Writing for Publication

Writing for Publication is the only legitimate reason to write stories. Creating "Art for art's sake" is a fool's errand.

Too often I hear otherwise intelligent and well meaning writers express comments like the following regarding their work when the subject of “Publication” comes up.

“I prefer to just have fun with my writing.”

“I don't want publication to be the reason I write.”

And then they turn right around and conclude with; “I have something to say and some stories I want to tell. For right now, that's enough for me. I write because I have stories I want to tell.”

It should be obvious to see there is a confusion of crossed purposes at work here.

If one writes a story and then no one reads it – it is as though it were never written. As though it never existed at all.

Writing for publication, with the intention of publication, is what sharpens us as writers. It's what makes us work hard to materialize our visions, to get the words right, the characters true and to say what is in our hearts to say. Writing for publication is what defines us as writers.

Writing for an audience, writing to be read is the only legitimate purpose - for writing stories at all.

This art we call “writing” is at minimum a three stage process.

  1. Inventing or finding a story. Because to tell a story - one must first have a story to tell.
  2. Telling the story. Committing it to paper in a form that others can read and understand it.
  3. Getting other people to read and understand that story which we have committed to paper.
Only to the degree that others have read the story has the story been told. Only if others have read the story have you said what you wonted to say. Art cannot be preformed in a vacuum. It requires an audience to complete the process. The audience is the other half of the equation. writing for publication

Art (in whatever form) is a form of communication. As such it requires an audience. It requires that someone actually receive the communication. Without an audience it never happened. Without an audience it isn't even art. It might be something else but it isn't art.

The whole idea of doing “art for art’s sake” is a lie. A lie designed and perpetrated to keep artist holed up in some dark garret starving for lack of acknowledgment while the world starves for the lack of their art.

Being a writer is a public trust. If one has the ability then one is obligated to use it. Use it or lose it. Writing for publication is not just a goal but an obligation - a duty of anyone who would call themselves a writer. writing for publication

Withholding ones art from the society that one is pretending to be part of is a crime against that society and a crime against oneself.

Art is not art until it is in the hands, minds and hearts of an audience. It not only isn't "art" it doesn't even exist at all. Until it is heard, seen, viewed, or experienced by an audience it is nothing.

To attempt the creation of art solely for ones own gratification is a cowardly intention. Born out of fear at best or a complete lack of understanding of the purpose and nature of Art itself.

It is the sound of one hand clapping, the flight of a wingless butterfly, a soundless singer, a waterless well - an oxymoron.

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it – it makes no sound. writing for publication

Worse still - for all intents and purposes the tree never even existed.

Write on... and publish!

Richard A. McCullough writing for publication

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writing for publication
© copyright 2010 - Richard A McCullough is the creator & editor of http://www.write-better-fiction.com the Fiction Writers source for Writing Better Fiction Faster and Selling More of What You Write.

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