On Writing: Give Freely & Abundantly
I’ve been struggling lately with how to manage the publication of my various writing projects — blog posts, essays, and book chapters. I admittedly come from an old-school mentality that says you are not “published” (or, for that matter, a real writer) until an editor, somewhere, commits your piece to print — actual ink on paper. So when I started this blog, my intent was to put my shorter pieces here — brief reflections, interesting factoids, a bit of humour, and the occasional rant. My “good” pieces and longer essays I’d save for submission to print magazines.
But the world has moved forward and my recent immersion in the world of blogging has shown me that a well-respected blogger has just as much credibility in his or her field as a writer who has had a few stories published in “real” magazines. It’s also shown me that online cred can lead to being published in print and even can net invitations to write for respected online publications– as long as the writing is strong and the writer has something to say.
By chance, as I was thinking about the whole publication dillemma this morning, I came across this:
One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.
(Annie Dillard, The Writing Life)
Thank you Annie. From today I will give freely and abundantly.