“Reading Ulysses made me realize that I may not be able to write like Joyce; but I don’t need to. Reading that masterpiece made me want to become a storyteller.” – James Patterson
What an insightful quote.
It’s one of many in a December 1, 2011 USA Today article (link below) which features bestselling authors revealing which book was gifted to them at an early age that influenced them personally and/or professionally.
Included are such gems as this one from Dean Koontz who says, “Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows enchanted me and confirmed the perception our world is as deeply msyterious and magical as it is beautiful; a view I have embraced with growing conviction year by year.”
However, it is Patterson’s insight I find most relevant because hundreds of would-be authors have told me over the years the reason they haven’t written their book is … they’re afriad it won’t “measure up.”
They walk into bookstores and get depressed by all the books in their genre.
They think, “Who am I to write a book? I don’t have a Ph.D. I’m not perfect. I’ll never be able to write a book as good as _______.”
That’s not the question to ask.
The question to ask is … “Would someone reading my book benefit?”
Did you ever think about it that way?
Books in your head help no one.
If your story, message, experience or expertise will enlighten, educate, entertain or inspire someone … then not only do you have the RIGHT to write … you have a RESPONSIBILITY to write.
Comparisons cause us to quit.
Stop comparing yourself to other authors and start writing.
As Sir Walter Raleigh said, “I may not be able to write a book commensurate with Shakespeare; I can write a book by me.”
Is it time for you to start writing a book by … you?