Why Write a Book?

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

I recently got wind of some advice for would-be book writers from a veteran of the publishing industry. Many of the commenters where I found it (Hacker News) disliked it, finding it to be overly negative. I disagree, and I found the last paragraph particularly worthwhile:

Image by REVOLT, via Unsplash, license.
If you want to write a book, do it. It's wonderful and horrible and fulfilling and soul-crushing all at the same time. But do it because you want to, not because someone suggested it one time. Be mindful of what it fully entails before you start, so you have reasonable expectations and set reasonable goals. You don't have to write with the aim to get published, and you don't have to publish with a traditional publisher. There are many options if you just want a copy of your story that you can hold in your hands. Just be careful when well-meaning ... people say you should write a book.
My nearest equivalent to writing a book is my doctoral dissertation. I have some sense of the amount of work writing a non-fiction book takes, but little idea of, for example, how to pitch one to a publisher. But based on what I do know, including from resources like The Writer's Market, the above advice is very good. Writing a book is hard work, and one should do so with open eyes.

-- CAV

P.S. Fun trivia fact: I have a pool of posts I write in case I am ill or otherwise unable to spit out a blog post. This one I wrote in July of 2018, before we relocated to Florida. That may be the record for this blog between time-of-writing and time-of-posting.

Since such posts have to be evergreen, I will sometimes swap posts out of the queue when I realize I have written another evergreen post, as I did yesterday afternoon.

No comments: