What If I Die?

I hear you saying – ‘You will one day for sure’.

Seriously, I sit here in my study with an enormous amount of material – poems, short stories, plays, autobiographical material and at least eight novels. They are piled on my shelf awaiting completion and sending out to publishers, magazines, etc. As I don’t think I am very competent at editing, I tend to put off these finishing touches.

We are about to re-write our wills and, optimistically I am going to include a statement about the copy write and ownership of my material in the future as per an excellent article I read http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2006/10/important-and-pass-it-on.html

It gave me a big kick up the rear to get going and at least try to get some of my material published, as if I die before it is out there in the world, the whole lot, all those hours of work, is likely to be recycled as paper and the files on the computer deleted.

I read an excellent blog post by Elizabeth Gilbert advising writers not to sit on their work, as they will suffocate it. I am very guilty of this. http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/thoughts-on-writing/

I am vowing right here and now to make 2014 the year I finish off the ends and send out my work. If you are in a similar boat, I ask you to join me.

Publish or die!

Comments below please.

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels. http://mortonsgray.com


  1. Hi Morton, A point, maybe the point, of the NWS scheme is to help with this. I'm not suggesting you should send in anything not as good as you can make it, but there comes a moment when your expertise runs out and the professional reading will help. They can't do that unless you print it off and post it. So, just do it.
    One thing I found really helpful with procrastination was to write a list of stuff I'd sent out. I included everything on it from letters and fillers to my NWS subs and the plays I was then trying to have performed. Below the list, I made another list. It was for successes. It's amazing how a cheque here and there encourages you. Maybe also a prize if you're in a writers' group. And once you begin to see your name under things in magazines or online groups, there's a great impetus to do that again. Don't save sucess for your heirs. It's your privilege. Anne Stenhouse (2 novels published, One post NWS reading)


  2. Morton – a very good point – I will check out these links. In fact my writing resolution for the year was to finish wips before starting on yet another. On another tack, I wrote a story a few years ago called Angel, about a stone angel – your picture looks just like my imaginary one.


  3. Good point Morton. I'm another great starter of projects but don't see enough through – and have stuff sitting on the laptop. Had never thought of my work outlasting me. Strange. The saying goes: have a son, plant a tree or write a book. I've done two out of those three and fear it's a bit late for the third!


  4. Have as many pieces of work in circulation as you can. It takes the fear out of rejection. (I've currently got about 45 out there). Make a list of the unfinished projects and aim to send out maybe one a month – or whatever feels reasonable to you. Focus on success and keep the energy flowing! Reward yourself for the effort you put in.


  5. Hi Anne. Yes I agree. It will be my third NWS year this year. Did well in 2013 for successes – second in Elizabeth Goudge and shortlisted for New Talent Award at Festival of Romance. Like to get some firsts this year!


  6. Hi Kate. My sister is a talented photographer and when I asked her if she had any grave shots she sent me six photos to choose from. Let's make 2014 the year to complete more UFOs (unfinished objects)!


  7. Hi Sue. It's not even fear of rejection! I am always in awe of how many things you get out in the world, if I could do half I would be happy. Thank you for your continued inspiration.


  8. Your writing is a good way for your descendants to remember you by and also for them to learn other things about you that they may not have been aware of when you were alive. An artist leaves their paintings and artwork – a photographer their photos, a sculptor their sculptures. Just think – after your funeral there could be a display at the wake of all your published books in their smart covers. I went to a memorial celebration of someone's life and there was all her sewing and patchwork creations and the dresses she had made for her family as well as paintings she had done. I had no idea! So go for it Morton – build a memory bank for your family!


  9. Lol. Maybe I'd better leave instructions for certain pieces of writing to be deleted if they are to be displayed at my wake!! Or maybe they would lighten the mood?
    There will definitely be plenty of notebooks to choose from, but will anyone be able to read my writing? What fun. Mx


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