Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Why Do You Seek Publication?

I’ve done a number of posts on what keeps writers going, and more often than not the answers are that you need to write and have to write. But my question today is a little different. What makes you seek publication? I understand that as writers you feel the pull to write in much the same way a runner needs to run. But why not just keep a journal or a blog or simply write for yourself? Why not write your stories and just leave them on your computer? Why do you feel the need to continue to subject yourself to the cruelties of publishing?

Let’s face it, publishing is a rough business. Before you even get in the door of an agency you often receive hundreds of rejections, and it usually doesn’t stop there. Once you have an agent it’s likely you’re going to receive at least some rejections from publishers, and then there are the reviews and the bitter comments from fellow writers, friends, and family asking when you are going to write a “real” book.

When I get emails from discouraged writers this is what I think they are asking. They don’t want to know what makes you physically put pen to paper, but what keeps you searching for publication. Why do you continue to submit and how do you keep going when the rejections pile up and you are hearing very little positive feedback?

I’m going to guess that the answers are all different. I know for me, when I’m going through a slump or am feeling discouraged, it’s the belief in myself and the love for a particular book. It’s the certainty that the clients I have are not just publishable, but meant to be published.

But what about you, what keeps you going?