Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why publish?

Whenever I read May Sarton's journals, I always end up marking passages that strike a special chord with me, or spark a train of thought. With every reading, the books end up bristling with tiny bookmarks.

Today's quotable quote is this: "Sometimes I long to spend the rest of my life ... making things for people I love--and never to publish again." (from Journal of a Solitude)

This gets to the heart of why many of us write: to make a special connection, to share an idea or observation or experience. Writing for a small community can be very rewarding. Not all writers need to seek wider publication; they find that connection without going through a publisher or venturing into the marketplace.

I do seek wider publication, however. Because unlike May Sarton, I don't have many people in my daily life who are passionate about my kind of writing (in my case, YA contemporary, realistic literature). My husband prefers science fiction, and reads that almost exclusively. My family and most of my friends just have different interests. We do share many interests--politics, hiking, music--but there is this huge part of my life where I must look beyond my inner circle for that connection. In the past few years, I've gotten to know some writers well enough that I now count them as IRL friends. Yet there are dozens of writers and readers I've never met, but with whom I share a special connection through books.

However we find that connection, that's what it's about--for me, anyway.


  1. I completely agree. Even if my friends and family do read my writing and say they like it, I never care. If some stranger reads something I wrote and enjoys it, I'm over the moon!

  2. Lisa: I don't turn down a compliment from any source, but there is something special about total strangers taking the time to write glowing reviews or fan email. :-)

  3. Writing is all about connections. Agreed. Even if you write just for your children or grandchildren you are still leaving a connection to yourself.

  4. Right, Carol. No matter the size of the audience, I think that connection is what many of us seek.