Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why Do You Want to Be Published?

Why do you want to be published? Jody Hedlund’s post “After a Contract, Then What?” got me thinking. If we’re really just writing the story to get it out of our minds, then why aren’t we satisfied with just that? Why do we put ourselves through the pain of query and synopsis writing and the agony of rejection after rejection? There must be more to our reason for wanting to be published, whether we’re willing to admit it or not.

I want the fame. I don’t need to become as big as Nora Roberts or Stephen King, although that would be nice. I want to walk in a bookstore and find my books on the bestseller shelves and on the table right by the cash registers. Vanity isn’t my motivation. It’s more a pride issue than anything else. I’m tired of hearing that there’s no sense trying to become published because it’s not a realistic goal. Normal, every-day-people don’t have their books in book stores. Only big names with connections have that privilege. Writers are just lazy people who don’t want a real job. Ugh!

I could pull my hair out just thinking about all the comments I’ve heard over the years. And then there’s the looks. You know, the ones you get when you tell people you’re writing a book? The most common are: “ya-good-luck-with-that”, the “isn’t-that-sweet-you’re-such-a-dreamer” and the “you’re-still-working-on-the-same-book”.

So, when asked why I want to get published, I know one reason is definitely to prove to all those who’ve doubted me or my abilities that I wasn’t nuts. I wasn’t a dreamer. I believed in myself because I always KNEW I’d some day be published.

What about you? What’s your motivation for wanting to get published?


  1. Lynnette you really have me thinking...

    I want desperately to be published! I need to prove to myself that I have been faithful tp what I believe God has called me to.

    Someone, somewhere needs to hear the story dancing around in my mind.

    I do want the "Bestseller List." I was at Walmart yesterday, and I always stop in and peek at the book section, and I never venture anywhere except to the section marked "Bestseller."

    I will keep at it until God says differently.

    Blessings to you...

  2. Wow third post on this today! God are you trying to tell me something? lol. What a hot topic! I really, really, love it. I think I need to shout it on the roof tops. And maybe follow that by I hate money lol. I have such a passion for my new series. I'm on the verge of needing professional help. Great post.

  3. I want to be published to see my book on the shelf, to show all the people who doubted me along the way that they were wrong, to show my son that perserverance pays off and because I love to write.

    The money? You know, I just really don't think there will ever be much of that so, whatever there is will be gravy.

  4. Seeing my name on a bookcover is definitely part of it. But I think what I get most excited about is the thought of other people enjoying something I wrote. If I can make someone else experience what I feel when I read a good book, then that will thrill me beyond belief.

  5. For me, it's not money (publishing doesn't really give you any of that) or fame (that is for the few and far between authors) - but just validation of all of my hard work. Validation to myself more than anything else.

    And, there is something magical about knowing you will touch a child (because I write Middle Grade) at a time in their life when they are longing to be understood. That is a powerful concept and I hope to do that through publication.

  6. “ya-good-luck-with-that”, the “isn’t-that-sweet-you’re-such-a-dreamer” and the “you’re-still-working-on-the-same-book”

    That made me laugh! Because I know all those looks all too well. Let's hope we all prove those people wrong one day!

    My need/want/desire is to see my books published...I guess partly for the vanity of it, but mostly as justification that my work was worth it. That all those nights plugging away at something while family humors you and others give you "those looks"...were worth something. That I did it. For real.

  7. People are always quick to tear down the dreams of others...they don't want you to succeed.

    I joined RWA in the mid-90s. Of all of the people around me writing during that time, those who kept at it are now publishing regularly. They may not be millionaires but for every Stephen King, there are hundreds of thousands of authors making a decent wage writing. Those who are determined enough are even able to make as much as they would at a day job. What is rare are the mega-millionaires like Stephen King, but I'd say there are NUMEROUS authors who made six figures last year. You've never heard of them but who cares? A whole lot of people have...and they're writing full-time. Success like John Grisham's is HIGHLY overrated.

  8. I think for most, it's a universal feeling of leaving a 'legacy' of sorts, something by which people will remember us.

    For me personally, I wanted my work to inspire and motivate others.

    I also wanted my non-fiction to help further my speaking career.

  9. To hold a book with my name on it means I did accomplish something. It is mine and mine alone. Maybe that sounds selfish, but when I see my book sometimes I simply grin and think "look what I did". Silly, I know.

  10. So funny. Money has been a hot topic today. Although my post today gave the impression that I hope for money, that wasn't my intention. Don't get me wrong I would love to make a living writing, but I'm not looking for the great wealth. I just think it is okay to want it as long as we are responsible with it.

    I think I'm like Amy above. I would love to hold a novel in my hand with my name on it. What a great feeling that would be.

  11. I'm a big dreamer. I DO want it all. But I am trying to convince myself I'm ok if I don't get it. And to an extent I am. BUT I will be super extremely excited if it happens!

  12. to make my imprint on the world and change one life. (oh yah and to be on Oprah! ;)

  13. The first time I even thought about being published, it was to be able to say, "I told you so!" to a particularly heartless critique group leader. Then it was to get my own crit group off my back, because they kept insisted I submit.

    Then it became a challenge. Could I really do it?

    And even though I have 4 books published, and one under contract, it still doesn't seem real.

  14. Sometimes I wished I had never let anyone know I was writing, because they don't understand the length of time it takes. I dislike the "looks" too. But I wanted to be able to give someone else the joy that reading has given me. For someone to "lose" themselves in something that I have written would just be heaven!

  15. I want the validity. I want to be read.

  16. Great comments. I knew I wasn't the only one getting those looks. ;)

    Lynnette Labelle

  17. I want to prove everyone who doubted me wrong. I know that sounds very aggressive, but it truly drives me insane when I get those pitying looks.

    Like you, I also want to see my books in the bookstores. Plus, I can't imagine doing anything else! I'm still in school, but I already know that writing is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

    Hopefully we will both have our dreams come true and be published one day!!!