The People We Want to Read About

In this beautiful world, there are certain people with exceptional knowledge, and we enjoy reading books by them or about them. They could be astronauts, doctors with a revolutionary weight loss theory, famous people, or famous parents. Side note. Did Linda Carter ever write a book? She probably has some marvelous stories.
For those without an exciting aspect, creating something that readers enjoy requires hard work. This effort might involve writing five outstanding books or learning about spiders. Other authors had fate intervened. I watched a YouTube video today about a man that climbed up the side of a multi-story building to save a baby. He could probably get a fantastic book deal.
Tragically, there are awful people, and we want to know all about their bad choices. Do they consciously decide to be evil one day? Are they completely unaware of how badly the world perceives them? What was their true motivation for hurting so many people? Why did they claim to be innocent when it was so clear they were guilty?
Then there are those people who we wish would write a book. What happens in Area 51? Are there aliens living there? What happened to Jimmy Hoffa? Could he still be alive? That guy at work who always smiles. What is his secret? Is he faking it? That lady that just walked past me. Why did she smile at me? That is certainly worth at least three books. Yet, these deep secrets somehow remain out of the printed word.
Readers enjoy books with exceptional knowledge and characters or larger-than-life people. This is one of the many sparks that make life worth living, and authors take these works to reach new heights.
Yeah, I got none of that. Here are my four best (worth writing about) life experiences: I went scuba diving off the coast of San Diego during an earthquake. The sand moved off the seabed, and there was a strange dunk-dunk-dunk sound above me. Only a few (I suspect less than 20) people have been diving during an earthquake. I bet more people have been in outer space.
I climbed a rock face at the Gunks in New York. Even though 100 climbers do this daily, I considered this achievement a top-five highlight. I passed my second Electrical Engineering course on the first try. Finally, I went skydiving, got dizzy, and wanted to barf. Never again.
Of course, there are typical experiences (that many people do and are not worthy of writing about), such as getting married to a fantastic woman and having a wonderful daughter.
It appears that my experiences have not been too exciting, but please do not misinterpret my words as unfavorable. On the contrary, I enjoy living and appreciate every day I am privileged to be alive.
My health is good, my family is typical, my friends are regular, and my chosen profession is not adventurous. I grew up in San Diego with wonderful parents and a fantastic sister. I have never been in jail, never been in a major traffic accident, never gotten into a major fight, and I attempt to be a pleasant person. I live where there is low crime and have uneventful neighbors.
My point is that very few readers would purchase my autobiography. In fact, you have just read everything. Presenting Bill, the average guy.
You might be tempted to think, “Hey, you have not hit your stride. You can still do something great.” I enjoy my boring life and have no desire for fame. I never want to post a YouTube video, do something newsworthy, or act in a movie.
In some ways, it is easier to be a normal writer doing normal things. Readers are not expecting something great. Hey, you won four Olympic skiing medals and wrote a book about painting flowers? Lame. You lived through the great depression, fought in Iwo Jima, built a successful business, and your book is about raising chickens? One-star review.
Understanding who we are and what is in store for us is good. Yet that is not for everybody. I often see posts on the Facebook group, Writers Helping Writers about people writing their autobiographies. I find many of these people are trying to create something enormous out of their everyday life. Often, I write the constructive comment, “What is your hook? What would make me want to read your book?” For some reason, they do not have a strong reply.
I understand that many of these people had awful childhoods or traumatic experiences. However, most of these soon-to-be writers have nothing exceptional to offer readers besides a desperate need for fame. I guess it is sad that many people want to be recognized and loved by people they have never met. I am fortunate that I do not fall into this category.
What I have on my side are some fundamental life experiences. I use this limited knowledge to create stories that are realistic and plausible. I hope readers will relate to my down-to-earth concepts and tangible stories.
However, my lack of significant life experiences limits me. For example, I have never been to Japan, and it would be challenging to write a Japanese scene. Yet, in my first book, the main character grew up in Russia. I researched Russia for hours to make her background believable. Hopefully, there were not too many flaws.
What about the aliens in my second book? That is a perfect example of something that I do not know of. But, of course, no (earth) reader has any knowledge either.
What will my writing future hold? I will keep doing my best with what I have. But what would happen if I were part of something huge to me and people wanted to read about it? Well, at least I now have the basic skills to write an autobiography.

You’re the best -Bill
May 30, 2018 Updated May 13, 2023

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