We ask ourselves, sometimes despairingly, why am I doing this? Why am I writing?
I’ve found two answers are common:
– I write so that I can share my ideas with other people
– I write to get published
To my mind, the first reason is the valid one. I have stories to share, I have experiences that might help others, I have ideas. By sharing them I KNOW that I have given pleasure, given comfort, changed lives. What can be better than that?
You have similar stories, ideas, experiences. Similar, but unique to you. When you share them you are giving to others. It’s possible that you might get paid a little for doing this. Or not. The payment is not important – it’s the giving to others that matters.
Yes, I have published. I’ve earned thousands of dollars, over the years, through my writing. Of course I liked (loved?) getting the cheques, but that’s not what it’s about.
People ask, “What have you published?” “Where have you published?” I can show them the books and the magazines, including a recent article in Chicken Soup for the Soul. (Excuse the brag, I couldn’t help myself.) These published items have a wider readership so my stories and ideas have a wider audience. It helps me to influence more people.
But I Sometimes see publishing as a great pagan god that we worship blindly. This god has temples in New York, London, Los Angeles. Interceding like priests are the agents and editors, and we approach them with respect and even with reverence. We offer our work like sacrifices and the great god publishing accepts or rejects our offering.
Your work and my work has value whether the great god publishing accepts it or not. As long as you write with honour and honesty your work is your contribution to the world. You were given the gift of writing. Give it and share it freely