How many of you want to see your work published? My guess is many of you raised your hands. Some writers write simply for the joy of creating or simply because they must. But, most of us do so because we want our work published–we want others to read our little masterpieces.
Now, if you’re like me, you may have begun writing just to see if you could. I tell people that my initial goal was to see if I could write an entire book. Once I finished the “entire” book, then my goal changed. I wanted it published. This is where things got dicey.
For my first book, I went the nonfiction route. Why? I knew about a lot of things and decided to put those things on paper. When I got a publisher, I thought my goal in life had been achieved. Yippee! Someone wanted to publish my work. Then, when the book arrived at my door–a beautiful hardback–I was estatic. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that producing the product was only half the battle. The next part–maybe the hardest part–was getting people to read it. Ugh!
My mom read my first book and exclaimed, “This is EVEN interesting!” Good grief. That was the best I could do with my mom.
I’ve recently published my fourth book of the same nonfiction, business genre. Again, I know I’ve written a good piece, something of value to those who choose to read it. But, getting it into the hands of readers isn’t easy.
The goal of publishing is to enable people to read your work. It is better than letting it languish in your computer, for your eyes only. Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird tells writers not to be so focused on publishing. She talks about the great reward in writing. I agree, but I have to ask her, “What do you have languishing in your computer?” Had she not finally gotten her first story published, would she be so cavalier about publishing?
My guess is no. Those who publish can tell those who have not to relax and simply write. As one who has published, I agree it’s not the be-all-end-all. It will not make you famous. But, at least you can say to your friends, “You can find my book on Amazon.” At least there’s a small chance that someone will read your work.
So. . . how do you feel about publishing?