This post has been contributed.
Everyone has a book in them. That’s how the infamous phrase reads. Unfortunately, most people stop reading there and fail to read the second half that sentence; everyone has a book in them, but that’s where it should stay. We know, we know, we’re supposed to encourage people to write books, to tell their story and add to the culture of this world. But the truth is, most people who want to write a book should not.
It’s not so much that the idea of the book is bad. It may well be genius, the next 1984 or Casino Royale or, maybe even, The Great Gatsby. Even so, the reason why most people shouldn’t write a book is the motivation behind wanting to because most people want to write for extremely bad reasons.
So, if you are thinking about putting your fingertips to keyboard, please pause for a moment to consider whether you are writing for a bad reason before doing so. This is for your benefit because writing for bad reasons tends to lead to bad writing, and bad writing leads to bad books.
You Want To Be A Famous Author
We have all wanted to be Charles Bukowski or Hunter S Thompson or Virginia Woolf, but this isn’t the right mentality to have when writing a book. These people are icons because of who they are and they time in which they wrote what they wrote. They were in a sentence far more than you can ever know. They changed social thinking with each and every sentence they threw themselves into. This isn’t the whole reason, though. Yeah, sure, there are famous authors, like those we mentioned, but the majority of famous authors are dead and the majority of living authors are unknown. The bottom line is this, writing doesn’t make you famous, even a best-seller doesn’t make you famous. So it is time to rethink your goal.
You Want To Live The Life Of A Writer
What does that even mean? Most writers we know, the ones that have been doing it steadily for years and years, haven’t been on holiday since they picked up a pen and still rely on the bank of mum and dad. They are in their late 40s and early 50s. Writing because you have seen someone put #writerslife on Instagram while at the beach, or because you want to wear a tweed jacket and get drunk on whisky and ice is a foolish reason to start writing. You will only suffer a miserable existence if this is your goal, and you will deserve that suffering. To live the writer’s life of success and freedom requires serious hard work and dedication, and it relies on you writing something of value, that others will find interesting. A life is what you make it, and that starts with you. So figure out who you are first.
You Are Writing For You And You AloneDon’t get us wrong, when you write a book you need to write the book you want to read. It is simple as that. If you don’t love what you have written then you can’t expect anyone else to love it. However, if you are simply writing for you, then you are confusing a book with a diary. There is nothing wrong with this. Writing for you is a wonderful way to expand as a person and to meditate and heal, but that’s all it should be. Don’t release your words. If you are just writing for you, then leave it at that. Write, put it in a drawer, and keep it for you. Or you can write a book that is actually a book that people will want to read, which is different to a diary. Trust us on that.