What do you think of when you hear the phrase “published author?” Do you imagine a writer who has published a book? Or a writer who has published an article in a magazine?
Most writers dream about traditionally publishing their work. They want their words to be shared on a grand scale. But traditional publishing isn’t necessarily the best route for your writing.
In this blog post, we will teach you how to reframe publishing, and share how your writing can improve with a new mindset.
Traditional Publishing—Why Writers Desire It
Traditionally, publishing refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, like books, newspaper articles, and magazine features.
When writers imaging being published, this is most often what they envision. A byline proves they credibility. No doubt, traditional publishing is a form of external validation. There is something fulfilling about being selected by an external publisher. While we might believe that a traditional publisher will provide a larger audience, the truth is there are many authors who publish non-traditionally with much larger audiences. They’ve built large audiences from faithfully publishing regularly in non-traditional ways, like blogging, posting to social media, or podcasting.
The flip side it true, as well. There are many writers who publish traditionally and are never read. There writing simply isn’t good (yes, even bad writers are published traditionally).
A writer can feel like they’re “part of the elite few” if they traditionally publish. But remember it’s just a feeling.
The Imposter Syndrome can never be solved through external validation, though. It is something most writers will struggle with the entirety of their writing lives.
How to Reframe Publishing—Why You Need to Change Your Mindset
A good writer needs a purpose bigger than simply “being published.” And as Stephen King said, “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.” So, how do you find your purpose? One way is to reframe your views on publishing.
The word “publish” comes from the Latin word “publica” which means, to be made public. If we focus on this definition, then publication can include submissions to digital magazines, presentations via webinars, and even posts on social media.
In each of these cases, you become the publisher.
Isn’t this why we publish? Because we have words we want to make public? Words that can influence, educate, or tell a story?
Reframe your desire to publish and you will have a better understanding of why you write.
Why We Publish—The Benefits of Non-Traditional Publishing
When you reframe publishing, you can take a more active role in your publishing life.
Depending on the source of publication, you will learn new writing skills and techniques. For example, if you share a story to social media, you will learn how to write in shorter sentences. You are forced to rethink the details of your story. This type of publication also allows you to obtain feedback in real time. Instant feedback helps you make changes to your writing without the need to wait for an agent or editor.
Less traditional publication can also help you test your ideas. You can gauge the reactions of your audience and determine if your ideas are solid or need more development.
Finally, your stories and expertise can have a more immediate impact. If you traditionally publish, it could be years before your writing is shared. But if you share it via social media, a digital magazine, or a blog, then your influence will be almost immediate.
Remind yourself why you want to publish your story. And when you experience rejections and frustrations and need some encouragement, ask yourself: Are my words important enough that I want to write and share my story? If the answer is yes, then keep writing. Keep making your words public. Keep publishing—no matter the medium.
Here’s a Glance at the Episode
[3:03] Melissa and Dave define traditional publishing.
[7:49] Learn about the importance of reframing publishing.
[18:23] Learn more about traditional publishing and why writers tend to place a higher value on it.
[24:26] Explore others reasons for why you should publish.
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