OUR RIGHT TO WRITE AND PUBLISH III
FOR Novel and Non-Fiction book authors, let’s talk shop. My first two blogs this month focused on writers who enjoy the article/essay, short story and magazine venues AND their right to write and publish. However, unless authors are “frequent flyers” in those publishing circles, the more accurate term for their process would be to submit for publication. Those publishers and editors have total power with it comes to selecting what their Readers will see. However, writers of book-length manuscripts may (underline may) hold a slight advantage simply because they have the additional option of self-publishing.
To encourage “book writers” I’d like to begin by defining the power of A BOOK, as outlined many years ago by American author, astrophysicist, astronomer, science communicator, Carl Sagan.
- A flat object made from a tree;
- Having flexible parts on which are imprinted dark squiggles;
- Yet with one glance the reader is inside the mind of another—someone who might have been dead for thousands of years.
- Books break the shackles of time.
- A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.
Sagan adds that “Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, as they become citizens of distant epochs.”
Of course, the power of a book is really the power of the written word that lingers in the hearing of readers from the moment of publication until—well, hopefully, forever—which, considering technology advances may be possible. This brings us to our right to write and publish. The old cliché that “with rights come responsibilities” is especially true for authors. E. B. White, author of the little book The Elements of Style, offers his thoughts.
“A writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down…A custodian…charged with the safekeeping of all unexpected items of worldly or unworldly enchantment [so that] even a small one is not lost. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.
I love to write. When my thoughts (scenes, characters, plots) flow upon page I feel a rush of excitement and can hardly wait for someone to read it. However, when I paused to consider Mr. White’s statements, I took a big gulp. Then I realized that I’d always known about these responsibilities. They resided within me—and all the authors I know—without putting “words” to them. These are the writing goals that inspire writers to learn better writing skills and dig deep through layers of research to include accurate and descriptive details.
So it is that I close today’s blog with a few thoughts of my own:
- Being reminded of my personal writing/authorship responsibilities is a good thing.
- Incorporating these concepts into my writing life leads me to produce quality work that will attract more readers!
- Considering these responsibilities will help me research my best publishing opportunities.
- Is a particular manuscript meant to be published by a “traditional” publisher?
- What responsibilities do they set for themselves and/or take away from me?
- Is self-publishing best for me? For the book? For readers to have the opportunity to enjoy it sooner rather than later? ⚓︎
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.