’t be the main reason we go the traditional route. My husband pointed out that I was seeking validation, reassurance that my work was publish-worthy.

If we partner with a publisher, it should be because it’s the best path for us, not because we’re worried our work isn’t ready. I started examining my work, really thinking about how close it was to ready, and I realized how much I’ve grown as a writer these past few years. I found a sense of confidence that my work was ready to be in the hands of readers.

Which is why I’m leaning toward self-publishing. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and being an indie author is essentially being an author-entrepreneur. I would have full control over the publishing process, from partnering with a graphic designer to create a cover to choosing an editor to help polish my work.

And I started to get excited. I have a couple stories that are close to ready to being out in the world. And now that I’m pretty sure I’ve found my path, those stories could soon be in the hands of readers.

It is an exciting time to be a writer. Never before have we had so many choices in our path. Even six months ago, I wasn’t sure I was ready to share my work with the world. But I can feel how much I’ve grown as a writer. And my stories are clamoring to be out in the world.

Are you an indie author? If so, what do you wish you’d known before you published? What words of wisdom do you have for those of us considering this path?

ROW80 check-in…

Writing: Wrote the beginnings of and a synopsis for “The Faerie Key,” a short story. Edited the blurb for “The Beltane Kiss” (also known as “Into the Faerie Forest.”) The two are a duet of short stories, one for each of the McAllister sisters, two farm-dwelling sisters whose run-ins with the Fair Folk lead to romance and adventure.

Reading: Read “Mystic Brew,” a short story by Caren Rich. If you’re looking for a quick read for a stormy night, this book is perfect. It’s short, but it’s packed full of detail and suspense. Also read Successful SelfPublishing by Joanna Penn. I’m starting to feel more and more confident that indie publishing is the best path for most, if not all, of my stories, and Penn’s book provides plenty of useful tips. I’m currently reading A Stroke of Magic by Tracy Madison. It’s a delicious paranormal romance, filled with gypsy magic and well-drawn characters. I’m looking forward to reading more in the series.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop!