Why I Publish
Why do I write books? My first blog answered this question on September 10, 2017.
The answer is that I enjoy reading my made-up stories. However, that does not answer the question of why publish these thoughts. I knew that publishing would not make me much money from the beginning. My economic goal is to break even with my editing costs and other expenses. If there is no money in it, then why bother? Why not write up an excellent story and then read it to myself? If I require fame, glory, or kinship, there are free sites that will satisfy this need.
The answer is that I feel a story comes alive when published. “My story is now real. See, I have an ISBN number, and people can click on the ‘buy it now’ link.”
Umm, that makes little sense. The difference is that a book is “a book.” This stand-alone entity can be held, talked about, and re-sold. A single gem that may be placed on a bookshelf so that people can read the title on the spine. A person is then judged by what is on their bookshelf.
An analogy is that an architect can endlessly create plans or drawings for their entire life, but until they build a building, they are not architects. The same is true with a car mechanic. They can study manuals, take classes, pass tests and get repair certifications. But until they actually repair a car, they are not a mechanic.
Yet, authors have entered a new age. We can whip something up in 15 minutes on our phone and post it on the Internet. We can write a novel and “publish” it on many free sites. Alternatively, an author can create an ebook and sell it on Amazon. There are even audiobooks that make printed books unnecessary in the modern world. Society has moved on. Yet, I persevere.
Does this mean I look down at other authors who choose this easier path? Am I a snooty, high-browed, stuck-up, condescending, and pretentious jerk? Umm, well. Yeah, sort of.
Why do I aspire to such a lofty goal? I blame my mentors like Mark Twain. He wrote books with a pen, and the result was printed. When he wrote, there was no such thing as an audiobook or the Internet. And what did people do with his books? They read, cherished, and passed these valuable books along to other readers. I aspire to be like Mark Twain.
Yet… I admit ebooks are my primary market, and I see the near future when printed books will disappear. They waste paper, take up space, are hard to read without reading glasses, and are very difficult to convert to audio.
Still, I feel a story can only come to life when printed. This is like the final chapter in a book. “After spending months writing, editing, and formatting, Bill held the ultimate result in his hand. He gingerly pressed the book close to his heart and basked in its glory.”
Well, that sort of makes sense. But… What about this blog? Should it be printed and put on sale? There are no “buy it now” icons. Does this mean that I consider my blogs to be worthless? By my logic, the answer should be yes, but one could argue that “blogs are not supposed to be printed.” True, but my mind contains a secret contradiction. I am arguing (in my own twisted head) that “someday, somebody will include these blogs in a printed book.” is this true? I was about to write “no,” but I had a re-think. After some soul searching, I squeaked out a “well, yeah, I kind of do have that secret wish.”
It would seem that I have an unrealistically high opinion of myself. Well, not really. I have many “life goals.” It is no secret that I had little confidence as a child. Life slowly changed, and around the ninth grade, I gained some confidence. However, that is not the whole story. This improvement was an intentional choice. I WOULD be confident and WOULD apply maximum effort to accomplish my goals. Well… To the best of my abilities.
I knew from the start that I would not become a spectacular writer, but I made it a goal to BE a writer. So I took the leap and published my best effort in printed format.
As part of this ongoing goal to be confident, I still try hard with everything I do. For example, if I see some litter in front of my house, I pick it up. I did not create the litter, but it is still my responsibility. I even pick up litter around my neighbor’s house. Why? Because I actively try to be a good person.
To achieve “life goals,” one must take personal accountability and have pride in their creation. So, yes, I believe this blog is worthy of being printed in book format. Otherwise, I must admit that I am writing a blog for an invalid reason. So perhaps in some alternate reality, this blog is being printed for posterity and my ten dedicated blog readers. Yes, in that alternate reality, there are at least ten blog readers.

You’re the best -Bill
November 02, 2022
Read my next blog.
Oxford Commas

Follow me

Copyright © 2022 Bill Conrad