Writing is Easy, Hitting Publish is Everything But

There are two things required to become a writer: A commitment to write on a regular basis, and the ability to write a coherent sentence. Making a commitment to write is easy, and following through enough to make it a habit can be hard. Rest assured, with regular adherence, your ability to write coherent sentences will improve. If you write on a regular basis, be confident in knowing you are a writer. But that is just the beginning.

I’ve never thought of myself as a writer. I have written many documents for work and personal consumption, but never considered that an act of writing. Now I realize that is writing, but what I want is to be an Author. There is a large chasm between writing and authorship, and the most difficult hurtle is pushing publish. Get past that is the only way to succeed.

Many years ago, when it was in vogue, I started a blog. I wrote about topics of interest and posted all the time. It was easy, because in the back of my mind I knew nobody was visiting the site. For awhile, I posted a new article every day. Pushing the publish button had no negative consequences. I wasn’t pushing the articles with tweets or even telling my closest friends to take a look.

It was writing and it was safe, but definitely not helpful.

Recently, I joined a writers workshop. Each week a few individuals from the group submit their writing to the others for critique. It took me a few weeks to conjure up the courage to get on the list, and I was terrified to submit my examples. So much so, I chose to go with first drafts. That may not sound like much, but I now recognize this as a weak attempt to protect myself. During the critique, the blows were hard and the result tremendous.

This was my first experience of writing for people I didn’t know. The group was a bit smaller than normal, but each of the six critiquers managed to find different things worth noting. Of course, there were the typical punctuation comments and removal of unnecessary words. What I didn’t expect were comments of who is the audience and what did I expect them to already know? Those made the process real to me.

I learned a lot about myself in that hour and continue to benefit whenever I’m writing. The most important lesson I took from the experience was that the publish barrier is tough for me. If I can conquer that, the feedback that follows will help me grow in the direction of being an author.

So, now I’ve joined Medium.com. An interesting publishing platform filled with writers and readers alike. On medium, pushing publish adds barriers of it’s own. For one thing, the potential to reach a larger audience turns up the resistance for me. Sure, my blog is on the Internet thus has the potential to reach everyone, but there are so many, most go unnoticed. Medium provides a tagging mechanism which increases the odds a story gets noticed. Many consider this a benefit, and I’m sure I will as well someday.

Another benefit is The Writing Cooperative. A group of writers joined together to help each other with their writing. Members are willing to proofread articles before or after the publishing. I’m now connected with more of the kind of support I know I’ll need while learning how to pushing publish. That is gold.

Find the support you need to push publish.