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You Tell Me

I know I’m not the first blogger to ask this question, but would you still write if you knew you were never going to be published? I find this question impossible to answer because I am DETERMINED to get published, even if it means self-publishing (although, does that count when anyone can self-publish?) I guess the question should be, would you still write if you knew that no publishing house, large or small, was going to publish your work? My answer to that is a resounding YES! Why? Because I love writing and I love reading. When I was in first grade, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said, “a poet.” Ironically, I am a terrible poet and rarely read poetry, but what inspired me in first grade was this poetry book in the school library about a chien and a chat (it was in French). I don’t remember any of the poems, but I grew up to live in France for six years and to go on to tutor French. And to write. If you asked me what else I wanted to be in first grade, it was a teacher. I used to ask my teacher if I could keep all her leftover dittos, and she would let me. I collected them until I had an inch-high stack and then I would invite my friends over after school to play school (fun, huh?). I would always be the teacher, and I would make my friends do dittos, and then I would correct them. And, yes, I plan to teach one of these days. All this to say that writing (and teaching) feels like it’s in my bones. I’ve wanted to do it since I was in first grade, and I still want to do it 34 years later.

What about you?

5 comments to You Tell Me

  • I've kept a daily journal since I was 14, and I don't expect it to be published. It is supposed to be private, but I find myself hoping it's readable. I feel guilty caring about that, because it is just for me, and I think it is creepy and impure to be writing it self-consciously. I guess because I've read enough published journals, I fantasize.

  • Meghan Ward

    Georgia, That's amazing that you've kept it up that long. You are the quintessential blogger! Have you thought about moving your journal online?

  • I have recently considered it…especially since the cover of my current book fell off. but I love the book in hand.

  • I write to please myself. If others buy my books and like them, that's a bonus.

    Michael N. Marcus

    author of "Become a Real Self-Publisher: Don’t be a Victim of a Vanity Press,"

    author of "Stories I'd Tell My Children (but maybe not until they're adults)," coming 4/1/10.

  • Great question! I'm working on a blog post on this very subject. It really comes down to clearly identifying what you want out of writing. Is it just to hold a finished book in your hands? Is it to be considered brilliant by people you respect (even if you've never met them)? Is it to achieve fame? Fortune? In my case, my goal is to tell a good story and to get it out there to people who would be interested in it, none of which requires a publishing house anymore. For some people, though, the external approval of being "accepted" by a publisher is absolutely essential to their goals, in which case self-publishing will feel like failure. I think it's very important to ask yourself this question and to examine all the reasons why you want what you want.