I want to take some time and destroy one of the most pervasive myths in our society. Ever since Gutenberg invented the printing press those with the power to publish have been telling you how impossibly difficult it is to do well. As a result, the average person has long felt that writing a book was beyond them. The main reasons are that you are not smart enough or don’t have the time it takes (years) to write something worth reading.
This is just an extension of the myth that hard work is more valuable than smart work or quick work. The idea that you sit and toil for hours and hours still carries a lot of weight in our society. There is honor in sweat.
But you know what? This is the information age! This is the time of the great leveling. With access to information and tools, the playing field has gotten much more level. Now, the small guy can compete with the hallowed key holders.
I really started to get my head around this concept about two decades ago when I had a computer consulting company in Houston. I would have a client pay me to come out and fix something on their computer and often times it was a very simple fix – one or two keystrokes. I would sometimes be asked, “Really, I paid $200 for two key strokes?”
My standard answer was’ “No, you didn’t pay $200 for me to hit two keys, you paid because I knew which two keys to hit.”
Now to bring things back to Gutenberg. It is my contention that writing the Great American novel is within anybody’s reach now. The tools available to write to edit, research, upload your content to places like Kindle Apple iBooks etc. are unparalleled. And because of this, I now have four books in the Kindle store – how crazy is that? (My Kindle author page)
Whatever you do, don’t take it that I am saying work is no longer needed. In fact, work is likely more important now than it has ever been. To sell that novel, you will have to hustle – really bust your butt.
In fact, this entire blog post I’m speaking to my phone while I’m driving. Tell me it’s not much easier to be published these days!