The more I emerge myself into the writing world, the more I see this topic of conversation come up. Being an author is a very interesting path. You meet hundreds of individuals who one day hope to share their work with the world and/or have the dreams of becoming the next New York Times Best Selling author. People dedicate their whole lives to this work of art and I honestly think it is very under appreciated the level of dedication some authors have. Working day and night just to have their stories told and the levels of stress that they go through just to put a story together.
Throughout my writing career I cant even begin to explain how many times I’ve heard people tell me “I can write a book” or “I think I have an interesting story to tell”. My first thought is always, “If you only fucking knew”, but I always encourage people to write. Yes, we ALL have a story to tell and writing is one most essential forms of therapy, but let’s face it, unfortunately not all of us are authors. There are people throughout the writing world who dedicate hundreds, if not thousands of hours trying to perfect their craft. So for someone to just come in and say “I can write a book” is pretty disrespectful, especially to those who live, breathe, and bleed writing.
Becoming an author not only takes a lot of practice, but there has to be an unmatched level of dedication to complete a 60-200 thousand word book. A lot of authors go crazy and become obsessed with finishing their manuscript because they have to get it perfect. And writing the book is only the easy part. After writing, you have the editing process, which in my point of view is the worst. Imagine paying someone to tell you how shitty your writing really is. Yeah it’s not a very happy time. And after about an average of 3 different editing stages, you finally have a readable book. Then you go into designing a book cover (which of course you can hire someone but it’s pretty difficult for someone to see your vision of the proper book cover) and after about a couple hundred if not thousand dollars, you finally have a book to present to people. Then the not so fun part starts. Marketing. If you want people to read your book you have to find a way to get it out there, at this stage you can hire someone to help you (more drainage of funds) or you can see if a publisher picks up your manuscript 6 months after you’ve sent it in.
In this author world, the key to the game is PATIENCE. I’ve lost my mind trying to get a grasp of releasing my first book, but I had to understand that everything takes patience. Soon enough my time will come. I just couldn’t keep stressing about things I had no control over, it was as if I was pulling my hair out strand by strand. Not only was I becoming insane but I was losing who I was. So I took a step back and just realized that with time one day I’ll be able to share my story with the world and that is what keeps me going on a day to day basis.
That is somewhat how the journey of an author is like (of course everyone’s different), so if it sounds appealing by all means go for it!
I went to a Les Brown motivational seminar a couple months back and before his presentation he had several guest speakers, in which each individual had their own unique niche. There was one speaker who really caught my attention when he started giving out tips for authors. As he’s presenting he encourages people to write a book, which again, if anyone wants to do it go for it. But as he goes deeper into the presentation he presents the idea of writing a book as being something completely simple and a great marketing tool to attract new customers to your business. I was speechless, here I was listening to someone who made it seem like writing a book was so easy, a caveman can do it, while I’ve spent the last year working on a single book of mine pouring my soul into this one work of art. I was baffled by the idea that this person was selling my dreams as something worth close to nothing, so that people could attract CUSTOMERS for their business?! It just didn’t make any sense. I’ve literally given up everything in my life to follow this strenuous path of becoming an author. I’ve worked countless hours just trying to perfect my style of writing and this man was underselling what I’ve worked towards for so long.
I wasn’t upset at the presenter personally, I was upset over the fact that so many people believed the words that were coming from him. I get it, everyone has to hustle other people for money, but COM’ON man, have some decency for the real writers and authors of the world. I know writers who have dedicated 30 years of their lives just trying to share their beautiful writing with the world. Many of the writers I’ve met aren’t in this for the money either, most do it for the love of the art and even in most cases, those authors never get any recognition for their work. So for someone to come in and say that writing a book can be used as a marketing tactic for someone’s business is all a load of bullshit that needs to be stopped.
Now this doesn’t just go for writing either. I’ve seen several other careers being undermined by individuals who have little to no experience. We have to respect the professionals who dedicate their lives to their craft. Like for instance, the fitness industry has boomed the last couple of years and now everyone thinks they’re a fitness professional, like really?! Just because you exercise as a hobby doesn’t make you more knowledgable than the professionals who’ve been at it for years.
People have to understand that regardless of what path you choose in life, know that it’s not going to be easy. Life isn’t just some walk in the park. Whatever it is you “think” you can do, eventually you’ll be hit by a ton of crap and you’ll have to find a way to overcome those obstacles. Those who really want to accomplish what they desire will do so and those who don’t will go on to find the next thing that sounds easy or appealing to them. So next time you think you can do something by all means go for it, no one is stopping you, but just have a little more respect for those who’ve put in the time. This not only goes for writing but simply all careers. You wouldn’t want someone to come in and say they can do what you do without batting an eye.
Just in case you missed it watch my Day in a Life video of a writer here