Self-Publishing for Proactive Individuals:
Anyone who is alive and are able to read and write should at least leave something behind like a legacy when they depart from this world. This topic is not about death and why you will die. It is all about your personal awareness to your existence and the most important role you have played or have yet to play or undermine in your life to deserve a publishing contract.
A majority of us will never make an attempt to tell their story while alive and ticking; simply because they think writing a book needs a special talent or a magic wand to warrant receiving an accolade. This is not true, the myth that you need to be “special and gifted” is just another fallacy to make you think your story is less important to you or us potential readers of your benevolent tale.
Writing a book is no where difficult than it is learning a new skill. Like riding a bicycle or learning how to drive or cook delicious family meals. Everything in life is and has a learning curve and acquiring new skills requires a little more effort and time before one can master it as an art. Yes! Some people are more gifted and talented in writing excellent successful books than others. But this depends on which book genre one needs to exploit to discover their true calling.
Or we can debate this issue to try and find an excuse “why you can’t write” which leaves you with one option. Pretend you’re not alive and history will not remember who you were amongst people who walked this earth. Any person willing to try writing as a career or hobby can become a successful full-time well paid reputable author if given a chance and the opportunity to try it out without being judgemental about it.
Those that are born with any special skills to write and tell outstanding stories or display impeccable reporting ability for writing articles without exerting much effort are one in a million. Others like me have to learn this skill from ground up. This is purely because I want to explore new horizons of the unknown creative territories hidden in my mind and to push the limits, of my writing emotional resources to power up those who need inspiration to live on.
On the other hand, one cannot dismiss the fact that everyone has some latent kind of a skill greater than others. E.g. if you’re not good at sports, maybe you are good at writing and reporting an incident in the form of a book. Whereas, on the overall scale of things those with basic literacy reading and writing abilities can improve it to become masters of the craft after years of experience and practice within their chosen discipline.
Motivation To Write Or Speak Your Mind Is A Right And Not a Privilege
I think every individual who has an opinion or a story to tell can become a trained author and or a professional writer. As the saying goes “practice makes perfect” the more you write the better you become. The motivation to express an opinion or tell a story will vary from person to person depending on their urge, will power and personal drive to let it come to the fore front of public knowledge.
This urge and drive can be inspired by an attempt to preserve or express the following ideals, namely;
- Leave A Legacy Behind Your Name (Importance of surname and family tree)
- Tell The Real Story Of Your Life’s Purpose (Your inspiring biography of rags to riches)
- Teach The World Something You Know That They Don’t (Inform and impart knowledge)
Let us individually explore these 3 mind fields and the implications each one can do to alter the cause of your destiny should you decide to become a writer or pursue it as a career. I do it to exploit my interest of social injustice and the overall society’s ignorance to keep silent where common sense should prevail.
That’s why I write and will continue to do it, so that the new generation can find and learn something about our timeline and history. You can call it “writing to leave my legacy behind” my name as you know it, without hiding behind a pseudo name to cover up my identity.
(Reason No.1 ) Leaving A Legacy Behind Your Name
“What’s in a name?” Every nation or tribe in the history of the world or mankind has left some kind of a mark or written down knowledge of wisdom and clues to inform us of their previous existence, and how they lived their lives. How we prosper and grow as people is determined by writers and authors of our times to capture history and to preserve this knowledge for future generations to learn from.
The new generation will learn this from anthropology, archaeology, religious and spiritual sciences and other teachings. Past writers and historians were passionate and able to preserve their knowledge through books and tablets. Moses had the 10 commandments written on two Tablets and Mohamed had the Quran, Tao by Laozi, the old and new testaments by various writers etc.
The big question for you and I is why we shouldn’t take the lead to contribute or start this self preservation process to re-write our personal stories and history from our own current point of views. Your name has weight and meaning therefore to assert your existence you need to do something about it. Why not tell your own story or tale like, William Shakespeare, Mark Twain or J.K. Rowling, Es’kia Mphahlele, Maya Angelou, Chinua Achebe, Nadine Gordimer, Mongane Wally Serote, Agatha Christies and Steve Biko,?
To assert your name and begin to teach the new generation who you really are is something that needs to be documented and told by you and not anyone else while you’re still alive. The mistake our forefathers failed to do was to pen down their family history, experiences and cultural values in a book form for us to use as reference, and pass-on this knowledge to others and to avoid us from distorting information or create confusion through false assumption and suppositions.
Although they’ve passed on some knowledge about culture and traditions, these were lost in the diversion and were diluted with modern day western cultural values. If one looks at the traditional healers and African Medicinal Men and Women; everything they do is passed-down to them via practical training without any form of books to authenticate or test the integrity of their knowledge.
