Apr 24 2004

Yeah, I can write a book, too.

Published by at 9:55 pm under Rants

We interrupt this weekend to ask a simple question:

What is it all of a sudden with everyone making books out of their online journals?

It seems like every other journal I read now, the writer eventually throws in some version of “I’m thinking of making a book out of this.  What do you think?”

Let me answer that question for all of you, once and for all:
“Bad idea.”

This is your journal.  Yes, you might have a certain way with words.  You might turn an elegant phrase.  You might even be clever and witty and smart.  But if you are meant to be writing a book, then write a book.  Give it a plot.  Give it some characters.  Taking your journal and TURNING it into a book might be the laziest way of breaking into publishing that I’ve ever heard of.  The argument is, of course, that these people ARE the characters and their lives ARE the plot of the book.  And it’s funny!  Why, tens upon tens of people every day tell them how funny they are!  That must count for something.

No, I’m sorry.  It does not.

Pamie started this whole phenomenon with Why Girls Are Weird.  I bought the book.  I liked the book.  It was a fun book, and she used material from her journal, but she did it in a way that it wasn’t exactly the main focus of the story.  She brought her entries into it as a supporting plot point, not really as the plot itself.  But we really only need one book like this.  So the rest of you. . . you’re all very smart people.  Let this fad pass you by, and get to work on your REAL book.  And if you’re still tempted to take a bunch of entries, send them to a publisher, and see The Journal of Random Person on the stacks at Barnes and Noble, let me ask you this:  Why would ANYONE pay for ANYTHING that they can get for free off the internet?

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