We’re now heading into the final stretch of Indie Author Month – IAM2013. Today, we’re welcoming back author Michael Cargill to the blog; some of you will know the name from previous reviews of his books Underneath, Shades of Grey and our forthcoming review of Jake. Michael featured in our first Indie event in 2012 and being an all-round nice chap, we were very happy to invite him back to join us again this year. Enough from me – let’s find out what Michael has to say on the subject of Indie writing.
Why I Write Indie, by Michael Cargill
Ah, what a question. Well, it’s not really a question I don’t think – but when the Aside from Writing peeps sent me a list of things to talk about, this particular option had a question mark at the end of it.
For the moment, let’s assume that the lovely ladies at Aside are correct in everything that they do, and it is actually a question. Let’s imagine that I’m sat in a coffee shop and Lady Aside is thrusting a pencil up my nostril, demanding an answer to a question that has been bugging her for years.
“Michael Cargill, why do you write indie? You must tell me before 1st May, otherwise WordPress are shutting me down.”
To be honest, it’s something of an odd question to ask. It’s a bit like asking me why I get up at six o clock each morning and go to work. Ultimately it’s because I have to do it, rather than because I have a burning desire to purposefully do things the hard way. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy it, because I do (enjoy writing, that is. Getting up for work is a complete arse), but believe me when I say that it’s not all romance and unlimited goblets of wine.
It’s probably easier to talk about the positive sides of being an indie writer. First up: I’m my own boss, which means I can do whatever I want (unless I’m at work). There’s no deadlines for me to concern myself with. I don’t have a legion of editors, agents, and grape-peelers harassing me about upcoming milestones that need to be hit. In fact, editors are probably the worst out of that lot. They smell, they want to shove pencils up your nose, and they never seem to stop talking about apostrophes and continuity errors.
And quite frankly, who the hell needs any of that? I’m a creative (well, unless I’m at work), yeah? I need my space, I need to sit down and experience time as it slips through my fingers. It’s no good shackling me down with all your talk of calendar appointments and contracts. That’s for Nazis (well, unless it’s me who organised a meeting to discuss a pay rise at work).
Another nifty little thing about being an indie writer is how close you can be to your readers. Yes, all three of them.
Goodreads is where most of my interaction with readers goes on. It’s a nifty little place where friends and foes can be made in a matter of minutes (such is life on the Internet), and it’s something of a thrill when someone sends me a message to say how much they enjoyed one of my books. In fact, even Lady Aside herself went to the trouble of sending me a message by Twitter about one of my books. I didn’t reply immediately, as I was on the toilet playing Angry Birds at the time, but hey! That’s just another example of why being an indie writer can be so good – I’m doing my own thing, in my own time. Does Stephen King have that kind of luxury? Of course he doesn’t. He has publicists doing it all for him and no doubt they badger him at all times of the day:
“Ooooh, Steve, what’s your favourite colour? Amazon want to know.”
“Ooooh, Steve, do you like quail’s eggs? The Queen is putting together next week’s breakfast menu at Buckingham Palace.”
God, can you imagine it? What an utter pain in the backside life as a fully-fledged millionaire writer must be. No doubt he’s got a Dyson Airblade up in his bathroom, but he never gets a chance to play around with it.
So, er, yeah. Indie writing, then. It’s good, it’s fun, and it offers a chance of being able to live the writer’s dream. Every day that I trudge into work, there’s a little ray of hope reminding me that it might just be the very last time I have to do it.
I won’t be giving it up any time soon.
(Note from Lady Aside – Michael is correct, our heading list was not correctly phrased as a question. The person responsible for this administrative error is being suitably punished: they have to locate all the incorrectly positioned apostrophes in every take away and cafe menu in the UK…they may not be back for a long time.)
Want to know more about Michael? Check out his links!
Twitter – @MichaelCargill1 Facebook