Today I decided to write the first chapter of my first non-fiction book. I think it’s self explanatory – have a read below. It was written in ten minutes and is pretty crappy:
Hey this is my book!
It’s pretty crappy. There’s loads (lots?) of grammatical errors, typo’s, sentences that wander off and stop suddenly because I’ve lost my train of thought – hey there’s even a cliché, or ten!
My book probably isn’t like the one you’ve written – or like the one that you want to write.
But the big difference between mine and yours right now, is mine is ‘out there’. Mine is busy out there trying to reach people and find other people that like my idea.
Isn’t that all a book is? A bunch of ideas? Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, you will have an idea and want it to reach people.
Now I can think of a million reasons to not publish:
It isn’t good enough yet, I haven’t checked my references, I haven’t developed a good cover, I haven’t explored my options, maybe I need to write a different book first? Maybe I need to find a publisher, or a copy righter, an editor, a photographer, maybe I should pause because someone else has just brought out a book on a similar topic? Perhaps my idea doesn’t deserve to be out there because it isn’t original enough! Yes. There’s a great excuse. Because that’s what it is, an excuse not to do something – which I want to do.
After all, if I produce something like a book, shouldn’t it be perfect? It’s got to stand the test of time right? I mean, what if I change my mind or make a mistake, then I’ll be stuck and will have let down all the people that believed in me.
Oh yes, so many excuses not to publish.
However, I’m not accepting these excuses. I can publish myself I can produce a work of crap/art. If my idea is good enough, then no-one will stop me and I’ll let the people who read it judge for themselves. Isn’t that a radical idea?
Ideas need to reach people. If you have a good one, you need to get it out there. Not sit on it with a bunch of excuses.
That’s what everyone else is doing. Which is why you shouldn’t do it.
So my book starts with telling you how crappy it is. You’re probably a much better writer than I am, and if I can do it, then you definitely can.
Thanks – Mark
Mark Mapstone is a skateboarder, a writer, and author of the Ethan Wares Skateboard Series books.
Follow Mark on Instagram: @7plywood
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