Don’t ever apologize for wanting to be published. You’d be amazed at how often I hear from would-be writers who say they just want to write for the sake of writing. “I don’t care if it gets published.” Then why not just talk? -Jerry B. Jenkins from this post
Recently I read this engaging post over at author Mike Duran’s blog, which he wrote in response to the above comment from author Jerry B. Jenkins. You should read Mike’s post, which gives some very good reasons to agree with Jenkins’ quote. As for my own opinion, I don’t necessarily disagree with having a goal of publication (since I’m published, that would make me a hypocrite), but I do think that when authors obsess about it, their writing suffers.
Writing for the passion of writing is more important than getting published, and so I left this comment over at Mike’s Blog (He has a great author blog, by the way):
…Nothing is wrong with having the goal of publication in mind, but all too often aspiring authors – and even published ones – churn out work that would be much better if they were writing it just for the love of writing. When it’s just the author and the keyboard, I say go for the passion. Write for the love of writing first.
Write because a story must be told, even if it’s never going to be published. Does the work of every artist end up in a gallery? And what about drama? Certainly there are talented actors and actresses in Community Theater all across the country who aren’t seeking to be in a Broadway play, in a movie, or even to get paid. Practicing ones art for art’s sake can allow one to produce some wonderful works.
Ultimately, I’m sure there isn’t just one way to look at this. It depends on what motivates the writer, but I’m partial to the idea of being motivated first by the desire to write. I think a person stands a better chance at writing a great story if they write the story first because it must be told. Would a writer be willing to finish that novel if they knew it would never be published? A true writer, in my mind, would write it anyway.
So, what about you? If you are a writer, or if you practice any other type of art, what is your ultimate goal? What if you never reach it? Are you okay with that? Or will you throw in the towel?
Leave a comment and let me know what you think.