As ofÂ 8:00 P.M. tonight,Â 48,173,673 books are available from Amazon. Â Of those, over 3 million titles were inÂ literature and fiction, over 1 million in spirituality and religion, over 500,000Â in biography and memoir, and almost 2 million in money and business. Â Of these, 2,535,376 were e-books, Â 103,023 were released in the past 30 days and 46,226 were self-published. Â And thatâ€™s just Amazon.
What are all those books about? Â Who wrote them? Â Who READS them? Â More to the point, who buys them, and which ones? Â Food for thoughtÂ if one aspires to writing as a career. Â Even if writing is an avocation, it gives one pause.
So why write? Why indeed. Â Aside from the discouragingÂ statisticsÂ Â above, there are many practical reasons Â NOT to write. Â Here are a few that come to mind:
1. Â The world does not want and certainly does not need a book about â€œMy Heroic Life,â€ Â no matter how interesting I think it has been. Â Everyone thinks their life is the mostÂ interesting.
2. Â Writing is hard work and extremely time-consuming. Â Itâ€™s hard to find Â time to get dressed and eat balanced meals, let alone sustain human relationships (although dogs are more forgiving).
3. Â Writers must endureÂ increasing levels of rejection. Â First come theÂ humiliating rejectionÂ letters from publishers. Â Then once published, threats of lawsuits from outraged relatives alleging exposure ofÂ their disgusting secrets, and, if one is finally successful, hate mail from crazies. Â Writers, overly sensitive by nature, are ill-prepared for such abuse and cannot afford the psychological care needed to overcome it.
4. Â Writing is expensive. Â First there is the laptop – a must-have. Â One needs a well-stocked library of classics and writers in oneâ€™s genre as well as a respectable stash of writersâ€™ self-help books, membership in writers guilds, attendance at workshops, and (highly recommended) a cabin in the wilderness without distractions of neighbors, family, and social media.
5. Â Writing is not good for your health. Â WorkingÂ for long hours at a computerÂ is linked toÂ a myriad of health problems including back pain, headache, poor diet, and depression, to name a few.
I could name others; there are many Â excellent reasons not to write. Â To tell the truth,Â Â I canâ€™t really think of a good reason to write. Â Canâ€™t speak for anyone else, but for me, I write because – Itâ€™s just what I do.