Ten Reasons Why Writers Should Publish Regularly

“Procrastination is the thief of time. Collar him!”

Mr. Micawber, David Copperfield

Charles Dickens often generated 90 pages of quality text a month, and he published novels like Great Expectations chapter by chapter in weekly periodicals. No doubt, Dickens was a rare breed, but he set a standard that every serious writer should consider. There’s no point in being a writer if no one reads your work. Even Dickinson and Kafka are widely read despite the phobias they once suffered. Following are ten reasons why writers should publish regularly.

  1. When you don’t find an audience, you’re wasting whatever potential you should be actualizing. In fact, you’ll never even know what gifts you possess, and others won’t see the beauty in who you might have been.
  2. Getting published is fun. It can be a transformative experience. Seeing your work circulating in the public domain, knowing full well that perfect strangers will be skipping across the surface of your language and diving into your message, can fill you with a sense of intimate obligation. People come to know you in a way they never would under other circumstances.
  3. When you publish regularly, you learn how to write to a deadline. This means you mature as an artist while honing your skills. Authorship inspires responsibility and discipline, which leads to more polished, professional, and impactful writings.
  4. You gain a much stronger sense of audience when you actually have one. Inventing an ideal audience might serve an initial purpose, but seeing who likes or dislikes your writing, or who couldn’t care less about it either way, proves surprising and informative. Invariably, this modifies one’s perception of and approach to the writing process.
  5. Publishing regularly also helps you better assess your own identity and its relation to the world around you. This doesn’t mean you’ll be pleased with whichever revelations you uncover in the process, but at least you’ll have a more honest awareness of who you are and what you’re doing as you pass through life.
  6. Of course, publishing regularly fosters name recognition and helps you establish a professional identity. The only meaningful strategy for growing your reputation is by letting people meet you on the page. There are few better ways to share yourself than through the written word.
  7. Getting published regularly can help you overcome insecurity and atomize narcissism. It takes courage to submit your work for publication. You have to be honest with yourself because you’ll face rejection, indifference, and ridicule. I don’t know a serious writer who hasn’t. But so what? No one said life would be easy, especially for those who define themselves through acts of creation.
  8. Publishing regularly helps writers overcome the unhealthy, self-defeating cult mentality nurtured in all too many writers’ groups and workshops. When you write and publish on your own terms, you forge an alliance with yourself, which is the most important relationship a writer needs.
  9. When you publish regularly, you tend to develop stronger active reading skills, which in turn makes you a better writer. By thinking carefully about your own craft, you more carefully examine how others have refined their skills. This means you become a more conscious person.
  10. If you’re lucky, gifted, or both, you might even earn a living (or a portion of a living) through your publications. What a happy ending.