What do you do for work now, and how did you start doing it?
I started my career at Radio Television Slovenia (RTVS). During the last decade of my work there I hosted a weekly radio show, Nova elektronika, that was followed by many Slovenian expats from all over the world too. Some of your readers might even remember it.
This all ended abruptly five years ago, when I was unlawfully laid off and had to fight for justice at court. I won, but RTVS nevertheless managed to prevent me from getting my job back. My career was thus destroyed, I was already too old to be able to get another job in Slovenia, where employers openly discriminate against those who are over 45 years old, and had no idea what to do.
Writing helped me get through the worst. I was always good at it, and wrote my first stories when I was 10, but Slovenia is a very small market – too small for all but a few writers. To make things even harder, I have always tried to find, create, and present new, different, and original content, rather than focus on highly commercial and popular stuff. In writing, of course, such an approach means it’ll be even harder to earn anything.
So luckily for me I was able to finish my degree in the States, and thus improved my English to the degree that it’s now possible for me to write and publish globally. I started my blog on Mediumedium about two years ago, self-published two books the following year, opened a Patreon account where the readers can support my work, and then about a month ago finally launched my website.
What have you written so far?
In addition to countless stories and blog posts on Medium and Patreon, I published my first book The Story of the Fox and White Rabbit (not your ordinary fable) last year. It was a very scary thing to do, for I had no idea what to expect. I wondered if anyone would even buy it and had no idea what kind of reviews to expect. As it turned out, the readers loved it, and that’s how I got my first fans and supporters on Patreon.
The whole process of self-publishing, though, was incredibly demanding, since I had to do it on a non-existent budget. I learned so much in the process that I then wrote my second book How to Self-Publish Your Book: The Fast, Free & Easy Way to help other writers do it, too. This was completely unplanned, but since I couldn’t find an easy to read step-by-step manual for self-publishing, I decided to write one myself. I basically wrote the kind of a book I wished I had before I embarked on the self-publishing journey.
What did you learn by writing and publishing?
That writing is an interesting, multifaceted process, and so is self-publishing. For one thing, writing is a form of healing, at least it is for me. It can be used to clarify one’s understanding of oneself and others. It also connects people and help writers find kindred spirits and potential readers through sharing stories online.
The most important part of it for me was finding the right readers, people who can relate and benefit most from my work. That is incredibly motivating, but not at all easy to achieve. It’s not easy to write good, sincere posts and stories. Powerful writing, at least for me, is above all honest. But to be honest, one has to overcome fear and share not just the good, but also one’s weakness, fears, and vulnerability.
What I realized after doing that was how much this meant to my readers. In a world where everyone wants to be awesome, people fake happiness and there is a deluge of photoshopped pictures and accounts, so being true, open, and real has become rare and valuable.
How do you get your ideas?
I get ideas from life, like most writers. They are everywhere, and I can’t imagine how I’d ever run out. One only has to open one’s eyes, observe, experience, contemplate, and learn, and then share the insights with others through writing and words.
What is your current writing project?
I’m working on three books simultaneously. One is the updated second edition of How to Self-Publish Your Book: The Fast, Free & Easy Way, and then there are also the sequels to my first two books. In self-publishing things change so fast that after a year since the first book was published it could already use a couple of updates. It’s still very useful such as it is, but I like things to be as up to date as possible.
I’m also working intensely on the second book in the self-publishing series, You Self-Published, Now What? How to Promote Your Book. Just like the first, this one was born from the overwhelming confusion self-published writers are faced with when starting out and trying to promote their work. It’s a jungle out there, and I’m writing it for writers on a limited budget who need to do the best they can with what they have.
The second book in the Fox & White Rabbit series is also a work in progress, and I’ve just found an illustrator who might be a good fit, so I’m currently preparing descriptions of the scenes and initial sketches for him.
Where can people see more of your work?