Burger Flippin’

   Posted by: Faith   in Rye Thoughts, Write!Canada

The plenary speaker for Write!Canada 2010 was Joel Freeman, a businessman/ entrepreneur/ writer/ speaker/ film producer/ you name it, he’s done it. Dr. Freeman’s best known book is entitled If Nobody Loves You, Create the Demand, and I definitely bought a copy of both the book and the workbook after hearing him speak. He’s a very dynamic speaker who knows how to engage the audience, and he had a lot of good — and scary — things to say about writing, business, and building a career.

One point I want to touch on today is a statistic Dr. Freeman shared with us… and what he said about it afterward. He pointed out that (and I’m paraphrasing here):

“Over 200,000 books are published in North America each year… the chances of any book becoming a bestseller are about 0.01%.”

Then he told us this — on average, you can literally make more money flipping burgers than you can as a writer.

Wow. That’s harsh, and hard to hear. But think about it for a moment, let it really sink in, and then ask yourself…

Do you still want to write?

You should be discouraged. You should look at that statistic and think “well, there’s no chance, I might as well quit while I’m ahead and find something else to do”. You should run as far and as fast as you can from writing.

But if you read that, take a close look at yourself, and answer “yes, I still want to write despite the odds”… then, as Dr. Freeman said, “you’ve really got something”! You’re meant to do this. You were born to do this.

And if we as aspiring authors are willing to keep on pushing, leap the hurdles, adapt to the industry, and think like both writers AND business-people — after all, writing is a business too — then we’ve really got something.

We can be part of that 0.01%. I can be part of that 0.01%. You can be part of that 0.01%.

Still feeling motivated? Go grab yourself a burger… then sit down and write!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 at 8:03 pm and is filed under Rye Thoughts, Write!Canada. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

10 comments so far


Wow, that’s some statistic. Still, that’s why I have a day job! I’d like to write a book that a group of people will love. I don’t need it to be some blockbuster best seller. A couple of good reviews would thrill me!

July 6th, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I keep hearing that if you’re in writing to make money, then you’re doing the wrong thing. It should be your passion. You’re doing it because you have to do it.

July 7th, 2010 at 5:33 am

Lydia, exactly! And I probably should have been a bit clearer — for me, I think getting in the 0.01% means being successful on my own terms, not necessarily having a ‘bestseller’. I just want to be able to make writing a career, as opposed to sitting around and blaming the system, you know?

I also love that you have an interesting day job that you can bring knowledge back from into your writing :)

Louisa – So true! We write because we can’t stop writing, because it’s burning us up from the inside out! And yet, isn’t it odd how the general public still seems to have this perception of writers as wealthy and affluent? If only they knew the truth… :)

July 7th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

I believe that every book I write is another chance, so it’s like entering the lottery. You just keep entering and one of these days you just might win. In the process, enjoy the journey. :)

July 7th, 2010 at 1:45 pm

“I just want to be able to make writing a career, as opposed to sitting around and blaming the system, you know?”

I totally agree!

July 7th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Reminds me of the old joke: How is a writer like a 10-inch pizza? Neither one will feed a family of four. I’m definitely not in it for the money. ^_^

July 7th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I just ate a burger for supper and I’m ready to write ;) In fact, I’m leaving a very well paid job to go back to Uni. I’m going to study English and that way I both have more time to write and learn the details of the language of wonderful words (I’m Icelandic). Fifth semester: creative writing!

July 7th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Barbara – LOL! Thanks for the giggle! It’s so true…

Tessa – Back to school! That sounds like quite the leap you’re taking, but I think it’s wonderful when we’re willing to break out of our comfortable boxes and take a risk for the sake of our passions and dreams. How interesting that you’re Icelandic! I’ll have to check out your blog :)

July 7th, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I don’t know how NOT to write!!!
Fame and fortune aren’t the goal for me, although a nice publishing contract would be a sweet bonus ;)

July 8th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I know exactly what you mean :D LOL …thanks for visiting!

July 8th, 2010 at 5:40 pm