The Cardinal Sin of Self-Publishing: Posting Trash Online.

A different kind of trash.  Can you believe the British tabloids?
You ever get so attached to an object, that even though you realize it has aged close to trash, you still  cling to it for sentimental reasons?

I just finished a blog. 1500 words. I really liked it, but I knew it had problems. It felt like material I'd already written, and was a compressed version of three truly different articles. So I had my wife read it. I could tell by her reaction while reading it, that it was trash.

Maybe I can recycle it...maybe it can be resurrected later on down the line...maybe there's still hope.


Down the drain goes two hours of writing and creative thought. I might not ever get that feeling again for that topic. But a writer, like any artist, knows when their material isn't good enough. Hemingway once said he rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms 39 different times, because he had to get the wording right before he was satisfied.

That's a lot of trashed paper in the waste bin. Knowing Hemingway, he probably shot the discarded pages with buckshot and then blamed his wife for his inadequacies. Still, he knew it wasn't good enough. Just like my wife and I both knew my latest writing wasn't up to par. So I threw a cherry pit at my Mac, and erased ↓ blog.

If you can read's what I wrote this morning.  

Which is why opting for self-publishing is such a difficult task. Personally, I like the freedom of not being attached to a publisher or agent. I like not having stipulations on when or how my books should be released.

I'll have ice cream, it appears much less possessive
than the drinks.  (at a Lincoln City, OR. eatery).  
What I do want, though, is someone saying, "This is ready." Because I can look at my own words a thousand times and still find flaws or parts that can be spruced up; but if a few industry professionals said, "No more edits, this is done," than I could finally hit the save button for the last time.

Because I don't want to release any junk out there with my name on it. Sometimes, on this blog, I'm just mailing it in. I'm just writing with the two hour window of time I doesn't have to be perfect.  Sometimes I find typos or grammatical errors months later on my own blog, and my reaction is like, "Wow, I let this out there this long with that blemish on it?" That's on my blog, which nobody is paying for, and nets me zero dollars.

But to publish a novel with my name attached? I want to make sure that everything is copacetic. Everything has to be just so. I want it perfect. No trash.

So I've decided to do one more round of edits. I've had so many people read and critique this story, that a small fraction of my buying base is already gone, but it's got to be written right. The story is that important to me, and I don't like being associated with trash. If you are interested in a beta-read, let me know: as a teacher, I'm always game for some illegible red marks and honest criticism.

Early draft of my novel. It looks nothing like this now. 


  1. Keep your head up. The good news for me is that I expect what I write to be trash. Haha.

    Your book deal will happen boss. I'll buy one!

  2. I was just thinking the same thing - I've definitely written things that should never be published, but didn't have anyone looking over my shoulder telling me they needed more work. I lose all objectivity when it's my own. So I commend you for another re-read of the novel - couldn't hurt, right?