Jennifer Crusie has a new and delightful take on the old saw Publish or Perish: just as you don’t have to get married to validate yourself, you don’t have to publish to validate your talent.
“Just as women had to give up being married as a life goal before they could lead full lives as women, so writers must give up being published as a career goal before we can lead full lives as writers.”
Her suggestion about getting published? Don’t make that your only objective. “When we write the stories we need to write, we take back control of our lives because we’re meeting our own needs, not looking for validation elsewhere.”
To draw a parallel of our own, Crusie sounds a lot like Marsha Sinetar in her book Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow: write what you love and maybe the editors will follow. No guarantees from the management, but at least you’ve liberated yourself.