Friday, September 18, 2009

Brazen Careerist: 5 Reasons Why YOU Don't Need To Write A Book

For some reason, I've always been obsessed with writing a book. I think even in my teens, I daydreamed of writing fiction. As I got older, I started drifting toward non-fiction. To date, I've written little. Well, you can could 600+ blog posts over almost 5 years, plus the hundreds of posts I started writing and never posted, as well as my contributions to several forums as slightly more than nothing, but you know what I mean. I have not written a book, nor have I ever been compensated with money for my writings, unless you could a few reports I’ve done at work. Oh, yeah, I wrote some test procedures, but seriously, you don’t want to read them. I didn’t want to have to read them. Test procedures are no fun. I also wrote a buttload of papers while I was at the University of Phoenix, but again, I doubt you want to read any of them. I didn’t get paid for them. Actually, I paid to WRITE them.

I have several reasons for not having written a book by this point in my life. For one thing, I haven't found an area yet that I think I could do a better job of writing a book about than other books I've come across on those subjects. For another, I've got a job and a family and even if I had a subject that I could write a book on, I doubt I could dedicate the time to it.

Then of course, assuming that I could assemble enough concepts well enough into a book, how would I get it published, seeing how I am effectively nobody in the publishing industry? OK, that's easy, as there are several good self-publishing options available now. I'd probably publish as an eBook anyway.

As I was reading Penelope Trunk's blog earlier this week, I came across a post stating "5 Reasons Why You Don't Need To Write a Book". I think Penelope did a good job of talking to ME in that post. It made me feel better that I haven't written a book and don't seem to be going in the direction of writing one, at least at this stage in my life. I'll just keep posting to my blog as I develop my writing and maybe someday I'll be a respectable mind in one of the subjects I'm interested in.

I want to talk about some of the comments left on Penelope's post. As I said, I thought it talked to ME pretty well, as one of her readers. Maybe it talked to other people. But a lot of the people commenting seemed to take the post in the wrong context. Many people made comments to the effect of "Well, if that's your reasoning, then we'd never have Harry Potter and Twilight". Also, others would say "It's funny how people who write books and go on speaking tours tell everybody else not to do it." Actually, I’ll agree with that. It’s like when I joined the Navy, and when I was 18 I was eager to go to war and do something glorious. Then I started going through training and drills, and I realized that war is a whole buttload of staying awake, bored out of your mind, followed by a few seconds of action that happens so fast you barely remember it anyway because you’re sleep deprived. After 6 years enlisted, 4 of which were at sea, I decided war was best left to the movies. From accounts of book and speaking tours I’ve read, I think the movie versions are probably better.

I doubt anybody who reads Brazen Careerist reads my blog. The last comment was about a month ago, and I figured it would be too late to start back up again. I just want to say that it's important to pay attention to the context of statements like that. The post was titled "5 Reasons Why You Don't Need to Write A Book". I notice that the post wasn't titled "5 Reasons Why Nobody Needs To Write A Book Ever", but that’s how some readers (based on the comments) seemed to take the post..

It's weird how people can take a statement that is actually written in a very narrow context and try to apply it in a global sense. That's global as in global variable, not as in worldwide.

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