A couple of months ago, I published a book online using Amazon self-publishing. To be clear, I am not a professional writer or an artist. I am a software engineering manager working in the banking fintech industry. My goal in writing the book was to improve communication skills, which I identified during covid lockdown last year when I got bored and self-reflected.
I watched a Youtube video by Dr Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist and a professor in Canada. His advice to the young man was, “if you can think, and speak, and write; you are absolutely deadly”. His quote gave me a lot of inspiration, and I joined his program on self-authoring, which has the online prompt to write for self-reflection. At the same time, I joined the toastmaster club to improve my public speaking skill, where I met with my mentor, who coached and encouraged me to write and publish a book.
It wasn’t difficult to get started and write; it was difficult to keep going and writing when I felt tired and not motivated while still pushing myself to write and build a habit of writing. There are a lot of distractions like messages that pop up on my phone screen and keep me away from writing. And to make things worse, there is an inner voice in my head, saying that I am not a good writer, and nobody will read what I wrote. “My story is not interesting.” I know, “my book will not be the best selling book”. I know the truth, and I have to be honest with myself.
I felt a bit disappointed, not by negative feedback, but by having no feedback. The feedback I received on my book was zero. Nowadays, with the internet, nobody reads books anymore with YouTube and Podcasts. I have become a minor as I am a book lover who still reads at least one book per week to keep my mind busy and stay away from overthinking and depression.
The goal of my journaling was not for people to read, but it is a weird hard feeling that even the people I care about, like my girlfriend, won’t even bother to read my book. Who cares? Does it mean my book is terrible? I don’t know. I got some positive feedback when I shared with my friends that I published a book on social media. I received the praise and recognition that publishing a book is an achievement. But action speaks louder than words. Only two people are willing to click the buy button, and it’s like a validation of my effort. Buying the book doesn’t mean they are going to read it.
Nobody is reading my book because I am nobody. If you are the CEO of Disney, Jeff Beso or Elon Musk, even if you just sent a short tweet with 150 words, it got more attention than if I wrote a book with my heart and soul for a whole year. It is what I learn as a lesson of self-publishing. Maybe I could sell a million copies if I became a successful and famous person. A book sitting at the corner with nobody caring is like unlocking a whole new level of loneliness. Maybe I should study marketing strategy before self-publishing a book. Perhaps I should understand what people want to hear before getting our voice there and being vulnerable.
If you’re interested and look for inspiration, please get a copy of my book on sale now at Amazon: