Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why Publish?

Writing Wednesday

This is a very good question; one everyone with any pretense of scribbling and getting paid for it should consider carefully. With the advent of the Internet, there are more ways to share one's writing with others than ever before. Publishing in the commercial market is a trying and exhausting undertaking, and yet I've met far more people aspiring to publication than the ones who think they should be professional musicians even though the requirements for success are similar.

Why do people believe they should be published?
  • I heard one writer say that many people confuse their passion for reading with a desire to write.
  • There's a related tendency to think that because you can write, you can write better than the trash churned out by the publishers.
  • Many people who say they dream of being a writing really mean that they dream of having written and then basking in the glow of that accomplishment.
Like many things that take skill and dedication, it's not as easy as it looks.

If you should manage to finish a long-form writing project, it's very hard not to be sucked in by the "cute kid" syndrome: you can't believe that everyone else doesn't love your baby as much as you do.

So why do I want to publish my work?

I've thought long and hard about my own motivations. I've concluded that I want to write for the commercial market because I want economic permission to keep playing in the universe of my imagination--much like the intrepid explorer presenting the findings from one expedition to the geographical society to convince them to support subsequent expeditions.

Image: Simon Howden /

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