004 – Does Any of This Matter If You Don’t Plan On Publishing?

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Does Any of This Matter if You Don’t Plan on Publishing?

From the Midnight Writers Podcast, Episode 4

Starring Lena Johnson, Jon Zenor, and Ben Weilert

Adapted by Brittany Thurman


Getting motivated to write, planning (or not planning) out your stories, setting goals and deadlines—are any of these things important if you’re not planning on ever publishing? Should you even bother to write at all?

In a word, yes. There are many reasons you should still write, if you have a story to tell. If you are going to write, you should also want to improve your writing habits and skills, so your story is enjoyable.

If you don’t plan on publishing, you can have even more fun writing.

Without having to focus on making your story pleasing to an audience or potential publishers, you are able to write what you enjoy. This is the time when you can enjoy writing just for writing. Those who do publish come under contracts and deadlines, and this can sometimes make writing less fun, since there is more to do.

If you are going to take on a big project like writing a story or novel, you probably want it to be your best possible work.

Completing a project as massive as writing a novel can be intimidating and exhausting. These suggestions can all help you reach this goal and be proud of yourself. Holding a completed physical copy of this massive undertaking is a defining moment for a writer. Friends and family might end up reading your work, even if it is not published, so give them something good to read. Even if you are only writing for yourself, you need to enjoy the story you’ve written. You have to keep it fun. Learning these skills can help you make progress through your story and find more pleasure in writing.

Some day, you might change your mind and decide to publish.

You may come back to stories you’ve written and find an old gem, or you might suddenly have a million-dollar idea. If other people show enthusiasm for your story idea, you may want to end up publishing the story so they can read it. Maybe you even just want to write a memoir, keep a family history, or simply record an accomplishment. Since self-publishing is so easy, if you do change your mind, the avenues to publishing are easily accessible. Print-on-demand services allow you to print just a few copies for friends and family and leave it at that. Taking the time now to learn about building story structures, writing descriptions, keeping the audience’s attention, and other helpful writing recommendations can help you make sure that your book is of a publishable quality if you ever do decide to go that route. Whether you go with a traditional publisher or self-publish, you will be glad you have learned how to improve your writing.

Writing habit suggestions can be used in many areas of your life, not just in writing.

Time management, motivation, and setting goals are all things that can help you improve anything you do, whether it is writing a novel, writing a thesis, or even climbing a mountain. Learning how to work at a project, polish it, and complete it can benefit you in your work and personal life.

Writing helps you meet new people.

When you encounter other writers in your life, be it through conventions or even at your day job, it is fun to talk about writing and to trade writing advice with them. Being able to discuss your writing also gives you a chance to network. You might find get good information from published authors, meet new NaNoWriMo partners, or get pulled into a publishing group and have the opportunity to join a podcast about writing!


These are just a few reasons why you should still write if you have a story to tell, publishing considerations aside. Do you have any other reasons why someone who does not plan to publish should write, or work on his or her writing skills? Leave them in the comments below!

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