What Is the Point of Publishing Your Words?

It’s different for everyone.

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What’s the point?

Why do you wake up every morning thinking about what you’re going to write today? What you might publish tomorrow? Where you want to be, professionally, in five years?

Does it even matter, if it might never reach even a fraction of your audience? If people don’t like or click on it? If your ideas always seem like lower-quality copies of other writers’ thoughts and creations?

Should you even bother?

Because writing takes up a lot of energy and time. Time you could easily spend doing other things, if writing ever turned out to be the total waste of time it often feels like.

You’ve had plenty of those days. We all have. Those moments, even, when you just want to stop trying, because it all seems pointless.

Except it isn’t pointless. And you know it.

Because the point of being a published writer is, quite literally, whatever you want it to be.

You do it to express your thoughts, opinions, or beliefs.

You do it to teach people something, or motivate them to accomplish something.

Maybe you just do it for the money.

Maybe for the fame.

It doesn’t matter why. But when you ask yourself, “Why should I even bother?” consider the purpose you’ve set for yourself as a writer. Because when it’s all written and done, it doesn’t matter who likes or doesn’t like your work, who takes the time to read it or doesn’t, who acknowledges your effort or not.

What matters is that you write to accomplish a goal, and doing so fulfills you in a way nothing else ever will. That you are doing something every day that makes you happy, whether you make money doing it or not, whether it’s your ultimate dream or not.

Not to say that your dreams won’t come true, that you can’t make money writing, or that there’s anything wrong with writing as a hobby. It’s just that none of these things are guaranteed, especially in the short-term. You can’t spend your whole life wallowing in misery because you’re too focused on something that hasn’t happened yet.

Even a big, broad purpose can break down into much smaller pieces. Take this blog, for example. It’s free for everyone who wants to learn from it. I do it on my own time. It makes me happy. And it’s a very small part of my much bigger personal and professional mission to, in a nutshell, enrich people’s lives with words.

When I’m frustrated with blogging and I ask myself if there’s even any point in doing it anymore, I immediately remind myself that I’m helping a lot of people every day, even if I don’t always know it.

That’s the point. To share my love of writing with other people.

So, remember this: There is a point. A purpose. A reason.

You just have to decide what it is for you, and hang onto it, even when you don’t think you need to.

Trying to find your purpose as a writer? Start here.

I Didn't Realize How Important Writing Was to Me Until I Stopped

Those "Why Am I Doing This?" Moments Make Us Stronger

On Writing With a Purpose

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.


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13 thoughts on “What Is the Point of Publishing Your Words?

  1. For me, writing is the center of it all. Writing “soothes” something within me.
    Publishing is a way to earn income through writing, and thus spend more time writing (and less working a day job), and it’s also an opportunity to connect with others.

    1. I resonate with all this so much. Writing honestly just makes me feel complete. It’s my job, but it’s also my therapy, my way of expressing and reacting to things, and my primary social scene. :)

      1. Indeed. The only reason I want to earn income is so that I can write all the time, and not spend time separately “earning money”. That is the dream. Well, that and the curiosity over “how much could I grow, as a writer?”

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