This year at Brewing Coffee, Twisting Words & Breaking Pencils my theme is “this year I am writing a novel.” So, in light of that I decided to try and keep to the theme a bit with my A to Z topic. I decided on using writing words that start with each letter of the alphabet to create short posts. Today’s letter is P for Publication. With all that in mind today’s post is written by Marcia Allyn Luke. Marcia wrote “Confessions of a Twin Mom – Fur Babies” which was featured on Brewing Coffee Twisting Words & Breaking Pencils in September of 2016 as well as “Sugar and Spice” which was featured on Brewing Coffee Twisting Words & Breaking Pencils in January 2019. Marcia has been published in TWINS Magazine and Durham Parents of Multiples Newsletter.
Other publications by Marcia Allyn can be found: here.
P – Publication
What is a publication? What does it take for something to go from a creative draft to a published work? What happens in that transition?
It begins as something that only the author sees, personal and creative, but maybe a little rough. This first step is about expression, getting the words down on the page. In this part of the process, I imagine the ideas swirling around in the author’s head, chaotic, then arranging themselves one by one. The author might need help making sense of all of the ideas and words. Maybe they get an idea from reading a book or having a deep conversation. Then the ideas can line up in some kind of order, waiting for their turn to enter the real world, to go from intangible to tangible. The author feels a sense of relief in releasing the words from the mind. There’s peace.
But now the ideas and words exist separately from the author. The draft might sit for a while, the author might even forget about it. The draft might collect dust or be shoved off to the side, the author might forget what it’s called. The draft might get lonely, waiting. But eventually, the author comes back, finds the draft, seeks it out. Then the relationship between them changes. Now the author isn’t just the author, the author becomes a consumer as well, an interpreter of their own words. A reciprocal relationship forms with the draft, a dance of sorts. The author might make changes, reread, and feel differently with each iteration. And so the dance continues until the draft elicits the very feeling in being read by the author that the author felt in the first place. The very feeling that initiated the writing process.
Then the author decides to let it be seen, by a friend perhaps. How does the draft make them feel? Maybe there needs to be more clarity for the draft to elicit the response from an outsider. The author often needs that objective viewpoint, both to improve the draft but also to know that it’s worth existing. The draft evolves yet again. The dance could last forever. The author enjoys the dance and fears its end. Can the draft survive in the world all alone? What will the author do when the dance is over? Then the author will be lonely, no? This is when the author needs the most support, in seeing the vision of the draft outside of themselves. In seeing what the draft could become.
What makes the draft a publication is the author’s willingness and intention for the draft to be seen by many. The realization that the draft will be of more use to the masses than to the author alone. The courage to stop the music and cease dancing, sacrificing what the draft is for what it could be. Maybe it’s like letting go of a grown child when they are ready to tackle the world on their own. The control is gone, but the draft has been well-prepared, just like the child. Now it’s their turn. Now the world gets to dance with the draft. It’s a publication and it’s beautiful.
Marcia Allyn Luke
Publishing Consultant, Educator, & Bestselling Author
MPEd (2022), BA (Hons Eng), Publishing Certificate
Post by Shari Marshall – April 2021 A to Z Challenge
Marcia is using 15 years of publishing experience to help others through the writing and publishing process. For more information check out Twin Horseshoes.