Authors Publish Magazine has just posted an essay of mine that mused on the question: “Is an unpublishable book worth writing?” This came up in connection with my personal experience of writing an entire book I didn’t feel able to submit for publication. Was that a waste of time?
As I looked into the experiences of other “unpublishable” authors, I learned there are many pathways to publication, and that writing for the love of it is always worthwhile.
The essay begins:
Why write a book that can’t be published? My own first book, a memoir that I wrote in the aftermath of my father’s death, was one of these. I’d never completed a full-length manuscript, only fragments and false starts, until then. But somehow, during this time of loss and grieving, I found the motivation to bring my memories full circle, ending up with what felt like a solid piece of writing. For personal and legal reasons, I didn’t feel that I could make it public, and to fictionalize it felt wrong as well. Still, the act of finishing it proved to me that I was able to structure and sustain a full-length narrative, that I could write a book.
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