The Wordsmythe's Weblog…

…On Words, Love and Life

‘Publish or Perish’

Just as I switched off my laptop the other night, the phrase ‘Publish or perish’ came to mind and gave me pause for thought. My mother is a PhD and I remember her and her learned colleagues tossing this phrase around as they referred to the pressure to publish their work in order to further their academic career. 

It made me wonder whether I am putting myself under undue pressure to get my work published and if this drive has blinded me to other possibilities. I wouldn’t ordinarily refer to myself as obsessive but I must admit that the desire to write and be published has become quite consuming. This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what angle one considers it from.  

Moderation in all things is a good thing but then one could argue that this could be mistaken for mediocrity. Is ambition necessarily a bad thing? I don’t believe so however it should not be blinding. 

The reason it may seem I’m overly consumed with my writing now is because I hardly spent any time on it all. This is my new career so I should devote some time to it in order to make any sort of success out of it. If I were doing a 9 – 5, no less would have been expected of me. 

Another reason I may appear obsessive is possibly because of the way I use whatever time I am lucky enough to find to fit in any study that relates to writing. I have also been doing a lot of research into anything that makes writing easier. None of these things, in themselves, are excessive but I guess a combination of all may seem so.  

I can say, hand on heart, that I am not obsessed just madly passionate about making this work. I don’t want it to be one of those things I’ve started up with a lot of zeal but which died a natural death due to my inability to sustain my interest in it. 

If I am to become successful at writing then I must not be afraid to be called obsessive. In my opinion an obsessive success is better than a passive failure.  

It isn’t like I feel this pressure from external sources but it is more of an internal check which I feel is good as it will keep me balanced. I don’t need to have others tell me when I’m going overboard, I should have the ability to detect it myself and correct it. Call it a check and balance. 

The surreptitious nature of keeping one’s self in check is all part of the thrill. I know at this point I am not making much sense but I am so close to getting to my target that I won’t let that singular fact bother me or detract me from the finish line. 

I would like to think that some day, possibly in the not too distant future, this little journal of mine will make interesting reading to someone. When that happens, I hope they will bear in mind that these were just the ramblings of a budding writer trying to keep the writing juices flowing. 

Tara for now,

The Wordsmythe


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