On Not Publishing
There’s a trap that’s easy to fall into once you start getting into writing for money or publishing in general: looking at every creative endeavor you tinker with as having that goal.
My good friend Paul Tevis & had a short exchange this morning:
Being publicly recognized for your creative work can make it harder to do creative work that isn’t as public. #InternetMicroFame
12/5/12 10:47 AM
@ptevis It can create that “well, I suppose I could publish this thing I’m noodling on” sense.
12/5/12 10:48 AM
@RyanMacklin Or keep you working on something that you should stop.
12/5/12 11:18 AM
Not every story needs to be published. Not every game idea needs to be turned into a “product.” Not every hack needs to be polished up. There is fruit in all the creative labor that we do, not just those things that turn into something you can download on DriveThruRPG or have a Kickstarter for.
It’s hard to say what should or shouldn’t be published, and I’m not going to shame someone by saying “oh, that should have just stayed unpublished.” This idea is about a creator understanding what you actually want to do with a project. Sometimes, it’s just a creative outlet that is just to be enjoyed. Other times, it’s something meant to be thrown out into the world. Knowing what you actually want out of a project is key to lasting satisfaction.
Naturally, your priorities could change over time. Also worth recognizing. Sometimes the effort of publishing isn’t what you want to deal with for a project that was just about enjoying a few moments of creation.
What are your thoughts? Are there projects that you’ve done that you’ve intentionally said “I’m not going to publish this, and I’m happy with it”?