To restore the history of our current cultures or traditions new writers, story-tellers and authors must commit to re-write what is truthful in their books. This way your research and writing skills will come handy to give the world a better perspective of the correct version of your story and its findings.
This is also where our legacy as writers or authors will carve a unique path to restore truth from fake news. Anything on social media that is not supported by an author with reference from their book is fake news. That’s one reason you should write your 1st book before you die to clear misconception about you and the story you’ll be telling.
(Reason No.2) Tell The Real Story Of Your Life’s Purpose
Perhaps leaving behind a legacy to restore culture and tradition is not your cup of tea, this should not deter you from pursuing your goal to write your 1st book before you die. It can be justified that writing your own biography is the second option in allowing you to become a writer. I started with poetry and prose they were appealing for my writing style and preference at that time.
My take on this topic if you can appreciate my point of view is that, first time writers find it easy to kick-start their writing projects by penning down their life’s story to test the waters. Everyone can have something to write about to start a career or hobby as an author. However telling the world your story and all the challenges you’ve faced when you were growing up can make you extremely wealthy; if you have an amazing story to tell and how you tell it can become a game changer to your future.
Adversity and misfortunes can come as blessings for most writers, where their story inspires film makers to convert their book to a “Hollywood” movie screen blockbuster. But most true stories are hard to find. That’s why creative writers are able to turn-around a simple article from a newspaper and built on it to become a romantic novel or a scary horror movie to say the least.
Possibilities of writing something about you and your neighborhood lifestyle can be an interesting tale to tell the world and you can be paid handsomely for it when your book sells out. That’s why if you have anything to say do not hasten and rush to your local newspaper or TV and spill the beans.
Take time to apply your mind and pen it down as a book, then self-publish it to secure your ownership rights, before it goes to the newspapers. After all in South Africa newspapers and TV don’t pay for your story, yet they make money from it indirectly without you knowing. The reason for this is because you don’t have a representative to secure the copyright of your story. In my course I teach my students how this can be done, to avoid financial loss or exploitation of your material by public domain hijackers.
In the UK and USA your story could be worth millions of ($) if the genre you choose to write about has the potential to convert it into a movie script. Your really treasure might lie in your biography which is the best choice for first-time writers and authors. This is the second major reason you should write your 1st book before you die.
(Reason No.3 ) Teach The World Something You Know That They Don’t
Every person knows something better that they can teach and share with the world through the “world-of-books”. Everyone is unique and has special gifts and talent, how will you know which one is prominent until you try them all? Writing is just the begin of your journey. This can be a skill in cooking, growing seeds in the garden, how to type a business proposal, how to look after children, how to learn Zulu or an African language for example to foreigners and many other things that your talent can bring to the table.
Basically few if any persons can have an excuse for not knowing anything other than their God given talent or skills to teach other people while they make money from it. Teaching people what you know is what the world needs and there is technology to do just that. However, writing books has become more profitable via books and eBooks, software and skills courses.
You have to be good at something to be called the “Go-To-Guy” in your line of expertise or subject matter expert. This cannot be bought from any shop-counter you earn it through hard work, persistence and dedication. Being lazy is not an excuse for not trying out new skills in your life. You have to take the risk and rise to the challenge before you can justify your failure.
Hard-copy books are still popular main stream media teaching and learning tools in schools. Libraries still thrive on a good supply of “hard-copy” books of any kind. Although digital books occupy major market needs in the US, UK and Europe. Africa and South Africa is way behind times in exporting their talent and book publication knowledge to reach international markets.
Libraries around the world are the power houses of knowledge even though technology is driving demand for digital access to content and knowledge distribution via the Internet. The Library of Congress in Washington DC and the City of Johannesburg are my favorite libraries they’ve inspired my hobby as a writer.
My concern with the African Continent and the African People in particular is their dying interest of bringing their knowledge and talent by writing books for a living to share with the rest of the world. There is always a need to write children’s books. Turning your misfortunes into writing motivational books and courses is another untapped field in the African continent and the local education system.
People will always need a savior religiously speaking. Local South African religious fraternity has not caught up with this trend of encouraging their congregations to read more than one of the traditional scriptures. Rather they’ve left money on the table by ignoring their own ability to write on behalf of their churches and communities. They have left this open to abuse by social media frenzy that has nothing to do with their scriptures in question to liberate these souls from ignorance in retaining their teachings.
Well written and researched books and biographies, novels and technical books have a place in our education system and personal development scheme. We therefore need more student learners like you to replace the older or retired authors with new material to replenish our mind and hunger for knowledge. That’s why your “learning-curve” or new acquired writing skills can be a life saver to every community that constantly seeks information your book will be able to deliver. This is your 3rd reason why you should write your 1st book before you die.
A sample of what I’m talking about can be viewed here:
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