When I read yesterday that from a study The Writers Forum did, and it was discovered that 80% of Americans would like to write a book and that half of the British people have a similar aspiration, I was a bit taken aback by the percentages in these two countries who were bedeviled by the Shakespearean calling to put pen to paper.
So while millions of persons want to see their names on the cover of a book written by them, it was established that only 3% would embark on the writer’s journey and out of which only 1% would be published. It proves the point that between aspiration and realisation exists Dreamland.
Every now and again, I come across persons here who express similar sentiments but when I ask if they had written anything, they usually say they write poetry. There seems to be poets blossoming as of flowers in the spring as anybody who could rhyme coconut water is good for your daughter, Dan is the man in the van, Jack and Jill went up the hill, are rhymes that give them reason to think they are the next Milton or Tagore emerging. Then there are the next generation who feel that to write and be obscure are also signs of poetic transcendence and assembling is yet another poet we shall soon knoweth.
The Forum generously concluded that if you had a book published and didn’t sell even a single copy of it, you could still claim that you are a writer – that the journey from Once upon a time to the End, is not an easy one that should be taken lightly.
In the music industry, when a singer sings a couple songs they acquire the exaltation, Diva. When India’s Lata Mangeshkar sang thousands she trivialized the term Diva as she became known as the Queen of Indian music; and when Kumar Sanu recorded 28 songs in one day did that make him the Muse of music?
Now that I have 17 books to my credit and that the last one has made it to one of Amazon’s Top List, my narcissism kicks in as I remember years ago a fellow from an area outside of mine, claimed he had written a book and how NBC the American network had paid him eleven hundred dollars a minute just to interview him. Wow! This was like having a God in our presence.
Asked to see a copy of this book, he said he just had the manuscript and so ripped off the cover and the fly leaf and brought just the inside, but as fate would have it, I mentioned it to a friend who immediately identified the book as one written by his brother in law and the fellow who was claiming authorship of it was a known fraud. When I returned the ‘manuscript’ to the fraudster, I suggested a title for the book which was what it was already published under. And he disappeared, never to be seen again.
And so as my literary assembly line was on a roll this year, I hired a young woman from my area to help format my book for publication – from manuscript to book size – and paid for that job – but she then felt her involvement qualified her for co-authorship, for editor, for publisher of my book and actually inserted her name as such in one of my books, although she misspelt my name, got my phone number wrong, changed my email and account – as if when somebody washes your car you should place their name in your certified copy; if they paint your house you include them in your deed.
Does this sound like book number 18 for me? This is real and I know what fraud is and what might be the punishment for committing it. I was too busy writing my next book and my next book to realise that I had handed my work to someone who was seeing dollar bills.
Anyway, a one book writer is an author, so one with 17 books, is there any anointment, say, with the dousing of a pot of ink making a look alike Avatar incarnation?
L. Siddhartha Orie