Dreams. Dreams are what keeps us going in this confusing, sometimes even bleak world. They’re what we burn for in a feverish sweat in the middle of the night. They’re our perfect utopia, the shadows of things that may be. Some of the greatest stories told come from dreams being realized, creating a glorious new reality for the dreamer. While I’ve always dreamed of changing the world or writing a Batman story, I never would’ve dreamed I would publish a story with my own superhero.
Let’s start from the beginning. Why write? Why a superhero? This journey begins when I was a young kid growing up in the small, chilly town of Big Bear. As a child, I’ve always loved watching Batman: The Animated Series, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, and practically anything that had to do with superheroes delivering justice to the villains of the world. With these themes whirling around my head like a raging whirlpool, a small idea formed in the back of my subconscious. Through various trials, bullies, and the ever present companion of loneliness throughout my life, my passion for writing was born, along with my childhood superhero idea taking form in the story of Osprey.
Osprey began back in my junior year of high school. In my English class, Fridays were the most exciting days of the week. In order to enhance our writing skills, our teacher officially made Fridays a day for open writing. We, the students were able to write anything we pleased. Everything from raps to personal poetry was an eligible source for credit. Within the first week of the class, I began a five chapter story arc following the adventures of Richie Grant, otherwise known as Osprey. When read aloud to the class, eyes sparkled, expressions were focused, and the edge of desk seats were worn from students’ anticipation of the next chapter in the plot. Fifteen chapters and copyright protection later, my small idea sparked by eighth grade trauma is now a fully fledged novel, “Osprey: Justice Takes Flight,” that stands alongside the likes of other heroes I’ve idolized since I was a kid.
While the art of writing is certainly a challenge, the process of publishing is much easier than one might think. One thing I’ve learned while exploring the world of entertainment is you first need to protect your work. While the act of copyrighting your work is not a requirement for self-publishing, it’s important to make sure that if your work picks up steam, no one can make money off of your imagination. By paying around $50 to the U.S. Copyright Office or $35 to the Writers’ Guild of America West, you can make sure your story is protected against plagiarism. As for publishing itself, there are two paths available for authors. You can start your own publishing company through building your own website via services such as Joomla or Wix and obtaining your Doing Business As (DBA). Or, you can simply publish through sites such as Amazon, Books A Million, as well as other publishing companies.
It’s true that whether you’re self-publishing or being self-employed it’s difficult to stay motivated and find success. However, if you have drive, determination and love your work, anything is possible. As far as self-publishing is concerned, one of the major secrets to success is the ability to market your product. Take Star Wars for example. Wherever you go, be it a grocery store, a gaming shop or a clothing store, Star Wars merchandise will undoubtedly be there waiting for your eye to catch. This is due to clever marketing. One of the ways Lucas kept audiences interested in his product was to release numerous other products, such as toys, shirts, cards, books, and remastered films which also made him rich in the process (toys alone earning him over $3 billion in 2011). The same can be done with a book, poetry collection or any piece of writing in general. If you can publish your work in as many places as possible, potential audiences won’t be able to avoid it, thus sparking an interest in your product.
The path of writing has been an exciting, unexpected journey, with numerous experiences lying ahead. With my first ever love for writing manifesting in a poem I wrote over five years ago, it has sent me in a unique direction where I’m free to follow my passion and listen to my imagination. Writing is certainly not for everyone, but if you’re skilled with the pen, there’s never been a better time follow your dream and write your own masterpiece.
Photo taken from Amazon.