When I teach my novel writing classes what do you think is one of the first questions I’m asked after they realize I’m a published author? If you answered, “How do I get published?” you’re right. However, this blog is not about “how” to get your book published because there’s plenty of information on that. What I want to talk about is should you publish your book.

While anyone can write and publish a book with all the easy DIY methods available to authors today, I’m reminded of what Anton Ego, the food critic, says in the 2007 animated film Ratatouille said. For copyright purposes, I’ll paraphrase and relate it to writing instead of cooking. In essence, he has a revelation that while anyone can write a book, not everyone should publish a book. In other words, not everyone can be a great author. It takes hard work, focus, determination, drive, having a thick skin, and an insane stubbornness to never, ever quit. (Ask me how I know!) Oh yes, and a little bit of talent would be nice, but it’s unnecessary.

He continues with the realization that a great writer can come from anywhere. It doesn’t matter who your daddy is or if you got a new car for your sixteenth birthday. It doesn’t matter if you rent a trailer in a mobile park or own a home with a three car garage. It doesn’t matter whether you live in America or Asia, and it certainly doesn’t matter how old. Or how young you are.

So yes, while anyone can write, not everyone should publish a book. If you’re wondering which category you fall into, I can’t tell you. Only you can decide if you should publish your book, after you write it, of course. But what I can say is if you study the craft, are teachable, and put in the time and effort to write and edit your book (please, hire a professional,) then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t publish your book. Now getting readers to buy it is another story for another blog.

They say those who can’t, teach. I say those who have a passion, inspire others to greatness. That’s why I teach. Sure, I have several fiction and nonfiction published books out, not to mention hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. However, my passion is to inspire release the writer in you and take your writing to the next level.

I host a weekly podcast called Teen Writers Publish on writing for teens and adults. I’ve homeschooled my four children, taught in private and public schools, and mentored writers for years on Writer…Interrupted. I also teach and tutor elementary, middle school, and high school students in creative writing and composition as well as offering private classes and for adults. So even though I can and do write, I also teach. Because nothing is more satisfying than helping someone find their voice and write their story!