How many people do you know who have said that they should sit down and write a novel? And not just a novel, but the Great American Novel, one that will be so grand and so amazingly incredible that it will be studied for decades to come! I feel that everyone that I know has said this at least once in their lives. The truth is that 80% of all Americans feel as if they have a novel in them dying to get out. And that 80% of Americans will, at some point in their lives, sit down and attempt to bang that novel out.
Now, why am I bringing this up? I mention this because, of these 80% of Americans who have a novel inside of them that is desperate to get out, only a handful of them will ever reach the level of fame that they hope to achieve when they first set out to write. The others will spend their lives writing and writing and churning out page after page, writing more for themselves and a smaller audience than the entire world, and they will never know what it’s like to have a line wrapped around their local Barnes and Noble to get their books autographed.
What I have seen online and in print even is that the rich and famous 1% of 1% of authors are the ones who are always encouraging you to write. Yet the ones who are trying to make a living, just barely scraping by with their own notions that they are, in fact, going to be rich due to their craft, are the ones who will tell you not to even bother. Writing and publishing a novel are very time-consuming activities, and can ultimately be a waste of time.
Am I trying to discourage someone from writing? Of course not! Some of us write as a form of escape, as a form of therapy. And I would never discourage someone from getting their ideas down on paper, even if they never really amount to anything. Roughly 80,000 books are published in this country alone every year, and a good number of those are absolutely unwanted and unnecessary. Yet, these books continue to be published, and may even be purchased at some point or another. This is why people continue to write to be published. Someone somewhere someday may just want to read the book that you’ve had in you!