QOTW Week: Never Getting Published

13 Apr

Hey all, just a quick reminder, we are still having a Comedy Contest, the deadline for which is May 1st. We’ve got a few entries already and they look pretty solid, so whip out your banana peels and make some funny!

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Right now we’re doing a Question of the Week Week to alleviate our backlog of Questions. Today’s question is from Deianeira:

Would you still be a content writer if your work were never published – simply written?

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For me, it all depends on my relationship to the manuscript.  I have two manuscripts that may or may not ever see the light of day.  I feel good about both of these as part of my life-long body of work.  If no one ever reads them, they are still a part of what I have created as an artist.

That said, I have a very strong desire that my current manuscript, FIREFLY, should be read by other people.  I think this is because I feel very strongly about the characters — like they’re my children, or my close friends; there are even little pieces of my late mother tucked into my characters.  I want to give them as much “life” as possible.  To me, that love for my characters may be the only thing with the power to push me all the way to publication.  Bringing a book to publication is a lot like carrying a friend on your back to the top of Mount Everest!  Your love for that friend better be very strong, or you will never make it to the top.

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If I personally didn’t want to get the piece published, then I’d be fine. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be content. I want my stuff to get published so that I can share it with others. I’m not doing it for the money or the glory but, I’d like to think, for the pleasure I get in letting others read something I’m proud of. If I want to get something published, it means that I think what I’ve written is worthwhile for the ideas and thoughts that come into play in it that maybe the reader wouldn’t have thought of otherwise–or at least not in the context I mention it in. I have a strong desire in showing others how I feel on certain topics, and weaving them through plots just seems like a logical way of discussing them without having the reader get bored.

-The Writer Editing her First Novel (Who Also Just Got a Twitter Account!)

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Yes, I would be happy if I was never published. I’m writing for me and sure maybe a few of my friends, but mostly I’m writing to please myself. I’m a writer because I write, not because I’m published.

– The Writer Revising Her Second Novel

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Publishing has been my dream since 4th grade, and I’m so close to having that dream realized that I don’t think I could be happy if the Antebellum series were never published. I’m very lucky that people can connect with my stories, and perhaps it’s selfish, but I love to hear about those connections and much someone enjoyed something I’ve written. If I never found a place in the publishing world I would definitely be unhappy, but on the other hand I wouldn’t stop writing, ever. I love the process, and it makes me happy and keeps me entertained. There are some short stories and poems I don’t think will ever be published, but I’m glad I wrote them because they mean something to me personally, and it’s nice to read back over them and feel what I was feeling at that time. But for the bigger, greater stuff, I am definitely fighting to be published.

-The Writer Waiting on Submissions

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Would I still write? Yes.

Would I write as much? No.

Deadlines are pretty motivating. I always have one or two hanging around, and that means sometimes what I really want to do is sleep or watch TV, but I choose writing becuase otherwise I won’t make the
deadline. If I were never published I might make a different choice. Without publishing, I’d probably write one book a year. With it, I write two or three.

-The Literary Agent and Writer With a New Book Deal!

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I would still write if I was never published. I probably wouldn’t write complete stories. I’d have tons of beginnings and endings but few middles hanging around. I probably would/will have less time to write and I’d be less concerned about plot holes and continuity. I don’t think I could st op writing for fun though and there are still ways to share your work without being published, fictionpress being just one example.

-The Writer Querying Agents

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I would still write if my story was never to be published. I write not only because I want to, but because I need to. When inspired, if I don’t capture it with words, it’ll drive me nuts. But the quality of my writing will most likely not be that great as I won’t be under the pressuring thought of one day publishing it. However, I would most likely then turn to FictionPress again, and share my story through that site. Or share my work with my friends. Otherwise, the purpose behind why I write, which is to communicate my thoughts and imagination with others, would be defeated.

-The Writer Who Got A Full Request

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Part of the reason why I love to write is because I love connecting with my readers, and hearing about how my writing has directly impacted their lives. Publishing gives me the opportunity to do that on a HUGE level, so I’d be pretty bummed if I were never published, and I don’t think I’d ever give up on my dream to see my book on shelves. That being said, I’d still write every day, and would die without it in my life.

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While I definitely dream of publication, I don’t think I’d stop writing if it never happened. I may find myself writing less and less, but writing is something that I love to do. I write to get down my stories and my characters, and to see how it will all work out – because often, my characters take a life of their own. So would I be content? I think so. But I would be ecstatic if other people were able to read my work; the desire to share my stories with others is the second reason I write, and the reason I want to get published! I will never stop writing, even if it is just sporadically. If I don’t get published the first, second, or third time, I still won’t regret writing. But I’ll be damned if I don’t try!

-The Intern Writing her First Book

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Would YOU be content to never be published?

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You can ask us a Question of the Week by clicking on QOTW in the upper part of our website and leaving us a comment. We try to answer Questions in the order they are received, unless something is really pressing.

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8 Responses to “QOTW Week: Never Getting Published”

  1. Julie Eshbaugh April 13, 2010 at 8:48 AM #

    I loved reading the answers all the rest of you gave!

    • Vanessa April 13, 2010 at 2:27 PM #

      I know! It’s interesting to see how similar/different our answers are!

  2. Kat Zhang April 13, 2010 at 9:08 AM #

    Would I stop writing if I knew I was never going to be published? Never. But would I be terribly disappointed? Very.

    I feel like writing, for me, is like how other people might do scientific research. Would a researcher stop their project–stop exploring and trying to learn–if they knew they’d never receive any public recognition for their work? Possibly not everyone, but I hope there are some scientists out there who would answer with a resounding YES.

    Publishing is my dream, and something I’ll always strive for because I think a lot of writing is meant to be shared. But I write because the characters in my howl at me until I let them free onto paper–not because I want to someday hold a book with my name on the cover.

    …though I really, really want to someday hold a book with my name on the cover. 😛

    • Caitlin April 15, 2010 at 12:34 PM #

      just had to chime in that because of the nature of scientific research (read “It’s so expensive you don’t even want to know”) Scientists don’t necessarily have the choice to continue researching without recognition because they have to get the grants to pay the bills somehow. (Scientists also have to research the things they can get someone to pay for, not necessarily what their heart’s desire to research would be.) That being said not every published paper receives attention outside their field, so an analogy of some sort could be made here.

  3. priscillashay April 13, 2010 at 10:00 AM #

    so…I totally read the question wrong. I read “content” as “substance” rather than “satisfied”. But, like June said, I’d write not because I want to, but because I have to…

    • Julie Eshbaugh April 13, 2010 at 1:19 PM #

      Hey Priscilla! I read the question that way at first, too!

  4. Becca April 13, 2010 at 2:04 PM #

    “Bringing a book to publication is a lot like carrying a friend on your back to the top of Mount Everest! Your love for that friend better be very strong, or you will never make it to the top.”

    Oh geez, that seriously choked me up for some reason .I think its because I’ve been diligently ignoring all my responsbilities and neglecting important people because of this very devotion for one of my manuscripts to be published.

    While balance is important, it’s inspiring to know that my passion is not just silliness.

    • Julie Eshbaugh April 13, 2010 at 4:00 PM #

      Becca, I’m so glad you connected with what I wrote! And wow. It’s wonderful to learn that you have a manuscript that you feel that level of devotion toward! I hope it helps for you to know that there are other writers who understand what you are going through and why it is so important. 🙂

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