Saturday, September 21, 2013

What the stats say: turns out you're normal!

By Lacey Gunter
My service marathon is going great. I plan to post about what I have learned from it in two weeks. In the meantime, chew on this:

Anyone researching how to get a book published is bound to run into the massive wall of "You're probably not going to succeed, unless you are a writing genius or as persistent as the ocean tide, so  give up now!" commentaries. I know you know what I'm talking about. Anyone who is even remotely consistent at reading this blog is savvy enough to have discovered these types of warnings ages ago.

These commentaries are specifically meant for people like me.  People who never dreamed of being a writer, but one day woke up and felt like writing a book. Moreover, people who want to write picture books.  These commentators see people like me as the poster child when they are writing their 'warnings'.  Ha-ha! Little do they know how badly their articles backfire on Little Miss Poster Childs like me.

You see, when I decided to write a book, I already assumed it was going to be a tough sale getting it published. I thought, "Wow, why am I doing this? I must be the only crazy person like me to have ever tried this." I was so insecure about being the only amateur to send off a manuscript to a publisher that I didn't even want to tell my parents.  The fear of being identified as an aspiring author was actually greater than the fear of failing at it. Not because being an aspiring author is bad, but because I wasn't really sure why I was doing it, so how could I explain it to someone else? 

So when I read articles like that Joseph Epstein NY Times column that stated  “81% of Americans feel they have a book in them,” it was like a huge weight being lifted off my back. What a relief! I wasn't going crazy. It turns out, I'm just like everybody else. So what if I try and fail, I'm just another face in the crowd of humanity. Phew!

 Moral of the story here, if you are feeling insecure about being an aspiring author, break free from this fear. Statistics are often mistrusted and disliked for their lack of black and white conclusions; they are open to interpretation. Well, sometimes that's a good thing. In this case use it to your advantage. Don't say "Oh no, I should just give up now." Flip it around and realize, "Hey, it's okay, I'm just like everybody else. I'm normal!"

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