I’m Not Writing a Book, and Neither Should You

How many uninspired books do we need?

Don’t write a book if you don’t want to! (Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash)

I cringed when I wrote the title for this article because my brain is still screaming for me to be like everyone else.

“Why do you want to be different,” it asks. “Look at all these writers, busy with the business of creating books, and you are stuck in the small time!”

My mind is not my best friend.

I started thinking about this topic as I was scanning Twitter yesterday. I recently connected with a huge group from the writing community. I noticed everyone was talking about writing books. They were either writing, revising, editing, or promoting a book. I started wondering if, as a writer, I should be doing the same thing.

Imposter syndrome started ringing my bell. How can I call myself a writer if I don’t write a book? Isn’t that what you are supposed to do?

How many hours have I spent comparing my journey to others? Why do I think that the path a famous author took is the only path?

What should I do? Should I stop being afraid and just start writing something? Does the world really need another uninspired piece of crap?

But I’ve already decided that writing a book is not something I want to be spending time doing. I’m happy writing on Medium; it fulfills me. I’m not making enough on Medium to pay the bills, but freelancing takes care of the rest. As long as I pump out four or five short blog articles every weekday, I can spend as much time as I want writing about what I enjoy.

Everyone is telling me that I am doing everything right if what I’m doing makes me happy. Heck, I’m telling myself the same thing all the time

I can’t say I will never write a book. Every day I write down ideas that would make great novels or works of nonfiction. Maybe one day an idea will affect me so much that I will be forced to turn it into my very own work of art.

Maybe I will write the next great American novel.

Why don’t you self-publish? (Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash)

I do know one thing; if I do write a book, I am going to self-publish.

I can’t understand why so many writers are willing to jump through the hoops that publishers put in their way. Is it necessary to publish with a big house?

I don’t know much about the publishing business, except this:

As a writer, if you want to release a book, you are expected to kowtow to the publishing establishment. What do they actually do for you? They edit your work and design a cover. I know you can find someone yourself to do that for you. I also know, if a publisher releases your book, you still have to promote it yourself.

You give up the rights to your work, only to get a measly percentage?

Maybe I’m getting it all wrong, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s worth it.

Is it necessary to get the blessing of a publisher to be successful?

Tucker Max and James Altucher don’t think so.

I didn’t write this article to piss anybody off. If you want to write a book and get a publisher to release it for you, that’s what you should do.

But, if you don’t want to write a book, you shouldn’t.

That’s all I’m saying.

I don’t think we should put extra self-imposed pressure on ourselves to do something, just because all the other writers are doing it.

None of the authors who are busy writing books think you should write a book if you don’t want to either.

Now I’m speaking mostly to myself.