I love tradition. Tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving, comes down on 12th night kind of tradition. Traditions that are so old, that you feel like God will strike you down for not following them. I believe it gives everything a sense of connectedness and permanence that, let's face it, is just not that common today.
But at the same time, I'm also a big believer in innovation. I'm one of those people who loves when new phones come out--the people at my cell phone provider could get exhausted listening to me go back and forth between phone types. I haven't really jumped on the e-book wagon, again because of that love of tradition, in this case a book in my hand, but I'm reaalllyyy tempted. It'd be great for traveling, or just sitting places for long periods of time.
I'd like to think it's a combination of the two above beliefs that have pushed me towards self-publishing. I'm sure that if I worked and waited and waited and waited...and you get the picture. I'd eventually land an agent, and from there a contract, and so on and so forth. And my decision to self-publish is based only in part on being impatient, and not wanting to wait. More of it is based in the realism that our economy is, well, crap. I wish there was a more artistic way to say it, but there's not. That means that everyone is tightening their belts, including agents, publishing houses, etc. I can't blame them for being very hesitant about taking on new writers when you have no idea how they're going to work out. It doesn't mean I have to like it, it just means that I can't blame them.
So I could wait patiently, and hope that the heavens open up, and something amazing happens. Or I could get out there and make something amazing happen. Will I get reviewed by the New York Times? Nope. But there are other organizations that review books, and that are reputable on top of that. Will I wind up in my local Borders? Not unless I bring the books to sell myself, which really isn't a bad idea. Will people clamor to interview me, or hound me for autographs? Probably not, which is kind of good, because I get annoyed easily at large crowds of people, and if I want an interview, I'll pull strings with my friend on the local paper.
The point is, whether I was starting out with the help of an agent or the way I'm going, I'm going to have to work my ass off. This is tradition. It's nothing new. But now, I'm doing it on my terms, and I'm willing to bet that while I may not be the next big thing, if I push hard enough, not just this book but the ones after it will catch on. I may eventually get that agent and all the nifty things that go with it. I'm just doing it a bit backwards.