I started following this hashtag last year, and there have been some really interesting prompts for discussion, and even more interesting answers from dozens (maybe hundreds?) of authors all across the fediverse. And, although I’m not a coffee drinker, it is nice to have a place to hear from (and commiserate with) all of these other authors.

But it does make me wonder. Because I jumped into this arena in 2016 by self-publishing my debut novel. At that time, Amazon had already caused a sea change in the publishing industry, and the number of self-published authors was rising asymptotically, and in the last 8 years, those numbers have only grown. Being a math major, I understand the odds, and I really can’t see how this all plays out in a positive way. There are just too many content producers (and realistically, not enough consumers) for any single one of us to stand out and make a name for ourselves. I mean, I get it, the work should speak for itself. Write the next great American novel, and they will beat a path to your door. But the rules of the publishing game have changed so much, that this isn’t really a viable option for 99.99% of us. And it is hard to stay motivated when you are working against gravity this strong.

So I am curious to hear what my fellow indie writers think they are doing. Are they writing for the sheer enjoyment of putting pen to paper? Are they trying to become the next JK Rowling? Or something in-between? If you haven’t asked yourself this question before, I apologize for being the one to force you to come to grips with this existential crisis. But I do think we all have to be honest with ourselves when it comes to claiming the title of “writer” or “author.” So what is your goal?

Writers Coffee Club
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