Are You Afraid to Publish?

Afraid to Publish


Mary Deal

Two people I know have written books. One is a fiction, one a nonfiction. Both of these authors are afraid to publish.

People afraid to publish need to analyze their motivations for writing in the first place and then take a good look at what motivates them not to publish.

The reasons for hesitation could be many. Let’s look at some of these:

Unsure of the information you’ve included

If you’ve written nonfiction, all your facts must be accurate. Your publisher will verify the facts. If they cannot be verified, your book may not be published. If you’ve offended, your publisher may hesitate. However, without a publisher to gauge the accuracy of your work, it’s up to you. If you feel unsure for this reason, then you must do the verification yourself. Be sure your facts are correct. Be sure you are writing about something people need to know. Be sure you are not writing out of hate or anger, or simply to ease your own conscience. And most of all, once you have these assurances, publish that book before your news becomes outdated.

Unsure if you’ve told a unique tale

It is said only 20 real plots exist in fiction. All stories are derivatives of these twenty. What makes all stories difference are the story settings, the scenes that you create, your characters and so forth. Most of all, it’s your unique spin  – your style, your voice. No one can write your story like you can. Simple.

Worry about errors

If you are afraid of having errors in your work, what type of errors? Whether fiction or nonfiction, if you feel you’ve said something wrong, change it. Write it a different way. If you’re worried about typos and grammar, follow sage advice and get your manuscript edited. This is the best way to know that you are truly ready to publish. A good editor could also tell you if your story truly hangs together. This is the best way to assure yourself. It puts your mind at ease.

Afraid of offending someone

In nonfiction, it’s easy to offend someone or anyone. If you’re written something offensive, all the more reason to be accurate in your facts. You might also consider if your information is something people want to read. Are you bashing someone simply to ease your own frustration? Are you writing about true experiences, exposing another person and playing like one of the powers-that-be? What is your motivation for doing this?

Nonfiction information tends to be timely and can get old quickly. Do what you must to help you feel rewarded that you’ve spent all those hours gathering facts and writing out your opinions. When you began your project, you had a reason for doing so.

Fiction requires a good tale told in an exciting way that doesn’t sound to the reader like they have already read something similar. Develop your voice and style.

These are but a few reasons why writers hesitate to publish or seek publication. Above all, for writers of any prose, if you’ve followed a certain set of rules that lead to good writing and editing, no reason exists not to publish. If after you’ve come this far and you still cannot bring yourself to present your work to the world, then I would suggest you begin to examine your psychological motivation as to why you delay your rewards.

Please visit Mary Deal’s website for more wonderful articles like this one: Write Any Genre.

About Mike Angley

Mike Angley is the award-winning author of the Child Finder Trilogy. He retired as a Colonel from the Air Force in 2007 following a 25-year career as a Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). He held 13 different assignments throughout the world, among which were five tours as a Commander of various units, to include two Air Force Squadrons and a Wing. He is a seasoned criminal investigator and a counterintelligence and counterterrorism specialist. In his last assignment, he was Commander of OSI Region 8 with responsibility for all of Air Force Space Command. He’s fond of saying, “If it entered or exited Earth’s atmosphere, I had a dog in the fight!”
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