No, last I checked, I still wasn't a child-star. I have to face facts - I may never be a child-star. But that's not what this post is about.
I just self-published my first story, a novelette called "Tes-Nin's Elbows". My friends and family all loved it, of course. The rest of the world has so far not seemed to care much one way or the other. It's only been two weeks, so that is expected.
The story was written, edited, and proofread by myself. My wife helped with some critiquing. I made the cover myself, did my own formating and uploading, and all that. This is, essentially, a terrible way to launch any book, and doubly so for my first one. What I should have done is hire an editor and proofer, pay someone to make a professional cover, and someone else to do a clean formatting. Oopsy.
Except I can't afford any of that. It was my way or the kiss-it-goodbye way. So I did what I had to, like we all do. I will likely do the exact same with the next several stories I publish. Hopefully I will learn more and more as I go along, and get better and better at this whole thing. Hopefully I won't get slammed to hard for whatever mistakes I made this time around. Hopefully folks will read the story, and like it, maybe I'll get lucky and people will even pirate it. You never know.
What I do know is this - I only have one path to a writing career that I can pull off, for a variety of reasons. That path is DIY self-publishing. I either succeed at that or fail entirely, or get super really quite incredibly lucky, I guess. So I am going to have to grow up in public, take the good criticism with the bad, learn from each story, and push ahead. It's the only shot I have, and I'm going to take it.
I'm willing to put my pride on the line to learn, to grow, as a writer and editor and artist and publisher and so on and on. What's the worst thing that could possibly happen? Nobody cares. That's why so many child-stars flame out. Because the world stops caring, stops paying attention.
So all I have to do is continue to "grow my platform" (I am), and keep writing and releasing (I definitely am.) Oh, and keep improving. I think I can manage that. I hope I can. That, and a little luck, will get you a writing career.