Friday, June 12, 2009

"The Independent Author"--June 12th, 2009

Standing at the Crossroads of Your Life

There comes a time in everyone's life when we find ourselves standing at critical crossroads of our existence. Movies have been made, stories have been written and poems and songs are sung to romanticize this symbolic event that is not partial to one individual over the other. No matter what your present circumstance, your financial, ethnic, political or even spiritual background may be, you will come to an intersection in your life's journey where you have to make a choice. And despite what film or fantasy may do in an attempt to draw this moment as a lonely intersection of potential paths--possible choice in your future--it is in the end, an overcrowded place. This I believe is a moment where many people drop their packs, lay down their arms or throw them up in submission and just settle in. I see the crossroads as an overpopulated section of life where many people succumb to defeat and occupy it as a sort of home, in spite of ever having to make the critical choices that will alter that life forever. I have come to this place many times before--whether it was in a relationship, a family matter in a role as father or husband, relative to some or friend to others--and despite dreaming of a way around it, I have had to make choices. In the end, we all do. That I think is what makes this moment in our lives so difficult; it's the part of life that becomes hard or scary. But rest assured, you are not alone.

In relation to my career, I have once again found myself at the crossroads of my life. I have asked aloud in prayer, "Why am I here?" And "What am I doing here?" The quest of the independent author is a story of struggle and hope. The obstacles we face are the dragons that define our courage; the  small victories in the grand battle in pursuit of a dream are what the world calls success. You are not alone when you feel as though everything you are trying, while working to define your life in relation to your gifts, seems as though it just isn't working out. I am no different than you when I say, the pathway to success--or the road to fame and fortune as others might call it--is a long and lonely road. Many things will be lost along the way. Many of the things you hoped to find, will not be there when you reach the pinnacle of your success. People will doubt you and they will challenge your willingness to dream. But dream you must...

You must believe in yourself and more importantly, spend time alone so that you can discover your true self. It is the adversity of life that introduces you to your true self--to who you really are. Take what you have been given and give it back to the world. Offer your songs, your stories, your poems, paintings and your life to the world and the world will open itself to you and give back all you have given and all you have lost. There are no coincidences when you are traveling the true road. There is no luck--good or bad. Your efforts, your study, your diligence to push towards your goals is rewarded, not overnight but every night you dare to pursue your dream. It takes time, like a garden takes time to grow....but rest assured, the world will water the seeds you have sown, and the sun will pierce the blanket of earth you have used to cover it, to nurture it and in time, it will grow. And the fruit of your labors will become the flower, the fragrance and the beauty the world has been longing for...

You have to both protect and defend your heart and your dream. To cast your beauty before those who do not yet understand the depth of your existence is to lay the lamb to slaughter. Share your vision sparingly and let your struggle and perseverance become the testament to your life and to your purpose. One day your garden will grow and it is then people will stop in wonder at the beauty you have become.  Sit and meditate and consider the vision for your future and work to discover HOW to make that vision a reality. Artist are visionaries and we are responsible to learning how to overcome adversity, so that we can become hope for others. It is a burden you will bear all your life and you cannot avoid it. What you can do instead it rise to the occasion, slay the demon of doubt and only visit the crossroads for a moment but do not make it your home.
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~Bobby Ozuna

4 comments:

The Deepening said...

Poignant essay.

As a reader of fiction, I long ago lost faith in traditional publishing. (The "stuff" they were publishing as "best sellers" best proved them off-tangent.) However, traditional publishing was the only "respectable" venue. In 1997, when I joined the Internet revolution, I saw the potential for the independent author. Unfortunately, my vision was a bit ahead of the wave. Still, the wave is finally building steam and even beginning to form a crest. And it's a tsunami-sized one.

I think the controls that traditional publishing holds is not only slipping, but eroding to the point that publishers, literary agents, Bowkers, Books-in-Print, and all the rest of the established bureaucracies are going to find themselves hard-pressed to salvage their models. Even Amazon is going to have to curry favor with authors or lose revenue...because of places like Smashwords and Scribd, because I don't need any of them to sell and promote novels.

I don't need an ISBN to publish a book, an e-book, or anything else. I can simply publish, delivering content via the Internet to anyone who desires it. That's good. That means the voting power is that of the reader, not some pre-ordained publishing priests with or without an agenda.

So fulfilling hope and dreams is no longer in the hands of a few, but in the hands of the many. It is especially in the hands of those authors who choose initiative.

There is no longer a pre-ordained filter anymore...because we all know that filter wasn't and doesn't work very well, not with the quality of books being published by the traditional players. When literary agents, editors, and publishers pass on excellent manuscripts for no good reason, yet snap up salacious, ugly, badly written works simply because "marketing" thinks it will sell or because the "author" is a celebrity, they should have KNOWN they'd wind up on the sad side of the bottom line.

Personally, I'm very glad that the old guard is crumbling, the facades are dissolving, and the broker is losing his control. It's about time that authors take control of their own works and reap the harvest too long ransomed to the few, the disdainful, and the disinterested of "big publishing" and its affiliated businesses.

We might have chaos and anarchy, but, as in all organically evolving systems, it develops its own order and systems.

Just my thoughts.

DLKeur, The Deepening
http://www.thedeepening.com/

Bobby Ozuna said...

DLKeur:
Those are very powerful words and I do appreciate you sharing them here. Many things are changing within and around the world of publishing. I think the indie author is making headway, not so much to make a better statement but actually return to the once humble roots of authorship: Meeting the reader, one person at a time and working to develop individual relationships in order to share your work.

I love the response...I hope you subscribe to this blog and continue to share your thoughts with my readers...

The Deepening said...

Why, certainly. The pleasure is mine.

Bobby Ozuna said...

With permission, I am sharing a comment left on my Yahoo group by R.G. Risch, author of "Beyond Mars Crimson Fleet."


Your article borders on many things: the philosophical, personal religious beliefs, the experiences of each person struggle of life, but most of all the results from molding of character and mindset to all of this. There are things I agreed with and things I didn't. The universe is all that you are, all that you touch, all that you see, and all that you don't. It is a shapeless glob that allows us all to interact with each other. Destiny is both forged by our own actions as well as the actions of others. And success and failure can only be derived from one's own point of view.

***

Thanks for sharing R.G. Risch...I thought your insight into this topic was profound and worthy of sharing...I do appreciate the post.

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