There are many tables in life, both physical and metaphorical. You’ve got the jocks’ table, the cool kids’ table, the nerds’ table, the freaks-and-geeks’ table, and then…
….you have the table for one. That one who just doesn’t fit at any of the other tables.
I’ve heard of the indie author community being segregated into these metaphorical tables, and it kind of saddens me. Weren’t we all kind of wedged in with the freaks and geeks growing up? Why not just let everyone in? But I guess the tables have been set, and once again I’m the odd woman out.
Don’t get me wrong; the freaks and geeks, as always, let me scooch into their table if there’s an open seat. But do I really fit in there? Am I being allowed to attend because I’m welcome, or because there’s that bit of pity in the backs of their minds. Or the fronts, if I’m being honest. Because of various neuroses and psychological constraints, they don’t know me well enough to know if I should be “let in,” and who can blame them? I’m the nutjob sitting in the corner talking to herself. I’m the tagalong tugging on their shirttails and asking advice. I’m the one who’s been at this indie writing biz for almost six years, and I am the Jon Snow of indie writing. I know nothing.
There are authors straight out the gate who know more than I do. I’ve been learning all this shit as I go, but some authors burst onto the scene already knowing how to schedule takeovers, snag reliable ARC readers, connect with fans, etc. Me? I’m over here shoving my books in peoples’ faces because I just don’t get how all this works.
I had to ask a fellow author how to describe “me” to potential readers. How to “sell” the being that is “me.” How lame is that? Who doesn’t know the interesting things about themselves? Who doesn’t know some cool factoids that set them apart from the masses? Me. That’s who. It’s me. I don’t know.
I don’t think I’ll ever make it to the cool kids’ table. I’ll be lucky if the freaks-and-geeks let me sit with them. I wonder if the authors at the other tables even see me as a fellow author. I get a certain vibe from many of them, that air of “oh, she’s just a reader who wants to be a writer.” It stings, man. I mean, I work hard to hone my craft. I spend hours every day working at graphics, marketing, writing, editing, design, etc., only to be shot down when I ask for help or offer my assistance, what little I may have to offer. Can I afford fancy covers? No. I design my own. Can I afford teams of personal assistants? Hell, I’m eternally grateful to have found the one miracle worker who’s willing to work with my meager budget. Does that make me any less of an author? Does that diminish my hard work? I’d like to think it doesn’t, but maybe in this nightmare repeat of high school it does.
I almost don’t care anymore. A few of the weirdos have seemingly accepted me. Maybe that’s all I need. Maybe the freaks-and-geeks table is where it’s at. Who needs to be posh or popular? Who wants to be a mean girl or a Heather or a Karen anyway? Maybe I should be a Morticia instead. Roll up in here with my tattoos and piercings and love for the freak side of life.
Table for one, please. Would I like a candle? Sure.
I’ve got some bridges to burn.