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A Year of Yes: Write the book you want to read

“How did you know what to write about that would sell?” someone asked me this week.

“I didn’t write a book that would sell,” I said. “I wrote the book I wanted to read.”

“But didn’t you look at trends?” he asked me.

“I started writing my book eight years ago,” I said. “Trends from eight years ago wouldn’t have helped me today.”

He was frustrated. He wanted a silver bullet, and there just isn’t one when it comes to any kind of creative work. All you can do is follow your curiosity, do your research, listen, and then get it all down as well and as honestly as you can.

You absolutely cannot make everyone happy. Some people will want the book to go faster, and others will want it to go slower. Some people will want more detail, and others will want less. Some people will say the book is too long while others will stay it’s too short. It’s all incredibly subjective.

Just know this—over the course of writing, rewriting, editing, and publishing your work, you will read / view / listen to it dozens of times. Maybe hundreds of time. You have to nurture it, love it, and then give it all away for someone else to interpret. That is the rub of creative work—you pour everything you have into it, and then it belongs to the world. It is all a labor of love.

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