Wait for a publisher or self-publish?
That will all depend on you and how long you want to wait. Both have perks, all have drawbacks.
I’m independently published which is grouped with self-publishing. It’s an uphill battle with regards to getting respect and recognition. For example, I was welcomed to the Writers in the Schools Program with open arms (they even approached me!) in New Brunswick. Now, in Nova Scotia, because I’m not “published” I’m not “qualified” for their current Writers in the School Program. Not even if I jump through their hoops and pay necessary fees which is tough as there are good writers who are simply too impatient and busy to pitch, get accepted and follow the rules of the publisher.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m still pitching and eager to get something accepted by a mainstream publisher. So when I have an idea I feel fits a publishers image I quickly send it off. Yes, it’s likely I should spend more time working on it and stressing about it but why? I have so many other things to do and avenues to explore. So yes, I pitch and cross my fingers and really desperately hope a new door opens for me which will in turn have me qualify for so many other things but while I wait I promote, I write, I think and get distracted.
I think a huge aspect of making your dream become reality is planting many seeds knowing that eventually something will grow the more you attend to it. Not all will take root right away or ever but once you have some sprouting those will blossom and plant new seeds without you taking a lot more time to do plant them yourself.
So yes, both mainstream publishing and self-publishing are good. Don’t let “no’s” or “people don’t make money as a writer” stop you, find a way that works for you and keep practicing plus exploring to figure out what is best. Your dream will come true if you take the steps to get there.
Thanks for reading,