Thoughts on Publication

Early this morning, at about 2 AM, I arrived back home from a Mock Trial tournament in Pennsylvania. The amazing thing about these trips is that I get to learn so much about the people on my team, considering we are trapped in a car with them for hours on end. In fact, I find that I have some of the most mind-stimulating conversations on these car rides.

On this specific trip from Pennsylvania there were three others in my car including two girls and one boy–Maithili, Marjory, and Alex. I learned very interesting AND amazing things about these team members on this trip. That being said, there was one thing about one of these people that stood out to me as a writer. Alex told me that he had written a story for a creative writing class. He read to me an excerpt, which was very well written, and explained to me how his father had suggested publishing the short story.

And then it got me thinking….publication, at least for most, is the ultimate goal for writers. Unfortunately, it seems to be quite a formidable goal. Think about it. Publication entails bringing a piece of writing in front of publishers or peer reviewers and subjecting it to brutal judgment and criticism, at times getting rejected ten times before a publisher accepts the piece.

I find it interesting that writers, people who spend hours on end alone in order to write a piece they’re proud of, find the itching need to subject their compositions to others simply for confirmation from the world at large. But is societal confirmation truly the desired outcome? Something that Alex and I discussed was that one of the reasons we write is for permanence–the fact that if we were to write something, it will forever be there. To add on to that, if something were to be published, it wouldn’t just be permanent in a hidden notebook in an old trunk, but it would stay as a physical tangible thing on the bookshelves of many and as an idea in the minds of so many more.

 

 

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