Easter Egg Poptarts and Why Your Blog Should Not Be A Book

I know, I’ve mentioned many times that I’m writing a book and this blog was to help me do so. But lets get this clear, I’m not blogging hoping some editor will collect my mindless banter into a book. Because seriously, the world is corrupted enough.

But hear me out: I met this blogger a long while back and asked her why she started blogging.

“To get a book deal!”

I’m a big fan of books and I’d be honored if I was offered a book deal. But really, I’m telling you, you probably don’t need to write a book. Every time I ask someone why they want to write a book, they have a terrible answer.

So instead of worrying about how maybe you need to get a book deal, consider these reasons why it may not be such a fantastic idea:

1. People who have a lot of ideas need a blog, not a book.

Blogs are immediate, so you’ll get better and almost instant feedback. Getting feedback as you go is much more intellectually rigorous than printing a final collection of your ideas. And, getting feedback from the public only when it’s too late to change anything.

Many people think they have a ton of ideas and they are brimming with book possibilities when really, most of us have very few new ideas. Accept for maybe Mark Zuckerberg, but apparently, dating him is like dating a stairmaster so it’s not necessarily a fantastic quality. If you have so many ideas, prove it to the world and start blogging. There is nothing like a blog to help you realize you have nothing new to say.

If you do end up having an amazing blog that focuses on one, big grand idea with great writing to boot, then you can pack up for your book tour.

2. A book is an outdated way to gain authority.

Fun fact: People think that book authors are the people with authority. A lame assumption when people like Paris Hilton and Sarah Palin have books. Anyone can have good ideas, and only some good ideas fit into book format. On top of that, the people who are on the cutting edge of any topic are not waiting the two years it takes to deliver new ideas in a book. Instead, they’re reading articles and blogs and discussion online with all the immediacy of the Internet.

So if you feel like no one is giving you credit for having good ideas because you don’t have a book, think again. Maybe you are trying to get credibility with people who don’t know how to asses “authority”.

3. You’ll make more money per hour flipping burgers than writing a book. 
The odds that your book will be a best seller are absolutely terrible. There’s a great article in the New Yorker about a relatively famous, established novelist who cannot support himself on book advances. I can’t find that article, but just trust me: It’s a very very hard industry to survive in. Books are big money makers. Most nonfiction books are paperback originals which means they are about $40,000 advances, and most of you could earn more than that spending a year in an office.

4. When you’re feeling lost, a book won’t save you.

I feel like people want to write a book to solve their quarter/midlife or any crisis. Not that I know, but I have a suspicion a book will not give you direction in life. See Sylvia Plath. A book is something you write in order to get you to where you’re going. If you have nowhere to go, a book will insure that you stay where you are: Lost.

People use books like a PhD. They think if they have some piece of paper – a degree, a contract – then people will respect them and then they’ll respect themselves. But self-respect doesn’t come from the approval of other. You have to feel lost somtimes — and feeling lost is, gasp, OK!

So stop with the idea that you need a book. Most people who think they need a book deal probably need to answer the question: What will I be doing two years after that book? Do you really need the book to get where you want to go? Probably not.

So on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t write that book….

And the only festive part of this post. I used this recipe to make easter theme poptarts. Cause frankly, bunnies don’t shit chocolate eggs on the lawns of Jewish gals.

15 thoughts on “Easter Egg Poptarts and Why Your Blog Should Not Be A Book

  1. I wanted to write a book years ago, long before I even started reading blogs. I have an extremely interesting (now ex) brother in law (sisters ex husb.) who has given me SO MUCH material and I actually have part of the book written.

    but yes, generally I completely agree with you on this one. it’s a lot of work for sometimes minimal payout, when you calculate per hour revenues (I used to be an accountant, it’s how my mind works!) 😀

    what kind of book are you writing?

    it’s 11pm and I’m watching Top Gun. an Easter theme pop tart would make my evening complete!

    • I’m curious to read what youve written! My book is actually an account of my eating disorder and the treatment I underwent to help me recover. Its a like a slightly comedic take on a depressing disease. But I doubt I will ever finish it. and PS, its 11pm and I’m watching the social network from netflix

      • I would read your book, and I have zero experience with eating disorders. I have a feeling it would be an entertaining read that could help me understand what so many friends have been through. I’m sure it was very therapeutic to write.

        my book is about someone who corresponded with several serial killers (I saw the letters, cards and drawings – A LOT of them!) and went from being an interesting person to someone who turned to paranoia and the militia and was watched by the Feds before finally becoming a guest of the Feds… for many many years.

        – he is released next month, and I may share with him what I have so far, interview him and complete it!

  2. I want one of those Easter pop tarts right now. I blog to blog. Am I going to get a book deal from my blog? Seriously doubtful. And I don’t think I’d want one anyway. If I really need a book as a result of my blog, I’ll just do one of those self-import/self-publish deals and pay for it myself (which, actually, I’ve thought about doing just because I consider my blog my “public” journal, and I like hard copies of my writings).

    • Cookbooks are way easier, and again, you need to have a good core idea that is different because there are hundreds of cookbooks out there. But don’t be discouraged, I think you two have a fabulous cookbook premise.

  3. I have never ever ever thought of writing a book. i totally forgot that you are writing on! Go eden! I’d totally read your book. Nothing like laughing about a debilitating life threatening disease- and of course the moral of the story is that many people can and do survive and live to tell the tale with a good outlook on life.

    I want some peeps but i’m gonna wait til they go on sale tomorrow! Then I’m gonna use LYndsay’s idea and toast them!! mmmm!

    Hope you are having a good sunday- say Hi to Lou Lou for me!

  4. I miss my high school creative writing classes. There. I’ve said it. Blogging is even better though because there no formats or criteria or due dates- which means I don’t drive to my teacher’s house at 11:59 to drop my paper in her mailbox and avoid a late penalty.

    p.s. If I send bubble wrap, tupperware, and postage can you mail me an Easter tart?

  5. “Cause frankly, bunnies don’t shit chocolate eggs on the lawns of Jewish gals.”

    Werd. This is why we road tripped it up to Mendocino for the weekend. Still didn’t find that rabbit. Oh well.

    I used to want to write a book before but I would be horrified if an editor used my blog as an example of my writing. I use my blog to goof off and blow off steam from my regular life at work but I’m impressed by those who get book deals from their blogs- it’s fascinating to me.

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