|Photo: Kenny Louie|
Writing 50,000 words in one month is a daunting task at first, but really, a person only needs to write 1,667 words a day to reach 50,000 words in a month.
But as writers, we find all sorts of reasons not to put words on the page. One of the obstacles is the fear that our writing won’t be good enough, or worse, that even after we revise it, many still will not get it. Here’s the problem with that thinking though – every book has its detractors. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s a good thing.
As a reader, you either love Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Drive Life” (the best-selling nonfiction hardback of all time), or you don’t. As of this writing, it has 901 five-star reviews on Amazon.com and 330 one- and two-star reviews.
Not everybody who loves Christian memoirs loves Anne Lamott. Her book, “Grace (Eventually)” has 55 five-star reviews and 25 one- and two-star reviews.
Not everybody who likes Christian fiction enjoys the “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. Fifty-six readers have given it a one-star review.
It’s not important for everybody to “get” your book. You only need people in your target market to get it. And even within that market, you’ll find a dividing line, and that’s okay. If your book doesn’t create a dividing line between people who get it and people who don’t, that’s a pretty good indication you are trying to please everybody, and in the process your message or your method is muddy.
You have a relatively unique perspective on the world, and on your topic. I say “relatively” because your idea probably isn’t truly unique. It fits within a tribe of thought. Write for that tribe. Forget everybody else.
If you believe singles should court rather than date, then write a book about courtship and forget about your detractors. By the way, Joshua Harris wrote such a book, called “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and it has 148 five-star reviews and 49 one- and two-star reviews. He also changed some minds along the way.
If you love character-driven gentle fiction (think Jan Karon), then write for the people who love character-driven gentle fiction and forget about the people who will say your characters don’t do anything. You aren’t writing for them.
Your job as the writer is to create a dividing line and chase away the people you don’t get your book while at the same time creating a book that resonates within your tribe. I love how Bryan Allain described this in his e-book, “31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo.” His quote is about blogs, but it applies to books as well:
Whatever your perspective is, you should put it front and center in as many places as possible. Get it on your About Page, use it in the subtitle of your blog, and anywhere else it fits. Doing so will drive away people with no interest in your angle on life, but will attract those who want to hear more from you. In this way, focusing on your perspective always makes your blog better.