On the Importance of Publishing

You meet someone and she tells you she's a surgeon. "Oh yeah?" you say. "What kind of surgery do you do?"

"Well, I don't actually do surgery on people," she says. "I work on my technique at home in my kitchen, on apples and stuff."

"Umm," you say.

You meet someone and he tells you he's a tennis player. "Oh yeah?" you say. "Who do you play against?"

"Well, I don't actually play against people," he says. "I go to the practice courts and hit the ball against the wall for hours and hours."

"Umm," you say.

You meet me and I tell you I'm a writer. "Oh yeah?" you say. "Where can I read what you've written?"

"You can't," I used to say. "Almost none of my stuff has been published."

A surgeon without a patient, a tennis player who never puts himself across the net from an opponent, a musician without a listener, a teacher without a student, a writer without a reader: Practice, study and the like are necessary, but they aren't sufficient.

You aren't playing the game until you dare to enter the arena.

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