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!