Publishing Really Is Worth It

Flower_soft_play_250199_lTo paraphrase the immortal words of Sally Field:  I like it, I really like it.

What is it that I like so much?

Being an author.  Let me explain with a couple of stories.

Story #1. Years ago, I began working with a coach.  I told her that my deepest desire was to publish a novel.  My coach mentioned that she'd worked with another client who had published a book and decided she didn't like it.  Didn't like the hoopla that went with it and decided to not write any more books.  I took this under advisement, willing to be open to the fact that I might not like being published. 

Story #2.  Also years ago (I've been at this game a long time), I read an interview with a best-selling author, whose name now escapes me.  She said something to the effect that she really liked–and missed–the "scrappy little life" she enjoyed before she got published.  Once again, I was willing to be open to the fact that this might happen to me, too.  That I might prefer my life before I was published.


I adore being published.   I love reading reviews of my work, and I love hearing through tweets and emails that readers have enjoyed my book.  Unlike that client my coach told me about, I'm loving this stuff.  I loved my virtual release party and my in-person party.  I loved signing books.  I've got a reading coming up and I anticipate loving that. 

Let's be clear: I still have a "scrappy little life," one that I love.   But publishing a novel has just made it a better scrappy life.  Because, here's the deal: writing is an act of communication and when nobody reads the words we write, part of the loop is missing.  Which is why, I believe, we worry so much about publishing.  Why some writers put the cart before the horse and worry about publishing before they've finished writing.

Because we yearn to communicate.

And let me tell you, it is worth it.  So for those of you in the middle of writing a novel, despairing you may never get to the end: keep going, it's worth it.  For those of you sending out query after query, and piling up the rejections: keep sending them out, it's worth it.  For those of you who've had blips in your publishing process (I've heard of two recently): keep going, it's worth it.

For anyone struggling to get their creative work out in the world: take heart, it will all be worth it.

I promise.

Where are you in the creative process?  Starting out?  Finishing a project?  Marketing?  Leave a comment, I'd love to hear about it.

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13 Responses to Publishing Really Is Worth It

  1. Zan Marie 03/04/2013 at 12:05 #

    While I might not like being published, I sure want to experience it for real before I decide. I can’t imagine not liking it, though…not in a million years. ; )

  2. Don 03/04/2013 at 17:00 #

    All I can say Charlotte, is that you keep on scrappy and keep on publishing!

  3. Charlotte Dixon 03/04/2013 at 17:01 #

    Yeah, I'm with you, Zan Marie.  I also remember writers saying that getting published doesn't change anything.  Uh-uh.  If nothing else, it changes the way you feel!

  4. Don 03/04/2013 at 17:20 #

    Whoops! I meant to say, keep on being scrappy and keep on publishing. Otherwise, the world would have been deprived of ever meeting Emma Jean, and that would have been a bummer. I find that if your not scrappy chances are you’ll never get anything done, and that’s my problem….. I’m not scrappy enough!

  5. Charlotte Dixon 03/05/2013 at 08:19 #

    Don you are plenty scrappy enough.  You are wonderfully and amazingly scrappy!  Scrappy enough for all of Canada….and I know we'll be reading all about it in your own books very soon.

  6. J.D. 03/05/2013 at 18:07 #

    Congratulations! I’m glad you’re having fun. You certainly deserve it just for having entertained and instructed all of us for so long.

  7. Mark 03/06/2013 at 04:45 #

    Enjoyable read, Charlotte, and congrats on all the wonderful activity surrounding your accomplishment.
    I’m still posting privately on my blog. I say privately partly in jest because few of them ever get read, shared or end up hosting comments.
    It was this stage of living in the space between somewhere and nowhere that fueled a post entitled, “Hello. . . Is This On?” which examines why we do the things we do.
    I enjoy writing and, at this point, I do it mostly for me. Maybe one day someone will enjoy reading & hopefully, I’ll have it in a place where they can find it when they need it most.

  8. Charlotte Dixon 03/06/2013 at 07:38 #

    Thanks, Mark. I think that your situation is often the case for writers–that we write and write and write and nobody sees it and then suddenly people are seeing it. Weird, but there it is. And, anyway, I’m coming over to your blog right now to check it out! Thanks for stopping by here.

  9. Charlotte Dixon 03/06/2013 at 07:43 #

    Ahhh, thanks J.D., I appreciate that!

  10. Barbara Shallue 03/06/2013 at 09:34 #

    I think I would like it, too. :) Thanks for the encouragement to keep scrambling for scraps of time to plod along at my current project.

  11. Charlotte Dixon 03/06/2013 at 13:31 #

    You are very welcome.  And it makes me happy when I hear that people really are fighting for their time to write!

  12. Samantha Gluck 03/20/2013 at 09:39 #

    Congratulations, Charlotte, on getting your first novel published! I think it’s fantastic that you persevered and finally realized your dream. Perhaps your coach wanted you to see all sides of the picture, but it seems to me that she only preached to you about the possible negatives rather than all the wonderful positives.

    I agree with you that we all yearn to communicate. And it doesn’t have to come through some “great literary work” that will live on for decades, or even centuries. But the fact is, it doesn’t always seem “real” unless it’s actually published.

    What a great inspiration you are, Charlotte. Can’t wait to read your novel.

  13. Charlotte Dixon 03/20/2013 at 11:14 #

    Thank you so much, Samantha!  And the further that I go along this path, the more I realize how important it is to focus on the positive.  Sounds a bit dippy, but it really does work–and it's just a more pleasant way to live life, as far as I'm concerned.  I so appreciate you stopping by.

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