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  • Writer's picturePaul Cumbo

Need a Creative Outlet Right Now? Write a Book. No, Seriously.

Updated: May 12, 2020

Maybe you should write a book. This might* be a good time to tackle it. If your circumstances are making for more down time than usual, this might be the time. You have a story in your head. Try telling it.

Got low expectations? Good. Nice, humble way to start. So what if hardly anyone will ever read it? So what if it never gets published? Who the hell cares? Write it for the sake of writing it. You might be surprised what you come up with. Not a good writer? Whatever. Guess how you get better at writing? Oh and guess what: the great democratization of online publishing means there are already thousands of absolutely wretched, horrifically-written, poorly-conceived, terribly-executed books out there. So even if yours is pretty bad, it'll still be a lot better than those :)

Or maybe you've got high expectations? Okay. Just be ready for the wretched, mercenary, arbitrary nature of the publishing business. You probably won't get an agent, and you probably won't get a lucrative book deal. Don't make your high expectations about numbers and money. Make your high expectations about the quality of your story. Then none of the rest of that will matter so much. Oh...and by the way...if your too-high-expectations are the very thing keeping you from starting, then...well, just consider the irony of that for about two minutes and then go start the damn thing.

Look, if you've lived for a while, you've got a story. Write it. If it's lousy, no one has to know but you. But you never know. You might end up with something golden. In which case, your low expectations will have served you all the better. If nothing else, it might do something good for someone. It might be a gift to someone. That someone might be you.

* Of course, depending on your circumstances and/or line of work, this might be a terrible time to tackle it. I get that.


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