Don’t want to burst any bubbles here, but you’re wrong. And if you believe it is, better wise up before reality knocks you on your arse.

Yes, the writing is important. Without writing, all the other stuff―agents, publishers, book sales, brilliant reviews, signings, [and depending on the trajectory of your authorial fantasies] accolades and bestseller lists―matter not one whit. Agents can’t represent work that doesn’t exist. Editors and publishers can’t publish what hasn’t been written. When was the last time you attended a book signing for a writer with no book? Ever hear of a nonexistent tome winning an award or making the best-seller list?

Thought not.

Which brings me to the point of this post. If you spend all your time talking about writing rather than generating pages, you need to look inside yourself and ask why.

It’s only natural to be afraid of the failure and rejection that go hand and hand with dreams of publication. Writing, like most worthwhile pursuits, is damned hard. It’s okay to bitch now and again. It’s cathartic. And it’s reassuring to share the ups and downs with others on a similar journey.

Image by OkayCityNate/ (flickr)

Writers Block 1: Image by OkayCityNate/(flickr)

But if you’re looking for excuses, if you’re kvetching because writing is a chore that brings you no satisfaction or pleasure, maybe it’s time to lay down your pen. If you don’t enjoy the process, for God’s sake, stop. You can still update your Facebook status, tweet, blog, and scour reviews for great reads.

Just because you love to read books doesn’t mean you have to write one, or dare I say it? That you should.


Consider yourself freed!

I used to believe I write to share my love of the written word. Altruistic, don’t you think? Turns out that is only a tiny part of the equation. In my genre, or more precisely, what was my genre, plots nearly always focus on how a life event—usually a crime—impacts a character or characters. In my stories, there may be a crime, but the focus is always on how the characters’ choices impact their lives.

Yep, non-formulaic. It’s a bold way to go. But you know what? When it’s just me and the keyboard, it *is* all about the writing.

Many of us feel a compulsion to write,
but that doesn’t explain why we seek publication.

To all the writers out there: is your goal publication?
If so, why do you want to be published?