If you follow any writing industry blogs and/or news sites, you’ve probably read the disheartening information a million times: less people are reading books these days! Book sales are down! Print/ebooks (whichever one they’re predicting doom and gloom for this week) have had a huge dip in sales and will be obsolete by this time next year! The exact genre you write in is trash and no one is buying those kind of books anymore!
I take most industry ‘facts’ with a grain of salt, largely because I read statistics on one site and the exact opposite projections on another. It’s true we live in a weird age for books because it’s a much more digital age where people are consuming their entertainment in varying forms in ways they’ve never been able to before. I know publishing is very different now than when I first started writing many years ago. It’s true that publishing is easier but it’s harder to get people to read our books, because they’re not a limited commodity that only has one specific path to access anymore.
So under this landslide of books and this lack of readership, why should you still write a book? Because, you’re a writer! And here’s some other reasons why:
Ten reasons you should write a book:
- Because non-writers think it’s cool. Seriously, most people in my life who don’t write, no matter if they’re readers or not, think I’m performing some kind of arcane magic. They think I wave a wand when in reality I grit my teeth and yank my hair out a lot.
- It gives you reasons to be on your laptop. When people are like “are you gonna stare at that screen all day?” you can tell them you’re working, and shh, please leave me alone I’m trying to concentrate really hard. Make sure you minimize the tab full of cat memes first.
- You can get out of boring social situations. Feel free to turn down that invitation to your aunt’s goat’s birthday party by telling her you have a deadline to meet.
- You learn how to write blurbs/taglines. Every time someone asks you what your book is about you get a little bit better at telling them in as few words as possible. This trains you to write those short descriptions that have to encapsulate the entire book in one breath. The WHOLE book, in ONE sentence? Are you playing with me right now, Mr. Editor???
- On that note, you learn how to deal with disinterest. When people ask you what your book is about, and you tell them, and their eyes glaze over, this prepares you for when no one cares about your book on release day.
- Real life is boring. You get to create the fun, fast-paced, exciting world that you wish this one was, so you don’t go crazy like everyone else.
- It gives you something to talk about at social gatherings. At least for the first twenty seconds until people’s eyes start to glaze over.
- It’s fun to commiserate with other writers. Like ones who write humor-filled yet harrowing lists about what it’s like to be a writer.
- If you don’t write, you’re going to have to find some other creative outlet so your brain doesn’t eat itself. And frankly, no one is impressed by my ability to draw a mean stick figure.
- Because even if it’s true less people are reading today, and the book market is oversaturated, and it’s harder than ever to make it, somewhere out there, there’s an avid reader who is longing to get lost in the kind of worlds you create, and you need each other.
It’s a hard knock life being a writer, but most of us wouldn’t trade it for the world.
On Friday, I’ll give you five reasons why you should start a blog. Because like books, what we clearly need is more blogs!