Here in the KL, there is an independent bookstore called Silverfish. It has a great site and newsletter you can subscribe to. Here, the owner Raman – renowned for his blunt speaking – talks about a parent wanting to turn his offspring into another JK Rowling.
Part of the conversation he had with said parent went like this:
Then he said, “Unless you are deaf, dumb and blind, everyone knows how much money JK Rowling makes.”
Oh God! Not another one!
“How many JK Rowlings are there?”
“One.” He looked puzzled.
“What is the population of the world?”
“I don’t know … several billions.”
“So, the chances of your daughter becoming another JK Rowling is one in several billions. Now, if you go downstairs and buy a lottery, the chances of you winning the first prize is one in three million. Wouldn’t that be much better? Anyway your daughter has not even started writing.”
Raman, I sympathise. I also have come across people who think they want to be writers, yet hardly ever read, and hardly ever write. It’s weird.
And if any of those people are reading this blog (which I doubt) – take a look at the sidebar on the left, down at the bottom. There is a list of the books I have read since January 1st. And bear in mind that I have a “real” job, plus I write at least one book a year.
There are 10 books on that list, many of them with over 400 pages. That’s more than one book a week. And I am no speed reader, either, alas.
- 4 of them are science fiction/fantasy.
- 3 others are non-fiction.
- 3 are so-called “literary” fiction.
Why do I read?
- For enjoyment and entertainment.
- For knowledge.
- To learn more about my craft.
- To support the industry (I buy most of the books I read).
If you want to be a writer, the first thing you have to do is read. A lot.
The second thing is write. A lot.
The third thing is support the industry by buying books.
Sounds elementary, right? You’d be surprised.