Jill Jepsen posted the traditional query in a recent Red Room post, is writing for yourself sufficient or do you need to be published.
I plugged my view, that, yes, I write for myself and that is sufficient. Sure, publication would be nice for validation, especially if it does well enough or gains some fans that will stroke my ego. More, publication is desirable because writing, publishing and reading are vehicles for expanding the conversations. We all know that people take away different aspects from what they read, sometimes surprising the author with what they've read.
But, I thought later, there is more. It's super that I enjoy writing and achieve satisfaction through the process, but I'm neglecting a few things, like the people who have encouraged my writing efforts, providing emotional support and allowing me the time to slip away to write.
I'm thinking of my wife, her family, my family, and my friends.
They all have something vetted in my writing efforts. So while I'm happy enough to go off and do my tap tap typing, transcribing heroes and villians, events and history, without publication of some kind somewhere, there's no return for them. In a sense, I feel that I owe them, that they need validation for supporting me all these years.
So for them, all the earnest supporters, I owe publication. They may not like what I write but at least it's been published. Otherwise, I yam what I yam and all that I yam, is an unpublished, struggling writer - in their eyes.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com