As if colorful leaves, hot ciders, pumpkins and squash, and Halloween aren't enough to get excited about this October, here are three more reasons to celebrate this month. Two are global, and one is personal.
1. Vegetarian Awareness Month--Saturday was actually World Vegetarian Day to kick off Vegetarian Awareness Month. I became a vegetarian about two years ago to reduce my carbon footprint and leave more resources for my son's generation. It's not always easy to eat vegetarian; at home, I have to do more cooking to accommodate everyone's preferences. When we go to a restaurant, I have to check out the menu online to make sure I have something to eat--and sometimes I've ordered things I thought were meat-free but didn't turn out to be. Becoming a vegetarian obviously means I eat more vegetables and forces me to expand my palate. On the whole, I feel it's a healthy diet (as long as I don't overdo the cheese) and helps reduce some of the cruelties involved in modern food production. If you're not ready to give up meat altogether, you could try going meatless once a week. If everyone made small changes to their diets, it could have big effects.
2. Star Wars Reads--I may not wield the power of the Force (though I am working on a Jedi costume for the Rebel Legion), but I do have the power of reading. These two powers combine this month for Star Wars Reads. There will be various activities going on all month. When Alex was younger, Star Wars provided him with material he wanted to read at a reading level he could manage. Although his reading has improved and his tastes have broadened, Star Wars books still make up a large part of his library. I have to check if there are any local events we can troop at this year.
3. My Fifth Indie Anniversary: Lyon's Legacy celebrates its fifth year of publication this week. While I do plan to celebrate with an ad and a brief sale on my novels, these days I'm focusing more on permafree and newsletter campaigns than I am on sales and ads. In the long run, I want to develop fans who will seek out my work, so this seems like the best strategy.
What can I say about five years of being an indie writer? There's been a lot of learning involved. While I'm fairly familiar with the publication process by now, there's always more to learn about craft and marketing. There have been ups and downs, and indie publishing is definitely not a quick path to fame and fortune. (I knew that when I started out, but it has been harder to find readers than I expected it would be.) However, I enjoy the freedom of being able to choose who I work with, what I write, and when it becomes available. The more I learn about the pitfalls in traditional publishing contracts, the happier I am with my choice to go indie. My short-term plan is to publish two books a year (while hopefully completing smaller projects too) until 2020 and then re-evaluate how I'm doing. Here's to more writing and more books in the meantime!