Why we should use “indie” instead of “self-published”

Self-published. I hate that term. It’s dirty and carries negativity even now with so many writers publishing their books themselves. Many people think if you’re self-published you’re not a real author. You weren’t good enough to hack it with a publishing company so you published your book yourself. I’ve read the comments. Some were from authors who “self-published”.

“I know I’m not a real author because I self-published…”

Let’s get one thing straight. An author is an author no matter what publishing route they take. One is not superior to the other. They’re just different, each with their own set of challenges.

We call a musician who writes, records, and sells his or her own music an indie; an artist who sells his or her own handmade items online or at craft sales an indie; and someone who makes his or her own movies an indie. But a writer who publishes his or her own book is called self-published instead.

Publishing your own book is challenging. You write the book, find and hire an editor and/or find beta readers, and find and hire a cover designer. Or if you’re a designer, you create your own covers. You need to either format your own book or hire someone to do it. Then you need to upload your finished book to the various retailers (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Nobles etc) or to a third party company (Smashwords) who distributes it for you. If you’re doing print copies of your book you need to plan for that. Decide if you want to print a bunch ahead of time or go with print on demand. Then you need to market the book. Or hire a company to help you with editing, cover design, formatting, and marketing.

You are your own publishing company. And you need to fund it yourself. Either from your own pocket, sales from your other published books, or from fundraising campaigns (Kickstarter, Patreon etc). And that’s a whole other challenge. If you want your books in a physical store, you need to convince the store to carry your books. And there’s more than what I described. All while writing the next one.

So it’s time we stop degrading writers who publish themselves. It’s time we stop thinking they’re unworthy. Start using the term indie. Call them indie-authors. We need to give them credit for the work they do. Because they deserve the same respect other indie-artists get.

Goodbye January, hello February!

“I’m unstoppable I’m a Porsche with no brakes. I’m invincible, yeah, I win every single game. I’m so powerful I don’t need batteries to play. I’m so confident, yeah, I’m unstoppable today. Unstoppable today, unstoppable today. Unstoppable today, I’m unstoppable today” – Sia, Unstoppable

Goodbye January.

January was a great month for writing. I didn’t know what to expect from myself for the 365-day writing challenge. Some days were easy. I had several with over 500 words for the session. I also had days I didn’t think I was going to reach my daily word count goal, either too tired to write or stuck on revisions. But I always sat down at my computer no matter how much or how little time I had. If I was stuck on the editing comments in my novel I switched to my novella or journal entry. The words always flowed for me in the end.

I ended January with a little over 8,000 words and earned 2 badges in the 365-day writing challenge, a monthly badge for reaching my daily word count goal, and a consistency badge for writing every day. I also completed all the goals I set for the month:

  • revise the outline for my Rune Spirits novella,
  • write2,000 words for the first draft of the novella, and
  • respond to some of my editor’s comments for my novel.

I’ve kept my monthly goals low to keep it manageable during the months I have my courses.

Hello February!

I started my second course of the Project Management Studies program on Thursday. It runs until May 10 so the next few months will be interesting and quite busy. So far I’ve managed to write every day, exceeding my daily word count goal. It’s early still but I’m determined to get at least one badge this month. I’m going to forgive myself if I’m not able to write every day. The course takes priority and there’s a considerable amount of work to do for it.

This month’s goals are:

  • Write 1,000 words of the Rune Spirits novella
  • Revise the outline for the Addlesy Adventures novella
  • Continue editing Long Way Down novel

Working on three projects at once may seem ambitious, but I like having multiple projects to work on. Being able to jump between stories when I’m stuck, is great. Journal entries helped me get my daily word count goals on the nights I couldn’t write or revise but I’d prefer to it goes towards a story I’m going to publish in the future, if possible. I feel more productive that way.

I’m excited to see what February brings to my writing. What are you looking forward to in February? Do you have personal goals for the month?

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous new year’s day! My husband and I rang in 2018 with family and friends. We played video games, had intriguing conversations on world affairs, and stuffed ourselves silly with delicious food. We had a great time.

Today, we’re lounging around at home relaxing. It’s also the first day of a 365-day writing challenge I signed up for during the holidays. In the fall I took a three-month break from writing to focus on the first course of a Project Management program I’m taking to progress my project management career. The course went well and I learned a lot. I’m taking another two to three courses this year. But I missed writing. I missed it enough that I wrote a few micro-fiction stories. The writing challenge, 100 words every day, will keep me writing even during the other courses but won’t be overwhelming.

