What People Think I Do

After running across the very apt depiction of the disconnect between what it is I do as an indie author and what people think I do as an indie ‘artist’ by Jennie Breedan* I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to address it here on Blargle Splect.

The You’re Picasso/Shakespeare/Mozart Crowd

This is usually populated by your loved ones. They love you and if you’ve had any level of success (and I do mean any) they’ll inflate the value of their worth inside their heads every time they brag about you shamelessly to other people. It’s a good thing, it’s a flattering thing, even if it’s a deluded thing. Great on the ego but not necessarily good for your head, don’t let their proud inflation of your worth translate to any kind of conceit on your part. Remember, “my Mommy says I’m awesome,” is a failed argument in almost anyone’s book.

The You Sit Around Getting Fat And Doing Nothing Of Value Crowd

These are the people who know so little about the rigors of what you’re actually trying to make happen with your life that they’ll devalue it as offhandedly as they’ll draw breath. These are casual friends and acquaintances. They’re the type of people who will casually walk up to you at a party celebrating your latest work and casually ask you, “so what are you doing now? just writing?” As if what you’re doing isn’t nearly enough to justify spending all you’re time doing it. It’s best to ignore these people but sometimes it’s impossible not to give into the urge and innumerate all the other things you are taking on at the same time as pursuing your indie career.

Things like marketing, accountant, distribute, publisher, advertizing, web design and research. So very much research. What you actually end up doing as an indie artist is a LOT of work across a lot of fields and the art is actually the smallest part of that. It’s a tinsy tiny part that makes every day worth living. And yes – the fact that you get to do it all in your underwear is a total bonus we will always flaunt.

The You’re Out Of Your Damn Mind Crowd

Get used to society at large thinking this of you. Who gives up the security of someone else deciding the rules, the hours and the pay in order to forge forward into that dark and mysterious realm of self employment? For art? In this economy? Yeah, they’ll stare at you like you’ve lost your mind or with open horror as you explain how fulfilled you are working for yourself.

Luckily we’re artists, we actually are a little crazy.

*Jennie Breedan is the web comic artist behind Devil’s Panties and Geebus on Parade as well as being one of my indie idols. She’s my age, didn’t waste 10 years thinking about what she wanted to do and just did it AND she makes enough with her art to buy her own home. Oh – and she also wears kickass boots, what’s not to love!

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