I begin as all authors begin—off the-grid. It is where writers go when they write. They take their laptops and sequester themselves in home offices, cafés and cottages, turn off the phones, forget facebook and twitter. While most authors aspire to some degree of commercial success, off-the-grid authors aspire to create art rather than the next breakout novel. They are motivated by a deep desire to practice their craft and share stories that absolutely demand to be written.
Off-the-grid authors might be published by one of the big houses, though they are often published by independent presses which share the mindset that true art does not follow trends or publicity plans. Sometimes they are self-published. Off-the-grid authors write what is in their hearts, and then they figure out what to do with their manuscripts. Corporate-driven work, on the other hand, is written with the intention of achieving best seller status. While most authors would be happy to sell a million copies, books created from deep within the soul of the artist are not the same as books commissioned by publishers–something like the difference between homemade and store bought cookies.
This is not to say that America’s six major publishing companies do not put out fabulous books or that anyone on the New York Times best sellers list is a sell-out. I count myself as a fan of many authors published by the big houses, and many of them started out as off-the-grid authors themselves. However, the purpose of this blog is to illuminate lesser known works and to explore the creative process of the author and artist. I hope it will inspire those who create art to persevere regardless of how much they sell. I also hope it will encourage a few readers to consider independent presses when making their next book selections.
Please contact me if you’d like to suggest any mightily talented off-the-grid authors or artists for inclusion in this blog, which will begin on June 1st. Signing off with an image of Roald Dahl’s writing hut. He became well-known, but his work came from off-the-grid.