Why write a book?  

Posted by Praveen in ,


This is my 250th post in this blog..

Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman's name out of a satire then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to be a writer - and if so, why?
Bennett Cerf, publisher and co-founder of Random House


Its been a long standing dream for me to write a book. And as many of you know, I even started out with one on a 200 page college notebook. The first chapter started dramatically through the eyes of a paralysed guy. He fills up the first chapter with descriptions of whats happening around him, in true literary style. But then the problem arose, what should I do with this guy? I been in that dilemma for almost 2 years now. Yeah, the guy is still waiting there for me to do something with his life. Hope one day he stirs up enough inspiration to get over his own paralysis and in that way help my own paralysed literary pen. Sorry for the digression, the intention of this post is something else. Why do people write books?

The most obvious reason is 'selfish interests'. No one can be blamed if he wants to leave a legacy in some 200 odd pages. Not that everyone who writes a book ends up being legends. In this era of blogging and web literature, people are still obsessed with seeing a book with their own name printed on it. Afterall, nothing can match the pleasure of bragging about the creative tussles inside your mind while writing the book to some uninterested unlucky listeners at some evening party. Its another matter that it was more of a tussle of getting some ideas out of your mud filled heads.

In the new millennium, there's a category of authors who outnumber all the other categories of writers combined. They are the 'cheap publicity seeking writers.' Well, these are the kind of guys who write a book and then do some intentional leaks to the press before the book release. The leaks are most often an intentionally controversial part of the book. So, how to get those controversial parts in your book? Just write a few remarks against a widely respected personality. Reveal some deep personal secret concerning you and the person. This can be a cooked up story too. Once the book is released, sales sky rocket and interviews are given galore, you can always deny the same controversial remarks that you wrote. Blame the media for creating a mountain out of a molehill. Also don't forget to drop in some lines on how you respect this same person and how you share such a great bond. The perfect example of men of this ilk are guys like the former Aussie coach John Buchanan. There are rumours that he failed in LKG 10 times because he found it hard to go beyond the 1st four alphabets. Thats what inspired him to come up with the 4 captain theory. Hope you might not have forgotten the controversy surrounding his book. Same thing with many other celebrities.

Another category is the 'I am different' kind of authors. This bunch is quiet interesting. They like to think differently from the masses. They find such a joy in writing something which questions the accepted beliefs. Its no problem even if their stand is wrong, what matters is you think differently from the normal mortals. Jaswant Singh's Jinnah glorification excercise is an example of this. Their target is to get lot of coverage in the international media. Arundathi Roy is an expert in this field by regularly writing articles bashing India in the foreign media. This inturn generates lot of publicity and hype for even some of her ill-written books. A difference in opinion from the masses doesn't mean you'll be isolated. There will always be the fashionable liberals who will sing hymns praising you in page 3 parties.

The 'spelling bees' are a confusing category. You can't read a book of this category without the latest edition of oxford or webster's near you. It will be so loaded with high sounding words that by the time you search up the meaning of everything, you will forget where you started the sentence. This type of books is recommended reading for GRE aspirants. Eventhough you won't understand head or tail of the content, you'll end up knowing a whole new set of words. Some candidates who failed in clearing GRE are known writers in this category. They wanted to use the words they painfully learned for the exams and they didn't find any better way than writing a book. Among this crowd, there are those sincere writers who does painstaking research and come out with gems. Lets leave those stalwarts out of this discussion.

So, why wait? Now that you know the bad category of writers, why not try to get a place in the good writers category? Get your pen and diary and pour your heart out. Don't write for money. Don't write for fame. Write what you are passionate about. Don't force yourself to write because thats the same as forcing someone to read what you wrote. And above all, enjoy writing. Never write for the sake of it, not even on your blog...

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly, an English intellectual, literary critic and writer.

image courtesy-www.business-opportunities.biz

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at Wednesday, August 26, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

7 comments

Superlative man! I admire the way you've analysed things.

100% on your side about Buchanan. The loser had the nerve to question some of the pioneers in cricket just to sell his toilet-paper book. And his mountain-moving methods received brickks, boots and boos from all coreners of the world. Someone should write a biography about him: "the biggest loser born ever". It will be best seller.

Arundhathi roy is a writer I respect. Her literature has a sense of purpose man.. Read "End of Imagination", if you already haven't.

hahahaa and the last veriety, I dont bother to read. Why waste time? ;)

PS: Praveen, please end the life of the paralysed man in your book. 2 years is more than enough. Or else bring in a Dr. choo choo and make him walk again.. but quick!

3:38 AM

Many congratulations on the 250th and hopefully u realize ur dream of writing a book!

12:41 PM

Man, I forgot to congratulate you on your 250th post! God, I've to write nearly 200 posts to catch up with you! By the time you may reach 500! :)

onnu pathukke pode.. ;)

1:00 PM

Good one. I completely agree with your post today.

Write here not for Glory
Write here not for fame
Write here just to be happy
As theres nothing in a name

3:38 PM

the last quote was classic!!! :D

interesting categories... not really explored before. i m sure there are several other categories too.. if u take time to understand them..

i guess writing is a form of self-expression for the good writers. and for the bad ones... well.. :-/

Btw...
yeah, the guy is still waiting there for me to do something with his life.
I started a book of sorts on a murder mystery with a good looking detective in the lead. It went till 10 chapters and is still stuck there. I guess we're all nearly in the same boat for this one :D

8:14 PM

and yes... before i forget...
congrats on ur 250th post... and that too, what a topic for that! kickass! :-)

8:15 PM

@scorpiogenius
I beg to disagree on arundathi roy:D..She maybe an awesome writer..But her behaviour is almost like that of a traitor, constantly coming up with baseless allegations against the Indian army and the establishment..It clearly looks like she wants to hog some limelight..

Btw, thnks 4 the wishes...hehhe..pathukke povunnilla..u come at ur pace..afterall quanlity and not quantity matters

@Rakesh
Thanks man :D

@Supriya
so true!!

@aswathy
hahha..cool..so am not the only one with a paralysed hero :P

2:37 AM

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