Friday, August 5, 2011

The Differences between Writing and Publishing

Writing is a passion. Writers delve deep into their souls and pour out their hearts onto the page. They find brilliance in the written word.

Publishing is a business. Publishers base their decisions on making money. They do have a passion for the industry, they do want to promote books and great stories, but they are first and foremost a business.

Writing is forming ideas and stories. It’s about discovery and creation. It can often be about self-gratification.

Publishing is about sharing those ideas and stories. It’s about communicating to an audience greater than one.

Writing can break rules and be as inflexible as it wants to be. No one other than the writer needs to understand it.

Publishing is about flexibility and evolution. A writer who wants to share their work has to change their thinking. They need to revise and edit and rewrite over and over again just so that others will understand what the writer is trying to convey.

Writing is personal.

Publishing is professional.

Can you think of other differences? What is it about either that you like most? What is it you like least?

46 comments:

  1. I can't think of another one to add, but I loved this. Happy being a writer right now. :)

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  2. Great post and solid summary of the differences between the two. I love your about me section. You are multi-talented with art and writing... that's an amazing package. I can see it pays off too because your website is brilliant.

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  3. The last two items nailed it.
    I think writing is for you, but publishing is for everyone - in terms of who the story is aimed at.

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  4. This is great! And this is why sometimes we feel our work is worthy to be published yet a publisher disagrees x

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  5. Writing is the heart, publishing the head.

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  6. Shannon, yep, there's a whole lot of freedom being a writer.

    Michael, thanks so much.

    Bonnie, cool :)

    Alex, yes, exactly

    Michelle, so, so right. It's also why we need critique partners.

    Sarah, excellent way of putting it.

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  7. A post to print out and stick on my table. Thank you for sharing...am tweeting this!

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  8. I'd throw in another comparison but I think you hit the nail on the head.

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  9. Wow! Profound...***mouth is gaped open***

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  10. True. These are the things I remind myself of whenever I deal with agent rejection. It's not that my story is bad or doesn't have enough heart, it's that x agent isn't sure about it enough that she could see herself pushing it to publishing.

    Good luck to all the other writers out there!

    <3 Gina Blechman

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  11. True. These are the things I remind myself of whenever I deal with agent rejection. It's not that my story is bad or doesn't have enough heart, it's that x agent isn't sure about it enough that she could see herself pushing it to publishing.

    Good luck to all the other writers out there!

    <3 Gina Blechman

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  12. 'Publishing is about flexibility and evolution. A writer who wants to share their work has to change their thinking. They need to revise and edit and rewrite over and over again just so that others will understand what the writer is trying to convey.'

    Lynda, I love this. This is so, so good and really resonates with me at this point in my journey. Thank you for taking the time to articulate this to excellently. In general, a spot-on post.

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  13. Yes good points. And it can be hard to make the transition from writer to published work!

    Duncan In Kuantan

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  14. I can't think of anything more to add but I think you've made the point crystal-clear - there is a different between writing and publishing. As writers we need to know those differences in order to succeed!

    Ellie Garratt

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  15. Publishing is definitely a business!! I think these are fab points to remember - writing is aesthetic, publishing is practical! LOL! Take care
    x

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  16. So true. We can write with abandon, but when we want to be published, we have to look at a whole other set of criteria.

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  17. oooh, love that "hobbity" wall from the pic :)

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  18. You said it all, Lynda.I agree with everything you said :)

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  19. "Writing is personal.
    Publishing is professional."

    I think those two said it perfectly. Great post.

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  20. I like the give and take here, although I would say that overtime these difference get muddled together...at least for me. For instance, writing starts off personal, but once I rewrite and edit it I get more professional in my approach to it:)

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  21. So insightful! It really made me think. :)

    ~Debbie

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  22. Hey, this a cool post on contrast! Good points. Although there's some overlap--an editor has to love your story in order to champion it in an acquisitions meeting. It CAN be more personal than at first glance.

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  23. Great separation of the two which seem so linked.

    I agree that the last one seems especially poignant.

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  24. It's the financial aspect that really taints the process for me. I've heard editors complain that exciting manuscripts have been refused by their finance departments because they're only interested in big money spinners.

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  25. VERY well said. If you want to be published, you need to care about the business side of things.

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  26. Excellent analogies, Lynda! In the end, writing is personal, but publishing is public.

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  27. This is a great post! However, I disagree on the one point of, "No one other than the writer needs to understand it." In my opinion, writing is just like any other art form, and the purpose of art is to communicate something. I think that it's important that what you're writing communicates to someone else-- even if it's just a few other people in this world that can understand it.

    Of course something written that only few can understand won't be published by a publisher as it won't sell very well if it doesn't appeal to a mass market. I do understand what you're saying as far as that goes.

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  28. Great post! I'd say writing is joy and publishing is fear.

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  29. This is a graet post that really picks out some of the differences. Sometimes those publishing constraints can seem challenging, but that's where the delight lies -- finding a way to fit your writing into the world of publishing!

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  30. Writing turns you into a hermit, publishing turns you into an Amazon stalker... ;-)

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  31. Great Post! Love Samantha's comment. A writer gets to say PLEASE. A publisher has the option to say NO THANK YOU! (unfortunately) :)

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  32. Writing is therapeutic, too. I agree with all your points. Nice comparisons, Lynda.

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  33. You have control over the writing process. The publishing process has control over you.

    By that I mean that we make all the decisions while we're writing, but we can't predict what will happen once we try to publish. Our future is in the hands of others.

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  34. Damyanti, thanks for the tweet

    Jeffrey, hehe thanks

    Valerie & Shelly, thanks

    Gina, yes, the publishing is such a subjective thing.

    Suze, wow, thank you :)

    Duncan, very

    Ellie, exactly

    Old Kitty, aesthetic vs practical. Yes!

    Theresa, indeed

    Dezzy, gotta love round doorways. The pic was taken at the Chinese Gardens in Sydney.

    Rachna & Jenna, thanks

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  35. Mark, yes, I think that might be because you are rewriting to prefect your words for publication. It's a good way to do it.

    Debbie, great

    Carol, absolutely. That's why I think it helps to find the right match in an agent.

    Margo, hehe

    M Pax, thanks

    Rosalind, yes, I've heard that too. It's a shame. And it's becoming worse. Publishers are less likely to take a risk.

    Talli, exactly right--even though it's not the fun side.

    Michelle, thanks

    Jasmine, I put that in because many writers don't write to share their work. The moment we want to share it is the moment we move into the publication side of thinking.

    Shannon, haha love it (and so true)

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  36. Amie, well put! It IS where the delight lies.

    Sam, hahaha brilliant.

    Maeve, same. lol, love your take on it.

    Lynn, oh yes! Writing is sooo therapeutic.

    Madeleine & Lola, thanks

    Charlotte, yes, once something is published it's out of our hands.

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  37. I agree…
    I “write” my first draft, then spend months trying to make it “publishable” even though they are related they come across very differently.

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  38. "Dezzy, gotta love round doorways. The pic was taken at the Chinese Gardens in Sydney."

    You mean it's not your own garden and you don't live in a hobbity house??? :)

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  39. Jeff, yes exactly, our approach is different.

    Dezzy, oh I wish! How cool would that be? :)

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  40. almost as cool as me living in an Elven forest house up in the trees somewhere in Lotlorien :)

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  41. Oh! Now that would be cool! As long as you aren't a sleepwalker ;)

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