2018 Goals

Last year, I wrote several short stories, worked more on my mystery series, and worked on my online presence. In addition to continuing work on my mystery series, here are my goals for 2018.

  1. Work on a noir-mystery novella
  2. Work on a fantasy-mystery novella
  3. Blog once a month

I’m turning the two short stories I worked on in 2017 into novellas. One is a noir-mystery and one is a fantasy-mystery, both set in Ottawa. I’d like to expand on them and I think they’d work well as novellas. There is potential to turn one (or both) into a series. These goals will also give me a lot to work on as part of the writing challenge so if I get stuck on one story I can switch to a blog post or another story to refresh.

Hawkins Flynn Mystery Series Update

My manuscript is back from my editor and she has a lot of great feedback that will improve the story. I’m looking forward to revising it.

What are you looking forward to in 2018?



I’ve been quiet on social media the past few months. In September I started Introduction to Project Management, the first course of the Project Management Studies program at Algonquin College. The course is intensive and monopolizing my time so my writing is on hold while I focus on homework and assignments. Thankfully, there’s only 6 weeks left of the course before I’m back to writing.

Why am I taking a Project Management program? I want to write full-time. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a while. To build my writing career as an indie-author and publish my books, I need to be able to fund my writing. Progressing in my weekday career will help me with that.

What about my writing? I have several writing projects on the go. Novel 1 of the Hawkins-Flynn mystery series is with the editor. Over the summer, I started novel 2 of the series and a mystery/noir novella based off a short story. To satisfy my writing craving, I’m working on micro stories during my course. The stories are 500 words or less and are available on my Facebook page and Ello.

While you wait for my first novel, check out my micro stories on Facebook or Ello!

From down this low it’s only up we go

“Everyone here is ready to go. It’s been a hard year with nothing to show. From down this road, it’s only on we go, on we go. Everyone here is ready to go. It’s been a hard year and I only know from down this low it’s only up we go, up we go.” — Lights, Midnight Machines

Last year was a hard year for a lot of us. Read my previous post to find out the challenges I faced in 2016. But 2017 is going to rock! I’m gonna make it rock. Even if I have to drag it kicking and screaming I’m going to make 2017 my year.

My husband and I are moving to a new place. It’s smaller but we won’t have a roommate. We’re decluttering and downsizing. We’re getting rid of negativity and embracing change. It’s stressful and a lot of work but it’s worth it!

For the past few years, I’ve yearned to become a full-time writer. To shed the daily commute and the cubicle. It will come one day but not for a few more years. I’ve decided to focus on building my non-writing career so I can support my family and my writing. Weekend mornings will continue to be dedicated to weaving stories and building my author platform.

What am I focusing on this year? Here are my writing goals for 2017.

1. Write short stories.

Last year, when my first novel was with my editor I decided to write a short story. It was a rewrite of a script I wrote for my theatre course years ago. I decided I wanted to turn it into a short story. I changed it to 1st person and added a new character. It’s currently with my writing buddy for a second review and I want to finish it by the beginning of spring.

My writing buddy suggested I write more short stories. I started working on a second short story in December and the first draft is in progress. I plan to work on three more after this one — one each quarter.

2. Work on my Hawkins-Flynn Mystery series

I’d like to send novel 1 back to my editor for another review. But this is dependent on if I can get the funds together. In the meantime, when I’m not working on short stories, I’ll be working on draft 1 of novel 2 in the series.

3. Improve my online presence

I’m not great at maintaining a consistent presence online and I want to work on that this year. I want to be more active on Twitter and my blog by posting to both on a regular basis.

4. Publish my stories

I’m not going to aim to publish novel 1 this year. If I’m able to great, but it’s not the focus. I want the novel polished. And I don’t want to rush it or feel bad for not getting it done. Instead, I want to submit my short stories to writing contests and/or literary journals. There’s a chance they’ll be chosen and published. If not, I can look into publishing a book of my short stories.

Have you set your goals for 2017? What are you focusing on this year?

Saying goodbye to 2016

2016 was not a great year for me. Chaos reigned and I experienced disappointment after disappointment. But I made it through and I couldn’t be happier that it’s coming to a close.


1. Round 2 of editing was frustrating. Some of the feedback was good but some of it took me in a direction I didn’t want to go. I also misinterpreted some of the feedback in round 1, removing a lot of backstory. Based on round 2 feedback, I added most of it back in.

2. I’m not as far in the publishing process as I wanted to be. The novel is in better shape but I was hoping to send it for another edit. It didn’t happen. And now the novel is on hold until the summer when I can pull together the funds for more editing.

