The vanity of writing

Have you ever found yourself dreaming of becoming famous? Have you imagined yourself on that breakfast TV couch being interviewed about your book – the phone ringing off the hook with calls from journalists wanting to speak to you? And hundreds of copies of your book standing proud on the shelves of every WH Smiths, Waterstones and indie bookstore in the land?

Well, you would not be alone… many business authors might dream in this way. This is the vanity of publishing your book – and of course, if you’ve got that far you have every right to be vain. You’ve mastered a terrific milestone in your life, why shouldn’t you feel proud and want the world to know of your achievement? Writing a book, whether to promote your business or just because you have a story that must be told to the world, is the pinnacle of vanity.

You may think the term ‘vanity’ is nasty, the connotation usually aligned with arrogance and disdain. In some ways it is. You have to have the arrogance to write and get your book out there. If you don’t have the arrogance – the confidence! – no matter how well written or genius your idea is, you will not attract readers. Take Tony Robbins or JK Rowling, both are extraordinary writers who know their books will sell well. Their vanity about their writing is on full display. Again, this is not a bad thing! For first time writers/authors, the concept of vanity is hard to accept, but the earlier you do accept this, the faster you can understand the world of books.

Let’s take this analogy: writers are like parents. They create an idea, work hard nurturing it for months and months, and by the end they have their ‘baby’! I’ve never known a parent to shy away from showing adorable photos of their children – they’re boastful to the point of exhaustion. Good authors should be exactly the same.

So, are you a proud parent?

This blog post was brought to you by Bella Anton, publishing assistant at SRA Books.

If you have written, are writing or are thinking of writing a book, you may like to join Sue and other authors for a one-day seminar ‘Get Published!’ in Bristol on 21 April 2017. Click here to find out more.

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