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While doing some research online, I discovered an article that lumped all indie authors and their books into one category: a waste of money. The author’s goal was to inform the public on how to avoid buying a horrible indie book. No, I will not share the link because there was only a dash of truth in his rant. He was wrong for the most part because he forgot about so many writers who invest in their work.

This blog got me thinking about creativity in general and how much creative people struggle in silence.

Writers and Artists pour their souls into their projects for months or even years. Sleepless nights become common as their minds continue to spin wanting to make their creation the best it can be. They are dedicated souls and most people have no idea the angst creative people go through to create. Most of them struggle with ever sharing anything, knowing deep down that it will never even be close to the perfection they seek.

Even the brave ones are easily discouraged when they attempted to share their work. Without connections, a platform, or the money they need to advertise, their treasures will go unnoticed and many artists will even become depressed. Their art will no longer bring them joy, but pain. What once was something that helped them through dark-times will become the reason they live in the darkness.

Nothing pains me more than to see an artist who has fallen to the beast of bitterness. They no longer enjoy that part of their being, and they wish they could kill the creativity inside that reminds them of failures and only brings pain. This is not an uncommon story. Many great artists were never recognized as such until their bones were buried. I don’t even need to name their names because you know them. Most likely, friends have even told you how the best never get attention until their dead. And that’s just what you needed to here. (sarcasm)

The world has changed some for artists though. Esty has opened up a platform for artists sell to their work to others.  Tons of talented jewelry makers, designers, painters, and others fill the Esty marketplace it’s overwhelming. Film Festivals and digital cameras have allowed independent film-makers to compete where money once stopped them. And some have thrived. E-books and POD has done the same for authors, but masses of people upload files daily that never were invested in. This has created a stigma against self-published and indie authors. Just think about Esty and all the wonderful things you find from people sharing their creative projects.

But, the publishing word is still trying to exclude the independent presses and authors by pointing to the sloppy, unedited, poorly written, debauchery ridden, books and dismissing all who are independent of large publishing companies.

I believe this stigma can be undone. The indie world needs some kind of gatekeepers to make a difference. The answer to this problem seems quite easy. There are readers all around us. They can be the gatekeepers by supporting authors who have invested in their work. Some readers have already begun to find well done indie books that can compete with mainstream publishing houses. When an author chooses the independent route, the worry of them being lumped in with the stigma of self-published inspires them to invest in every aspect of publishing in hopes to set themselves apart.

Honestly, there is a ton of sub-par art out in this world. Films, art, music, and so on are released on a weekly basis because have they received a stamp of approval some company who had the money to produce a product. Not all gates are kept well. The wonderful thing about indie authors is that there are jewels among the swine. And finding the treasure is not as hard as you think. Let me challenge you to seek out the authors who are investing in their own work. You are a Gatekeeper for independent writers.

You don’t have to love their story, or their genre, to realize they have talent. Art is subjective. But, what you can do is watch for authors who invest in themselves. Watch for the writers who are working hard to improve no matter what is thrown at them. Encourage others when you see them working hard. Share positive reviews with others; it’s a boost that will help that creative soul continue their plight.

Being around creatively minded people most of my life I’ve seen very talented people who continue to go unrecognized, but would recognition fulfill them? No, but the words and support of truthful friends can be enough to keep them moving forward. Creative people don’t want the whole world to love what they create, most would settle for a few people to be moved by their work. Your support could be enough to keep them going.

One of the hardest things experienced in my life is a loved one who quit writing and doing anything creative for the most part. I spent years trying to encourage them to not. One of the reasons I started writing again was I wanted to inspire them. After years of misery at the thought of creating anything, they wrote this past week and they enjoyed it. This was my Christmas miracle. Let’s support artists and encourage them to keep creating. The world we live in has offered you, the reader, a great opportunity to be Gatekeepers of the independent artists.