3. I didn’t do well with social media. I spent a good part of the year ignoring my blog and Facebook page. I just couldn’t focus on it. I didn’t do too well on Twitter either. I’m struggling with my author brand and what I want to say.

4. I missed submitting to a contest I was interested in. I worked on one short story I was hoping to finish in time to submit to a short story contest. But I stalled part way through and couldn’t get the ideas flowing for it. I shelved it for now.


1. I found a new editor. She was able to go through my story and provide a lot of great feedback. I finished revising the manuscript and it’s ready to go back for another round. I’m going through a lot of editing for this first novel but it’s helping me improve my writing. I know I won’t need quite as much with the second and third novels.

2. I found a writing buddy. One of my colleagues at work heard that I was writing and asked to be writing buddies. This has been working out great and we’re continuing with it in 2017.

3. I got draft 2 of my first short story done. It’s with my writing buddy for review and feedback in January. She’s encouraging me to write more short stories. Not only will it improve my writing but I’ll have stories to submit to contests and journals. When I’m done editing my novel, I plan to set up a new website. I’d like to use a short story or two to entice people to sign up.

4. I joined a writing group and a monthly chat. So far it’s going great and I expect both will help me a lot in 2017.

How has 2016 treated you? Was it better or worse than you thought?

Daylight savings, self-care, and writing

Daylight Savings ended last weekend and I’m still having issues adjusting. It’s thrown my entire week off; a week that was hard enough to get through without that added time adjustment. I still wonder what’s the point of having Daylight Savings at all when things are thrown into chaos twice a year. Is it really worth it? Some years, I can’t help but wonder.

Self-care is important but I have to admit I’m not good at it. I tend to push myself until my body has had enough and insists I slow down. However, I took a few weekends off recently to sleep in, relax, and play Skyrim. I’m obsessed with that video game now. We got the remastered version for the Xbox One and I’ve sunk so much time into playing. I’m enjoying it immensely and I have a new distraction that helps me relax.

After a brief time off I’m back to my writing routine on the weekend. The novel is coming along. I’m working my way through all the edits, and hope to have it finished in a few weeks. Unfortunately, I’ll need to put it aside for a bit while I pull funds together for another round of edits. On the upside, I’ll be able to focus time on my short story and my second novel.

Writing Update

We’re three-quarters of the way through 2016 and the holiday season is only 2 months away. Scary!

This year has been crazy busy with vet appointments, get-togethers with family and friends, errands, and crocheting. My writing life has been equally busy with writing and revising my manuscript, writing a short story, researching self-publishing and reading.

The more I research, the more I realize that if I want to turn my writing into a career I need to start treating it like one. And spending four hours two days a week clearly isn’t enough. So a new plan is in order.

While I’m figuring that out, let’s take a look at where I am with the writing goals I set at the beginning of the year.

1. Publish my mystery novel

Okay, so this one isn’t happening this year. I sent the manuscript out for a second edit, then decided I needed another set of eyes to take a look. So it went out for a third edit and now I’m working on those revisions. A fourth round is required. It’s going to take me a bit to get through those edits. The book needs quite a bit of polishing before I’ll be happy with it. It means waiting longer to publish it, but the end product will be a great book that readers will enjoy. I’ll also be able to save up more money for editing and for the cover design. Plus I’ll be able to learn from the editing for this book to create a more polished book 2 draft for editing.

2. Focus on other types of writing such as flash fiction, short stories, freelancing etc. by working on at least two projects.

I wrote the first draft of a short story. I’m going for a similar feel as the novel. I need to flush out the background and setting more but it’s a great start.

Last week, I started another short story. If I can get this one done in a month and a half, I’m going to submit it to a short story contest. Keep your fingers crossed!


Blank Pages

The blank pages haunt me. They chase me through the maze, chanting over and over, “you’ll never fill us. We’ll be blank forever.”

Laughter echoes around me. I reach a dead end. There’s no time to turn back and find another way. I hear the rustling encroach. Shadows dance off the walls. My heart hammers.

“You’ll never fill us. We’ll be blank forever.”

I scramble into the corner, knees pulled to my chest and hands over my head. My face is wet.

The laughter grows louder. The rustling draws nearer. A soft melody drifts in.

I bolt awake, cheek wet from drool, piece of paper stuck to my face. The cursor on the monitor blinks at me. The electronic page is blank. A cool breeze escapes through the window and rustles the pages of a paperback novel.

My playlist displays a new song playing. I gulp cold tea and lower my fingers to the keyboard.