When we writers face obstacles in our careers, it can be pleasant and worthwhile to set our coffee cups down on the table, get to our feet, and take a few moments to wander calmly among said obstacles, and look at the opportunites between and around them.
It’s easy to spot the obstacles to success in writing. For one thing, for most of us it’s more difficult than ever to make it in the world of traditional publishing. But if our work is so good that it’s already moved beyond publishable to irresistible, then once a book is traditionally published, our opportunities to sell our work are legion. Thirty years ago we might have booked school visits, a few bookstore signings, and hoped for a good review in Quill and Quire. Not so bad, but today a traditionally published author can give writing seminars online to the world, connect with readers everywhere through Goodreads and do guest blog tours across the continent to reach new readers.
For those who want to succeed with independent publishing, again the opportunities become clear. Distribution is no longer an issue. True, our work has to become visible in the sea of writers on the independent scene. But each of these authors is a reader, and thankfully they are also colleagues with whom we tend to cooperate more than compete. What Hugh Howey with Wool and Andy Weir with The Martian accomplished and continue to accomplish through talent, determination, and diligence helps us see how to build our own careers on our own terms.
Take a large enough view of the field of writing, and all those obstacles serve to spell out the news: There has never been a better time to be a writer.