Why You Should Be Grateful For Digital Publishing
I’ve been reading the Diary of Anais Nin, making my way through volume three, finding her poetic style and her well-crafted descriptions of human nature both timeless and beautiful.
In her diaries, Anais tells the story of herself as a struggling artist. She must leave her home of France during the second world war for safety in the U.S. In America, she cannot get publishers to accept her work. So what does she do? She starts her own press. She publishes her own books. She works with her hands to print pages with her words through a large and expensive machine in New York City.
She thinks about giving up, and right before she does, right as she’s finished her third book and poor and feeling unwanted in America, she receives the notice she desires.
Anais didn’t have a blog or a twitter. She faced the same struggles that creatives still face today, but the work of self-publishing was much more difficult than it is today. She was limited by the tools of her time, and still managed to succeed.
Why should we be grateful for digital publishing? Because when there are a thousand no’s, there are still a thousand ways to share it.
Embrace Technology. We live in a lifetime where digital publishing is at our fingertips, you’re your audience is just a click away. Get your work into the hands of your readers any way you can. Blog, tweet, live record, get it out there.
“The rules, the assumptions, the now we’re supposed tos of how you get your work scene and what you do then – they’re breaking down. The gatekeepers are leaving the gates. You can be as creative as you need to be to get your work seen…The old rules are crumbling and no one knows what the new rules are. So make up your own rules.” - Neil Gaiman
Embrace Art. When you are feeling rejected and ready to give up, turn your pain into art. This is how we understand ourselves and our suffering, and this is how we turn human pain into something meaningful. Your own story and beautiful work may help someone else understand their pain too. It can comfort, ease and create empathy.
“Many creators, romantics, neurotics, are tragic figures in life. They are absolutists. They tire of struggling against the limitations of life. In art there are none.” - Anais Nin
Be Grateful for Life. It is life that inspires your work, and it is your work that inspires others. We are so connected that you never know how your truths will reach another person. If you could share a bit of it now with an audience and have an impact would you?
“Monotony, Boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death.” - Anais Nin
You may have to do your own work to publish and promote yourself, but the readers you touch may be profoundly moved. Don’t let fear get in the way of finding your audience, of making connections, and sharing the work you know you are meant to create.
Be grateful for the tools of our time, and remember that even the greats struggled too.