To My Younger Self: About That First Book…
There’s a Few Things You Should Know
As your future self, I’ve got some good news and bad news. What do you want first?
Younger self: “I guess the bad news. Wait, why am I talking to myself?”
You’re not. You change by the day, by the hour. We all do, so imagine yourself eight years from now. You’re a new you.
Okay, the Bad News First.
- You’re taking this book thing too seriously. It doesn’t have to be your manifesto, or a ten-year masterpiece. Don’t spend years revising and editing and rewriting. Like Steve Jobs said, “Real artists ship.”
- Write it for others, not yourself. People read stuff because there’s something in it for them, even if that means a grand escape or life lessons or a good laugh. Do it all for the reader.
- Write in a flow state. Edit later. Enjoy the ride. Then, let it go. Don’t look back. Simply start up the next book.
Younger self: It sounds like you’re saying to hurry. I’m an artist!
Oh boy, calm down. No, never hurry. Just don’t be a perfectionist. It was Leo Tolstoy who said, “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”
And Now the Good News…
- Even after the new-project-buzz wore off, you kept going. And you’ll finish, even if it’s taking you … ahem … a while.
- You shut up and wrote. You didn’t spend hours bragging to people about writing a book. You used the energy to actually write it. Yeah, you shared it with a select few, but only because you knew they’d make the book better.
- You joined a writers’ group and gained feedback from random writers. Some of them will become friends and the book’s biggest fans.
- You self-published on Amazon and learned a bit of marketing skills. You knew that whether a book is self-published or not, the writer ends up doing most the marketing. You might as well get a bigger slice of the pie.
- You told a good story with a redemptive plot and didn’t add to the trash heap of bad literature. It just took you a bit long…
Younger Self: Any other advice?
Yeah, before 2012 ends, grab some Amazon stock. You’ll thank me later.
Hey time traveler, you can see that book here …