The Greatest Feeling in All of Publishing

Written by Brendan O’Meara

So, here’s the thing: Want to know the best feeling in all of publishing? It might not be what you think.

Granted this is entirely and purely subjective, but I think you’ll either agree with me or nod your head and think, ‘Yeah, I can see that.’

The best part of publishing isn’t the writing, isn’t the actual publishing, it is the moment you ship it or hit send.

That’s it! It’s not even that lightning strike of when the recipient says, ‘Yes, I will take it.’

The reason is two-fold:

One, between you (the sender) and them (publisher, agent, whoever), the book can be anything. It can sell 1,000,000 copies or zero. It can connect to a disenfranchised 14-year-old, or put a smile on a library patron.

Two, you finished something.

This is important because so many people, myself included, love that first 20-50 pages of a book. Even that first page, when the idea seems PERFECT in all caps. To reach 70,000, 80,000, 90,000 words, that’s special.

I don’t care what your skill is as a writer. I will shake your hand if you wrote that many words, shaped it, and shipped it.

When you hit send on the email that puts your book into some binary code out on some fiber optics cable, there is no greater accomplishment or feeling.

That charge of seeing something through to completion and then putting it out there, well, nothing beats that. No bad reviews, no Amazonian, one-star trolls, no publisher buy-backs, no seeing your book sell for a penny on a used-book store table. It can be anything.

You saw it through. You hit send.

Now go start the next one.

Episode 25—Elane Johnson on her Winning Essay, Accepting Your Work as Good, and Writers Block


Written by Brendan O’Meara

“A successful writer is someone who alters me.” —Elane Johnson

“Teaching for me is writing.”—Elane Johnson

We’ve made it to 25 episodes, can you believe it?

Elane Johnson comes by the podcast to talk about her essay “The Math of Marriage,” which won Creative Nonfiction’s marriage essay contest for Issue No. 59. You’ll have to subscribe to magazine to read it.

What will be in store for the next 25 episodes of the podcast? I have no idea. I just hope you keep hanging around and listening to these often unsung writers talk about their work.

Elane also references Sarah Einstein, author of Mot: A Memoir. You can hear her episode too.