“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”
– H. L. Mencken
Nothing makes me feel lazier than walking past the “featured books” table at Barnes & Noble. Every time I look at that table, I see tons of books that look like they took half an afternoon to write. Titles like: 500 facts about llamas, 200 beard growing tips & tricks, and 50 fun uses for old socks; shouldn’t even be classified as books. They’re nothing more than glorified lists that I’d expect to see on Cracked.com.
It probably sounds like I’m bitter, but I’m not. If anything, I’m inspired. Seeing those books, made me realize how easy it is to create content. You don’t need to write the next Moby-Dick to be a successful author.
Until my trip to the bookstore, I had had terrible writer’s block and hadn’t worked on my own book in almost two weeks. For whatever reason, I feared that my own book wasn’t going to be “good enough” and that I should focus my energies elsewhere. Seeing some of the titles at the store reinvigorated me, and when I got home I wrote for a good hour or so.
While I’m still going to put in my best effort, I no longer care that my book isn’t some great work of art. At worst, I’ll be able to proudly walk into some major retail chain and say: “that’s my book, right across from 20 things I found outside in a public bathroom.”