Q&A: Why publish?

A nicer variant of the ‘so what’ test, really…

Why publish?

Over the last twenty years or so, I have published and/or shared music, photography, video, and writing. Except for video (which I don’t do very often), I have been doing all of these things for longer than twenty years. They are things I do, especially when I feel the need to express things that I might not express during normal conversation.

So, why publish?

Admittedly, this is more of a question that I ask myself—particularly since I do none of these things with an audience (beyond myself) in mind. To a certain extent, I am thinking out loud here, so please bear with me.

The first thing that comes to mind is an attempt at connection. Even though my lifestyle may sometimes suggest otherwise, I do not live apart from the rest of humanity. That means that many of the things I experience are also experienced by my fellow human beings—which, in turn, means that other people may recognize something of their experiences in my own. The only way to achieve that is to share the things that I have experienced.

Similarly, there is no way that my own tastes and preferences exist completely separately from those of other people. As I see it, that means that, if I like something I have created, then there are going to be other people who may like it as well—and I do want people to like me, so… (And yes, I am leaving that Freudian slip intact.)

At some point, I have to consider that, if I want to write poems or take photographs or create graphic designs for a living, then I will have to share the results of my labors. If I don’t, then I have no shot whatsoever.

Then, of course, there is whatever I have to offer that nobody else does. Although I do not consider myself to be particularly special in the grand scheme of things, I know that there are things that I can offer simply because nobody else has experienced the things I have in quite the same way.

(It probably goes without saying that we would never have any new music, literature, movies, or other works of art if the people who make them were to keep their efforts and creations all to themselves.)

Finally (for now, at least), if sharing anything about my experiences can help other people, then of course I should share. After all, we learn from each other, don’t we?

(16 November 2014)