Monday, February 10, 2014

Why Publish?

There are various reasons a person writes. A few people do it strictly for personal satisfaction, would never want the world to see what they've written. Nothing wrong with that. The mere act of writing soothes the soul for some, and for others, a lack of self-confidence keeps them from submitting their work for publication. But the majority of writers strive to publish for various reasons, some of which overlap.

Chief among them is cash, either needed or desired. Let’s be honest. There must be very few writers who wouldn’t welcome a check in exchange for words written. That old adage “Time is money” holds true for writers. They deserve compensation for the great amount of time it takes to ponder over an idea, to write, and then revise a piece. They offer knowledge and/or entertainment in exchange for money.

For others, the byline is important. Seeing your name on a story that is available for the world to read gives one a sense of pride and a feeling of accomplishment. I once knew an obstetrician who claimed he received a thrill with every baby he delivered. Writers might feel the same with every new story, essay or article created. Each one comes close to the joy that the doctor experienced with every newborn he held in his skilled hands.

Publication provides a way of touching the lives of others with the words written and printed in a magazine, newspaper or ezine. A writer often derives satisfaction in the hope that he/she has made a difference in someone’s life. The sad part is that the writer seldom knows who, or how many, his/her words have touched. Occasionally though, a reader will respond with a letter, phone call, or a comment via a website to tell the author how her words have made a difference, how they taught a lesson, or perhaps touched a heart. What could be a better inspiration to continue writing?

Perhaps some write to fill a need to produce something worthwhile. They hope to leave something personal, a legacy of a kind. Long after a writer dies, his/her words can still be read by and touch succeeding generations. Even writers who don’t achieve great fame and fortune can be reasonably assured that their work will be passed down through the family for generations to come. 

Perhaps some writers have a passion to share their knowledge or life experiences with others so feel driven to achieve publication. 

Whatever your reason for pursuing publication for your writing, use some of that patience and perseverance we so often mention here. It doesn't always happen in a hurry.


  1. It seems I've had all of those motivations at times, though the "produ[cing] something worthwhile" would have to top the list. We seem to have much in common: I too, am a former teacher, and my youngest son and his family live in Manhattan. Small world, isn't it?

    1. Interesting the things we have in common--also our name. Thanks for your comment regarding why you publish. One of the things I forgot to add to the list is that 'it's fun!'

  2. Like Nancy, I have asked myself this question. Being published validates my efforts to write something worth reading. An article, story or book can take a lot of time to read. For me, receiving royalty checks is nice; but learning that readers enjoy what I have written is even better. I love being asked, "When is your next book coming out?"

    1. You're so right, Barbara. Knowing that readers enjoy what you've written is worth several stars.