Soniah Kamal

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'Islam is not Pakistan's religion; Marriage is'

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Writer's Equation: Writing + Revising + Submitting = Publishing


Would you still write if you never ever got published? That's a question I asked in a previous post. The answer I always get is YES. Writers are tired, weary, full of despair but they will always say YES. Yes they will write because they MUST.  Because they are COMPELLED TO. Because the stories within them are desperate to GET OUT.  Because there are characters within them demanding to SPEAK UP.  Indeed it is not the 'writing' that is draining them but rather the struggle to get published.
If you are writing a journal or something else purely for your eyes only, then the step of just writing  is enough because you alone are the reader and audience you seek.  However, for many, tucked into MUST WRITE and COMPELLED TO WRITE is also a desire to share their work with others.  Ass The End  looms near so does the excitement  at finally being ready to share your words, your vision, your creation, your work: suddenly your are googling  'how to write a good query letter'. Because you want to entertain others with your words and/or because this piece you have written contains a creative explanation for the vagaries of life and might give solace to some beleaguered soul somewhere.  This desire to share your creation then is the publishing bug and a very valid part of the Writer's Dream. It is also the end result of the Writer's Equation: Writing + Revising + Submitting = Publishing.
Unfortunately whereas the writing part is very much up to the writer the publishing part is not. It's a nightmare scenario to have been  working on your Magnum Opus--poetry, short story collection, novel, memoir, non-fiction-- only to watch it turn into a Magnum Hopeless because it's just not getting published. That is either an agent will not take your work on, or if an agent does, then an editor won't. (there is a third, fourth, fifth and more levels of nightmares but that's another discussion). It's amazing to me how many writers continue to write but then allow despair to stop them short before they can complete the next two steps of the equation: revising and submitting. True,  new material comes with its inbuilt thrills and thus gets written (or at least started) but without the slog that is revision there will be no middle. Despite the dark a writer has got to learn to spend countless hours and days working to make as good as possible the same piece no matter how dark the dark of despair. And after that to learn take the plunge and submit? I know too many writers who write and then revise and then when it comes to submitting they freeze. But without submission there is no completing the Writer's Equation: Writing + Revising + Submitting  = getting where you want to be: Published. There is no guarantee that you will get published but you absolutely will not if you do not complete your end of the writer's equation. 

 writing + revising  + submitting = publishing


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