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First, I define my message type.

# MyCustomMsg.msg

Header header
float64 data

I then add my message's package to the manifest of my C++ node.

<depend package="my_custom_msg_package" />

Then, I import it into my C++ code.

#include <my_custom_msg_package/MyCustomMsg.h>

Set up a publisher:

my_msg_pub_ = n.advertise<my_custom_msg_package::MyCustomMsg>("topic", 1);

I then instantiate an instance of that message:

my_custom_msg_package::MyCustomMsg msg;

Finally, I fill it with data and publish it.

msg.header.stamp = ros::Time::now();
msg.header.frame_id = "/world"; = 0.0;