I’ve noticed something recently as I fish around for more books to read: everything seems to be a best seller.
And if it’s not, then it’s written by a best-selling author.
As a writer, I’ve got to tell you it can be a little bit off-putting, that apparently everyone else out there is a best selling author and I’m not.
I mean, should I really bother writing anything ever again if I’m not going to have a best-seller on my hands? If those weird, wacky and poor spelling individuals can produce best sellers on a raft of semi-meaningless topics (bit harsh…) then why shouldn’t my words of wonder manage to find the colossal audiences that they deserve?
Best Means Best
At the very least, I think a new term is required. After all, how can more than one thing possibly be a “best” seller? Best means…. best, doesn’t it? How can more than one thing be best? It just makes no sense to me.
But then, the devil’s usually in the detail. Best selling:
- children’s book for 2 – 2.3 year olds with pictures predominately in green
- chicken frying book for people in postcode 4069 who are allergic to peanuts
- books for lawyers by Australian authors who are over 6’3″
Somehow though, those modifiers don’t seem to make it onto the bookcovers, and so all we end up with is “best seller”.
Perhaps they forgot?
I try to remember a few things.
First – I haven’t been writing very long, and let’s be honest – I haven’t tried very hard.
Second – if I was to try very hard at it, there’s a chance I still wouldn’t be very good at it.
Third – even if I did try hard, and I was good, there’s still a chance that nobody would read my work.
These things aren’t always so simple, are they? Despite the million and one posts you’ll find saying X + Y = Success, based on a semi-true story involving a now billionaire, the truth is that life and success have a whole bunch of pieces that are really complicated.
You could do all the wrong things and still be a success – does that mean I should copy you?
You could do all the right things, and be a total failure – is it just bad luck?
So Where Do We Land?
I think we can land at a few principles that most of you who read these words probably already know:
- if you define your joy from external events, then you’re going to be in for a rough ride;
- take pleasure in the journey and appreciate it for its own sake (even if you also appreciate the end of the ride);
- marketers lie.
For me – I’ll keep plugging away for now. I’ve had another book ready to go for a while, just waiting on my 10 year old illustrator to get to work…