From the Grave: Please Don’t Publish Until I’m Gone 100 Years.

Mark’s Twain Autobiography was published after a wait of 100 years. By doing this, he could freely speak his mind and strike vengeance as he saw fit “from the grave.”

A fiction writer may also create but not consciously publish various works during their lifetime for the following reasons:

  • A fear of criticism on release.
  • The work is incomplete or not satisfactory.
  • The work covers a controversial subject.
  • A promise to keep family members happy.
  • The work is an indictment of a real situation and real names are mentioned or are very thinly veiled.

So a growing “post-bucket” collection may result. But this is accompanied by a set of risks. If this is a digital set, then there is the ongoing concern over a malicious hacker retrieving and publishing it. Or if it is a physical work, there is a need to hide it in a secure or an unobvious place. However, every time that you use the surreptitious repository, there is a good possibility of your “literary stash” being detected.

To relieve the tension, some authors may release a few of these works under pseudonyms. But there is a high risk of doing this in the information age because eventually the truth will come out.

And as a last resort, perhaps never write these stories down. Instead, keep it part of your “mental inventory.” And when you emit your breath, the secret will die quietly with you.

How will you choose to handle this need? The choices are yours alone and need to be made carefully. Good luck with this effort!