Monday, September 8, 2014

Should you publish whatever you write?

There was a recent Indies Unlimited article titled,

"I encourage YOU to write, but even more importantly, to publish."

Well, sort of. But not really. There is another side to that which I'll briefly explore below and yet another side explored briefly in this article, "One Size Does Not Fit All For Self-Publishing".

I actually have the opposite argument to everyone writing and publishing. I've read not a few writings by "writers" who everyone would wish not to publish. Then there are those who are quite fearful of publishing who I wish I could convince to take the time and effort to publish.

I encourage everyone interested in writing to write but Please, don't just then publish. Not as a defacto event following writing, anyway. Publish only with thought and consideration for others.

First let me say that although posting online is a form of "publishing", I define "publishing" as not just putting your writings online, but actual publishing in the somewhat traditional sense as in a book, ebook or audiobook format. There is shall we say, publishing as a verb, and publishing as a noun.

My overall point being, there is already enough junk writing out there as it is.

Writing should come easy, rewriting, editing and publishing should come harder.

To suggest people publish easily, frequently, is to flood the market. If you want to publish, there are blogs, there is Wattpad.

So please, don't publish; unless you have a good piece of writing that you have worked on, over and over, perfecting it until it is worthy to be published.

A Professor of mine once told us in class that to show your first draft to some one is on par with showing your own shit to others (his words, to shock us, to make the point, and it worked). As that is something few would do, don't do it.

Many would argue that they wouldn't show their first draft off but some are actually good enough to do that; many others have a multi-draft pieces that appear only to be of a first draft level of quality due to their lack of knowledge, practice, skill or expertise.

The point is here, unless you have put the actual thought and effort into producing a readable piece, don't publish. Not unless you have first crafted a piece with a level of quality that deserves to be read by others.

That is your decision of course, when it is actually ready, and the decision of your beta readers. You do have the control. But control indicates thought and effort and a decision. To simply write and publish is almost offensive, unless it is truly worthy of others who do not know you to take their time to acquire, perhaps pay for it, and read it.

A writer should be qualified to publish, but also compassionate in not wishing to put into the public reading sphere, works that are worthy of others spending their hard earned time and money, to read them. All you are doing otherwise is to flood the market with poor writing, as has been done now for some time.

We used to value our good writers. Now a days there is much talk about how bad some published books are. We need to change that, to turn things around.

There are certainly good writings out there by amateurs and that's great; that IS wonderful. Just be sure what you are pushing out into the world deserves to be out there. Put effort into it, have it vetted, read by others first, then publish it. And understand that what many think is "effort" to publish a book, many times now a days isn't really effort. It seems to them to be effort. But there is a big effort in putting out a good book. I've been doing this for years now and it still seems like more effort than I remember from the last time, every time I do it.

So get get help, get an editor if you can, join a writers group, barter for skills of others, do whatever you can to not put poorly written works out into the readers' domain.

Because in the end, everyone will thank you for it and you will get so much further for those efforts.

That all being said, I'd like to also mention another important issue that has been crippling our nation: Education... and our chastisement of those young (and old) who wish to achieve an educational level higher than that of High School, which really now is not to high. Why is our nation so stupid as to do so much harm to ourselves and our future. Check out the link to see what I'm talking about.

#authors #writers #education

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