Friday 22 March 2019
Paperback's Pondering's: Why I Don't Want to Get Published
If my mom comes across this post she will probably let out a gasp. But seriously, everyone in my personal life has just assumed that since I am pursuing creative writing in school, I want to be a writer as a career. For the purpose of this post, I am talking about being a full-time writer of fiction, because I know there are a ton of jobs that fall under the category of writing. We will get to that later. For a long time, I thought that my lifelong dream was to be published. I knew that you could not exit university and immediately become a bestseller, however I expected to do other things on the side, with the ultimate goal being writing full-time. However, I am now here to exclaim that I do not want to write as a career. Quite frankly, I'm not even sure if I want to get published.
Here's the thing, I have never had the time to finish a work. I pretty much only write fiction when I am doing exercises during my class, however on my spare time, you will never see me just pick up my laptop and start writing. I like to think I have a WIP, but the truth is, I haven't touched it in about a year and the only use it has been to me is using it for university assignments.
I'm beginning to find that I force myself to write. I pick up my laptop expecting to find enjoyment from entering a world of fiction, however I am more focused on checking the time to decide when I can be done. I often feel like I am on some sort of clock, that I need to start forming this WIP because if I want to get published in 5-10 years, the process needs to start now.
The others in my program often talk about their extensive plans to immediately start editing after uni, start sending out query letters, and even self-publishing. However, those goals never excite me. I already get so unbelievably anxious when people in my class edit my work, that the thought of some successful executive at a publishing company reading it makes my heart pound. The truth is, I don't think I will ever be at the point where I want to share my writing with the world.
I understand getting published is a dream that everyone in my program, and pretty much every writer shares, but it's not mine. I am perfectly fine with not worrying about a deadline, with not worrying about my writing being perfect, original, flowing nicely with no plot holes. Instead, I would like to just ramble, to write something that makes no sense and sharing it with myself and myself only. I want to do it for fun, but I don't want to do it for my job.
So recently, a girl in one of my classes who I had helped edit an essay before, asked me to edit something else for her. She said that she loves the feedback I give her and that I would be a great editor. That's when I got thinking, maybe I don't want to write the work, maybe I want to edit it? Now forgive my ignorance, I honestly have no idea if you can even edit professionally without having published anything yourself, but I really want to expand my editing skills and maybe see if I can reach out to others and lend my expertise. I understand that editing does fall under the category of a writing job, but I quite like the idea of keeping my personal writing to myself, and helping others who have a dream that I just cannot share.
So I've finally said it: I don't think getting published is for me. The process, quite frankly, stresses me out, and I don't think I will ever even finish something that is worth being put out there. This is not me just being cynical, or "giving up," this is just me being a realist. And this is certainly NOT me telling anyone else that there's no point in them trying to get published either. I have just found that with my habits, my anxieties, and my future, publishing just doesn't line up with it. Who knows, maybe one day I will change my mind, but for now, I'm just living my life without that goal in mind.
What are some of your writing goals?
Emily @ Paperback Princess