The Author Myth

© Can Stock Photo/ khunaspix

So, you have this really great idea for a book. Whether it’s a novel, a memoir, or a how-to book, you’re absolutely certain you’re going to have a runaway bestseller on your hands. You also know Hollywood will soon come knocking at your door.

You’re not alone. We all want to think the idea we’ve come up with for a book is so unique that no one in human history has ever thought of it before. We all want to believe our book will make us rich and famous, and we’ll be living the good life.

Welcome to the author myth

This myth exists because there is some real-world basis to support it. We’ve all heard of J.K. Rowling, James Patterson and Danielle Steele, just to name a few. However, the vast majority of authors will never achieve that level of fame, regardless of how well their book is written, or how many awards it may have won.

This doesn’t mean that writing a book isn’t a worthwhile endeavor. The real issue here is the reason why you’re writing it. Are you writing it because you want to be rich and famous? And are you expecting to see your story on the silver screen? If your answer is yes, then chances are you’ll end up very disappointed. As I mentioned before, very few authors ever achieve that level of fame, and book royalties are, at best, an income supplement. For many, they’re not much more than beer money.

The only reason to ever write a book

There is one reason, and one reason only, to write a book. You want to share something with others. Maybe you enjoy reading stories, and you’d like to write some of your own. In that case go for it. You can write a full length novel, or a novelette, or a collection of short stories. Perhaps your desire is to help people make their lives better. Or you would like to help those who are struggling through difficult times. If any of the above is your reason, then chances are you’ll be rewarded. Maybe not with fame and fortune, but with the knowledge that your words may have changed someone’s life for the better.