This One Goes Out to Writers Who Want to Write Books Not Blogs and Tweets
I’ve been frustrated by my initial foray into Twitter.
Mainly because I cannot #decipher #whattheheck @anyone #issaying.
So it struck me as funny when I recently spotted this quotation on a notebook at Target: “Shakespeare never tweeted a sonnet.”
As an aspiring author often overwhelmed and discouraged by the massive number of activities involved in writing and publishing a book that have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BOOK, I felt like the quotation reminded me to write what I want to write, not what I think I should write because it’s hip and cool.
Today some experts in the publishing biz insist that you have to be everything — an entrepreneur, marketer, networker, speaker (authors as speakers??? who invented such torture?!) and a social media whiz — in order to be a successful author.
It’s pretty back-ass-words that I’m having to ask the question:
Is there a place in the emerging literary world for people who primarily just want to write books?
I want to believe that there absolutely is, and that the biggest innovations in publishing will come from companies that make it possible and profitable for authors to do more of what they love, and less of what they don’t.
Because what most everyone else seems to be doing is stretching authors thinner than Silly Putty in the hands of two-year-olds. And innovations often come from the realm of not doing what everyone else is doing.
When writers’ time and focus is diluted by to-dos that have absolutely nothing to do with writing, the writing suffers. There’s less time to imagine, invent, finesse, fact-check, follow muses and live a unique life that is worth writing about in the first place.
The philosophy that writers and authors have to morph themselves into Type A Extrovert Uber-Achievers and Do-It-Alls in order to succeed?
I’m not having it.
Instead, I’m believing that there is or will be a place in the literary world for people who care most and first about the quality of books and e-books, and less about other stuff.
And I’m thinking about this quotation from Steve Jobs:
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”
What are you saying “No” to today? Sometimes you gotta just NOT do it…
Not do the gazillion things that are distracting you from doing what you want to do, preventing you from writing what you want to write.
It might be the only way your book will ever be written.
The only way your story will be told.
And your story probably cannot be told in 140 characters.