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08 February 2007 @ 11:27 am
Q & A - #9 - "Do you write with the goal of publication, or for yourself?"  
Q & A - #9 - "Do you write with the goal of publication, or for yourself?" ~ bostonerin

I pondered and pondered this question, and I've concluded that I don't think this is an OR type of situation. Let me explain.

If I were writing strictly for myself, I would not be writing novels. I write novels to tell a story, and most of the time, I don't feel compelled to tell myself stories. I tell stories to and for other people. So many stories of truth are waiting to be told. And read!

If writing for yourself means I would continue to write even if I didn't get published, then Yes, I write for myself. If it means, as I've so often heard read aloud at critique groups, that writing for yourself is some self-indulgent, I-don't-really-care-about-your-thoughts-because-you-just-don't-get-what-I'm-trying-to-say sort of demeanor, then No. I hope to Linda's Chocolate Fudgecake I never become like that.

If writing for the goal of publication means that I strive to write at a level equal that equals or exceeds those books I read and enjoy, then Yes, I write for the goal of publication. If it means that I try to figure out what will sell and write that story, then No. A resounding No!!! I write the stories I feel need to be told and heard. Simple stories of complex people. Of broken people trying to figure things out in an insane world. Of true actions, thoughts, emotions, and dreams. Stories that offer some kind of redemption.

For me, there wouldn't be much point to telling a story, if no one was ever going to hear it. So I guess I don't exactly write with the goal of publication. I write to be read. And if being read means being published, then let's do it. I'm in.

I'll be answering one of these questions a day for as many questions as I have, so if you've got anything you wish you could know about me, ASK IT HERE.
bostonerin: kissbostonerin on February 9th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)
Thanks for the thoughtful answer! I like how you make the distinction between self-indulgent writing and writing for the joy of it (even if you never get published). That, I think separates the writers who write with passion versus the ones who write for glory.

The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 16th, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the thoughtful question. ;) I think it separates them out too.
wowangela on February 9th, 2007 08:22 am (UTC)
Interesting Jonathan ~ check out our poll
Okay, I finally got a livejournal name... just so I can post on your blog. ;-)

Check out the stats in the recent poll: http://wow-womenonwriting.com

The Poll theme is: Why do you write?

1st Place: "I want to be published."
2nd Place: "I'm passionate about my writing."
Third Place Tie: "I like the challenge" and "Simply for the enjoyment."

Of course, there are many other entries that may take you by surprise -- one popular one being, "So my inner voices will go away."

Good times. It's always fun to see what people are thinking....

Your take was uber-well-rounded, and well put.

The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 16th, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Interesting Jonathan ~ check out our poll
That's really fascinating the way it settled out that way, with those 2 categories of writers.

Hoo-rah for Angela getting a LJ!