Thursday, July 10, 2014

Writing About Writing

At the time of writing this - on a sunny Monday afternoon - three of the seven books in my Amazon store are about writing, with one more almost ready to go live. That's half the books I have published, focusing on some aspect of writing. The big question is, Why? Why write about writing at all?

It's not for the money. Really. There's not a huge amount of money to be made from writing, and I can't exactly boast huge royalties from my sales. It's a niche market, and each book addresses a different aspect of it.

I write about writing because no one ever taught me about it. I had to figure things out from books by people I'd never heard of, people who were twice or three times my age, and who didn't know what it was like to be in school anymore. I only ever had books to read that treated books like an entirely alien object, with many of them stating the obvious: if you want to write, you have to read.

So, I decided I could do better than just a standard book on writing, with a $20 price tag to go with it. I decided to write books about things that would help people with different aspects of writing, and make them more approachable and affordable than what I'd read growing up. The far-away best seller of the books I've published is Planning Before Writing, which shares the techniques for planning book and stories that I've used for years.

Why do I mention that? Because it highlights that there was a gap in the market for a book that would deal with precisely that one problem, of how to plan a book. I don't just offer one option, because that one option would never be enough for everyone. I don't just offer the how to plan information, either. The book is as much about why to plan as it is how to plan, and that's the information that people need to focus on first.

I realised that a long time ago, and wrote and published 25 Ways to Beat Writer's Block as a result. Why? Because people always look for advice on how to beat it. Not just writers, but college students, too. There's are a lot of people who need help with it, and few people out there who can say not just what to do, but also why to do it, and how it benefits to do it. 

That's what I wanted to focus on. I could have written a blog post with just the table of contents, and that might have helped some people. Except it wouldn't have been beneficial to them in the same way, just like the methods in Planning Before Writing are useless without some guidance and reasoning behind them.

I write about writing because I'm a writer with experience with problems, and a teacher with the insight to find solutions to them. I write about it because I enjoy combining my professional practice with what used to just be a hobby.

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