Letting go of being “published”

Over the years, I have learned how to “let go” of situations that were harmful to me. I mean, distancing oneself away from toxic people and environments are always a good thing.

But then, I started to think about the things I have let go of that were actually very good for me.

Of course hindsight is 20/20 and one of the things I never should have let go of was my writing.

As a kid, reading and writing were my happy places that filled the void in a world where I felt invisible. Reading was an escape and writing my own little stories where I controlled the narrative gave me the power to create my own worlds where I was reflected.

So why did I give it up?

Well, back in the day, like many other children of immigrant parents who had their children’s career paths predetermined (this is code for “doctor” or “lawyer”), I learned to sweep my dream under the nearest rug and fulfill my role as the dutiful daughter.

The demotivation of hearing how I would starve from writing didn’t help either and eventually I believed it so I packed up my favorite pens and notebooks filled with ideas and did what I was expected to do.  

But not before I did something I have never really shared with others…

I’ll save the longer story for another day but to make a longer story short, the summer before I started studying for my “career”, I sent out query letters with sample chapters to a handful of agencies from a novel I had started and guess what? A few of those agencies wanted to read the entire manuscript once it was finished.

Well, I never wrote that manuscript and never followed through. I filed away those “interested” replies and forged ahead with what I was expected to do.

To be honest, sending out those query letters had everything to do with proving to myself that I could spin a decent tale and that my dream was not so far-fetched and frivolous. My queries had little to do with actually becoming “published”.   

Why am I sharing this?

Because only recently did I realize that writing and being a published author are not synonymous.

I have finally decided to LET GO of the idea of being a “published” author. It’s clear to me that the writer’s block that I have been suffering from over the past few years only started when jumped on the pre-pandemic “I wanna be a published author” train.

My writing doesn’t have to have an “end goal” of being “published” so I’m jumping off that train.

If I end up writing a story that I think is worthy of being self-published, I could simply outsource that job to someone to do it for me.

I promised my newsletter subscribers that I would share a story and I will be making good on that promise. I might start off a bit slow but slow and steady wins the race, right?

I’m not a wizard at all things technology so I’m building a Page on this blog for them just in case the story doesn’t format properly into the newsletter.

The working title for the story is “It Would Take A Strong Strong Man” (link to the actual song).

On New Years Eve, I fell into my old Rick Astley playlist and decided on this song title. I can’t promise that the title will remain until the end of the story but it will do for now. 

This little story will begin through the eyes of the male protagonist, Tyler and the plan is to make it “interactive” so that newsletter subscribers will be able to weigh in on “how” the story unfolds.

Let me know what you think of this intro below. I’m working on the first installment now. By the way, my plan is to make Tyler very, very hot! 🙂



8 thoughts on “Letting go of being “published”

  1. This looks like an excellent start to me!
    But I don’t think you need to ‘let go’ of anything. My own opinion is that if one’s goal was to be a published writer then one is probably not a writer at all. The task of the writer is to write – publication is just a conceivable side effect. If the focus is upon publication then it is the writing itself that will suffer – one needs the freedom of expression unharnessed by commercial viability. The greatest piece of art, if never seen by the public, remains the greatest piece of art.
    Sure, to be an internationally acclaimed author …. to be rich and famous, universally admired ….. would be nice. But if that is the aim of it all you are not an author, not an artist – just an attention seeker.
    I’m fairly confident that you are not an attention seeker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Attention seeker? Yes and no. Yes – when I was kid, my desire was to prove to certain people that I wrote well enough to be published and be “somebody”. Basically to prove a point that they were wrong to belittle my hobby. Back then, I didn’t realize that those who did that to me were simply jealous of attention English teachers would give me. Now no – I just love the process, having ideas wake me up at night and scribbling them down on paper. And the much older version of me knows that being published by the big publishers is not what I thought it was. 🙂


      1. I urge you thus to continue forward. If somebody offers to publish something you can, of course, consider it.
        My grandfather was a writer. My mother was a doctor of English. It was she who urged me to discard any dreams of ‘being a writer’. To her it was important that I ‘get a real job’. She may have been right – who is it ever know these things?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t quite jumped off the “I want to be published” train. But I’m sort of looking at it from a different angle. More importantly, I think, I just want to be read, I want my words to matter and convey a message. And of course, I want to get these stories locked inside my head out there into the world. Obsessing too much over getting published before I even had a complete manuscript written was absolutely a form of self-sabotage. But this new mindset has helped me to beat my chronic writer’s block, as I’ve had more bursts of creativity/inspiration in the last 6 months than I’ve had in the last 3 years.
    But I’m glad to see you writing again! And I’m looking forward to the new story! Tyler sounds like Batman, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your start with Tyler sounds great! Intriguing and informative all at once. Having a publishing goal is a mindset, which can be debilitating or liberating depending on the person or the goal. We’re harder on ourselves than anyone else, especially if we don’t achieve the things we think ‘have’ to happen. I’m always under pressure, but it’s pressure I put on myself—no one else is doing that to me.
    So, you let go, M. Release that pressure and get back the joy of writing you once had. I’m very inspired by this post to alter some of my own mindsets to see what happens! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  4. p.s. I meant to add that publishing does not relieve any pressure, it only adds more. Once you publish the first time, you feel even more pressure to publish the second time and so on, especially if you have readers asking when the next book will come. There’s never a time in this industry when the pressure is completely off. So, returning to the simple joy of writing, just for writing’s sake, is a very sane and brilliant approach. Turning ‘publishing’ into a side benefit, rather than the main goal is a mindset I’m now going to try my hardest to adopt because the past year has been insane, and my writing is suffering tremendously for it. Thanks again for the post, it truly is motivating! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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