Do You Have To Publish Every Story You Write?

By on November 21, 2016

I don’t publish every story I write. Yes. I heard that gasp. There’s a myth in the writing world that professional writers, writers who earn or try to earn a living through their stories, HAVE to publish every story they write.

Why write stories if they won’t be read by readers?

There are numerous reasons why writers would and perhaps should write stories readers will never read. The stories I write only for myself are normally not at all marketable. They are ideas that are so far out there; I’m likely the only person who would find them interesting.

I write them quickly, briefly to get them out of my mind and to satisfy my creative urges. Because they will never be published, there’s no need to complete the dozen or so drafts to get them to submission level. There’s no need to send them to my editor, to pay for that awesome editor, to spend more time on two or three additional drafts. I don’t have to worry about formatting or covers or blurbs or marketing. These stories are for my eyes only, written purely for the joy of writing them.

When we talk about branding in the writing world, about sticking to one niche and publishing stories only in that niche, many writers push back, saying they couldn’t write only in one niche. It would stifle their creativity. They don’t realize that publishing in one niche and writing in one niche are two very different things.

Write in a variety of niches. Publish only the stories in one of those niches. Bam. You’re known for a niche. You’ll build a brand and a readership around it. Yet you have total creative freedom.

Writers might be under contract with publishers and restricted as to which stories they can write (this usually ties into branding). XXX Publisher has first dibs on the writer’s next YYY stories and that publisher only wants contemporary romances or they only want the axe murderer series or they only want heroines with blue eyes and brown hair. Writing other stories for our personal enjoyment makes that contract creatively bearable.

It also prevents series burnout, which is a VERY real thing for writers. I LOVE my cyborg series. I plan to concentrate on it in 2017. It is very important to me to bring readers of this series fresh, interesting stories. Sometimes the best way to do that is to take a creative vacation from the series. I spend a week writing something completely different, something strange, something weird. Then I come back, excited, enthused, my brain brimming with different ways to approach the next story.

Sometimes I’ll write a story merely to test a technique or a style or a type of character/setting/tone. Do I feel comfortable writing this? Do I enjoy writing this? Does it work in a story? I might test a number of things in one story. That story will be a mess but I’ll often discover something I can use in a more marketable story.

Sometimes the exact opposite thing happens—we end up with a new story or series. Releasing Rage was written only for me. No one was interested in publishing it. I wrote it anyway. I believed in it and I decided to self-publish it. If I hadn’t given myself permission to write a story only for my own enjoyment, it wouldn’t have been written.

You don’t have to publish every story you write.


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He requires an Expert. She needs a hero.

Barrel requires an Expert for the Tau Cetian orphans. He’s looking for a female who is willing to commit to a lifespan-long role, who is comfortable with moving off planet, and who, preferably, has the ability to speak the offsprings’ first language.

Nola wants the role Barrel is offering so badly she bends a few truths. Yes, she was born off planet but she has lived almost all of her lifespan in sheltered Academies. Yes, she has learned Tau Cetian but she has never spoken with a local. Yes, she plans to follow the rules but his deep, sexy voice tempts her to rebel.

When a fact-morphing human academic meets her battle-worn cyborg warrior, deceptions are revealed, passions flare, and circuits sizzle. Wrong seems right. Lies turn into truth. The candidate least qualified for the role becomes the one candidate Barrel can’t let go.

Jumping Barrel is a short companion story in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is meant to be read after Releasing Rage, Breathing Vapor and Crash And Burn.
It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Coming For FREE In December 2016

Note: Amazon doesn’t allow me to list stories for free. I have to list Jumping Barrel for 99 cents and then ask them to price match it to other booksellers. This story was written as a gift for you. Please wait until the price is reduced to ZERO i.e. FREE before ‘buying’ it. Save your dollar for my next release (in February).

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3 responses to “Do You Have To Publish Every Story You Write?”

  1. Jannie says:

    A great explanation of how the creative mind works, Cynthia! And I am so glad you pushed forward with Releasing Rage. This is an amazing series!

  2. Cara Bristol says:

    You’re right about needing to focus on a genre, and writing for oneself is a great way to avoid burnout and rediscover why we started writing in the first place.

  3. J Mason says:

    I really needed to read this today. lol

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